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raised kitchen gardens
Published April 27, 2022 by Nicole Burke

9 of the Most Beautiful Flowers to Grow in the Kitchen Garden

Filed Under:
flowering plants
flowers
zinnia
marigold
pollinator garden
pansies and petunias are beautiful flowers to add to a kitchen garden

These Flowers Are Sure to Bring Beauty to Your Kitchen Garden

You're drawing up your seasonal planting plan when you come to the unfortunate realization that you won't be able to fit kale and swiss chard and tomatoes and cucumbers in your garden. Flowers? you might be thinking. Who needs flowers when I can't even squeeze all the plants I want to eat in my raised beds?

There's actually three very good reasons to leave off planting a couple leafy greens or veggies and adding some flowers instead.

First of all, the colorful petals of flowers attract beneficial insects into your garden that will, as a thank you for the nectar, pollinate the flowers on your fruiting plants, which means you'll be able to harvest more of the things you can eat.

Secondly, some flowers are, in fact, edible and even come with numerous health benefits. (Learn more about edible flowers here.)

And finally, flowers add beauty, color, and whimsy to your garden.

We've got nine flowers that will make you feel great about giving over a little bit of space in the precious real estate that is your raised bed to some beautiful blooms. Not only are these flowers attractive, we've also selected flowers that either don't grow much taller than one foot or that can be trained up a trellis so that they don't shade much-need sunlight from your edible plants, especially your fruit-bearers.

Let's look at our top 9 flowers for adding beauty to raised beds

strawflowers are some of the most beautiful flowers to grow in a kitchen garden

Strawflowers Are Amongst the Easiest to Grow Flowers

Strawflowers are super easy to grow and will bloom throughout the spring, summer, and fall in many areas. Their beautiful shades of fiery orange, millennial pink, and bright yellow, combined with the stiff, papery texture of their petals (which are actually modified leaves), will bring you lots of joy and benefit your overall garden.

If you've had success growing lettuce leaves, you're sure to find strawflowers a snap to grow, as they're from the same family, the Aster family.

Strawflowers can be grown either as an annual started from seed each year or, if you live somewhere with a milder winter, a perennial that will return for two to three years.

Learn how to grow your own strawflowers.

cosmos are one of the most beautiful flowers to grow in a kitchen garden

Cosmos Flowers Will Hold Up Through Hot Summers

These frilly daisy-like flowers are a must for those of you who experience a hot season (when the temperatures stay above 85 degrees).

While you can grow these flowers in a raised bed, they do just as well in the less-than-ideal soil next to your raised beds, as well.

These flowers are easy to start from seed and require very little tending. By regularly cutting the flowers to bring indoors and by pruning the wilting flowers from the plant, you can encourage your plant to produce more and more blooms for you.

WANT TO LEARN How to Grow YOUR OWN GORGEOUS FLOWERS?

Join Gardenary 365

Each month, we celebrate a different aspect of gardening in Gardenary 365 and drop video lessons to help you continue growing your self and your garden. So far this year, we've covered Microgreens, Seed Starting, Garden Design, Salad Gardening, and more, and we're excited to bring you lots of helpful content on flower gardening in May. Join Gardenary 365 now to have access to our exciting May lessons.

nasturtiums are some of the most beautiful flowers

If You Want to Grow Edible Flowers, Try Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums are absolutely gorgeous. Their round, cheerful leaves remind me of lily pads, and their flowers are every bit as beautiful as hibiscus (but much faster to grow!). Plus, nasturtium flowers are edible and delicious.

Nasturtiums both help you to attract beneficial garden visitors, such as bees and hummingbirds, and they also serve as a trap crop, luring aphids and other pests away from your vegetables.

If you live in a warmer climate, your nasturtiums might stay in your garden for several years.

Choose a nasturtium variety based on the space available in your raised beds. If you only have a little bit of room, grow either a bush type or plant a trailing type in the corner of your raised bed that can be draped over the sides. If you have room on a trellis, the trailing type can be trained up your structure and will look so pretty.

zinnias are some of the most beautiful flowers to grow in a kitchen garden

Zinnias Are Perfect if You Want to Grow Cut Flowers

Besides the tomatoes growing on my arch trellises, the brightly colored zinnias I have growing in my raised beds are the plants I get asked most about on social media. These floral showstoppers add an enticing layer of beauty and whimsy to your garden. Thanks to their long stems, they also make perfect cut flowers.

