2021 Companion Planting

At my 50th birthday brunch this year, My friend Pam Godwin brought me fresh cut flowers. I LOVE fresh cut flowers. This was Pam’s first time visiting me in Brooklyn although she had been following my garden adventures on Facebook. I was thrilled to share my backyard and garden with all of my friends. During the party Pam said to me “I brought you flowers. I know that you are growing vegetables but I had no idea that you also had so many flowers!”

Companion Planter
One of my favorite companion planters on the steps to my back porch: Wiri wiri peppers, marigolds and lavender!

A lot of what I do in my garden is purely whimsical and driven by the limits of space. I enjoy trying different things and waiting for the surprise. It’s the fun part of gardening. However, lately I have been occasionally listening to “expert” gardeners and discovering that some things I do whimsically have fancy names… like “companion planting” and “multi sowing”. A few years ago my dad advised me to plant marigolds with tomatoes to repel pests… And I did. I discovered that I want a stimulating pop of color in my garden so I began to expand on that idea. Not only do I plant different edibles together, but I love to add flowers and decorative plants to my garden. Here are a few of my favorites this year:

Veggies and Flowers

These are the early days of the companion planting. I mostly planted marigolds and vincas with my herbs and veggies.

Edible Companions

With my 22ft * 22ft backyard I have to be very creative with my use of space. As I want a significant variety of produce, I have no choice but to ignore the recommended spacing. So I combine different veggies, herbs etc. I apply no exact science and I am always open to learning what works and what does not.

  • Bora and vinca
  • Beets, tomatoes, rainbow chard and basil
  • l to r: purple cauliflower, basil, coleus, tomato, marigold, eggplant
  • Eggplant and coleus
  • Grey pot: broccoli and Jamaican callaloo
  • Eggplant, chard, parsley
  • Rainbow chard and beets
  • Fennel and beets, chard and beets
  • Vinca, wild tomatoes, coleus

And it All Goes Wild!

This is what the garden looked like in full bloom:

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Amy says:

    I love all these colors together, and after seeing your garden teh other day I started throwing some flowers into my own veggie pots, cuz Y NOT! The yield you get, Shindy, and the variety is astounding, especially considering the size of your garden. Impressive and inspiring!


    1. It’s fun for me to look back because it’s different every year! Can’t wait to see your colorful veggie garden!


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