Plus, zinnias are essentially floral welcome mats for bees, butterflies, and beneficial wasps. Like nasturtiums, zinnias are 100 percent edible, and I love to use the blooms as garnishes on charcuterie boards or desserts.

Zinnias are incredibly easy to start from seed and will grow under so many conditions, including pretty extreme neglect. Learn how to grow zinnias from seed.

marigolds are one of the most beautiful flowers to grow in a kitchen garden

Marigolds Are Some of the Easiest Flowers to Grow from Seeds

This beautiful and easy-to-grow herb provides bright splashes of color to your garden for months, attracts beneficial insects to your yard, and even helps protect surrounding plants by repelling certain pests.

The frilly petals of the flowers, which are 100 percent edible, come in shades of yellow, orange, and red and lend a cottage-garden-feel to your outdoor space. They even smell heavenly.

Because marigolds are more compact than other flowers, I love to grow these annuals in the corners and along the edges of my raised beds.

Learn all you need to know to grow your own marigolds from seeds.

globe amaranth are one of the most beautiful flowers to plant in a kitchen garden

Globe Amaranth Is a Pretty Little Flower That Will Grow Back Every Year

Globe amaranth, also called gomphrena, produces stunning pink, yellow, white, or lavender clusters of florets that attract butterflies and other pollinators from around June to October.

While technically an annual plant, globe amaranth typically reseeds itself and returns with warmer weather. As you might expect, starting globe amaranth from seed is easy.

These pretty little flowers dry well and make beautiful additions to bouquets and arrangements.

purple hyacinth bean is one of the most beautiful flowers to grow in the garden

Purple Hyacinth Bean Has Beautiful Flowers That Grow on Vines

If you're looking for an eye-catching flowering plant to grow up your arch trellis, you've got to give purple hyacinth a shot. This vining annual showcases stems, flowers, and seed pods all in the most appealing shades of purple.

Thanks to its vigorous growth and ability to twine around structures, purple hyacinth is a great choice if you're looking for quick cover along a trellis.

The pods might look like snow peas in appearance (peas and purple hyacinth bean are cousins in the Fabaceae family, after all), but don't try serving these pods for dinner—they're slightly toxic to humans and pets.

After planting purple hyacinth in the spring or early summer in an area that gets good sun, you won't have to do much to help the vines along, freeing up more time to tend your edible plants.

pink petunias

Petunias Are Cheerful Flowers That Grow Best in Full Sun

"What's that pretty pink flower in your video?" "Can you ID that flower in the corner?" I get asked questions about the petunias I often add to raised bed garden installs and grow in my own kitchen garden a lot.

Petunias manage to be unfussy and elegant at the same time. I love planting them right in the corners of raised beds, where their trumpet-shaped blooms will have access to the full sun they love and be able to spew over the edges.

Petunias also have a long flowering period and come in so many color varieties.

pansies are one of the most beautiful flowers to grow in a raised bed

Pansies Are the Most Beautiful Flowers to Grow in Colder Weather

I think pansies and their cousin, violas, were created to supply some-much needed color during the colder months of the year. You don't have to worry about an upcoming frost, since pansies can bounce back from single-digit temps.

Make sure to plant some pansies in your favorite color combos in your fall and spring gardens for long-lasting beauty while you're dreaming of the days you'll get to grow cherry tomatoes and cucumbers.

Don't forget to harvest some blooms to brighten up your cool-season salads!

WANT TO LEARN How to Grow YOUR OWN GORGEOUS FLOWERS?

Join Gardenary 365

Each month, we celebrate a different aspect of gardening in Gardenary 365 and drop video lessons to help you continue growing your self and your garden. So far this year, we've covered Microgreens, Seed Starting, Garden Design, Salad Gardening, and more, and we're excited to bring you lots of helpful content on flower gardening in May. Join Gardenary 365 now to have access to our exciting May lessons.

Once you've enjoyed growing any of these flowers in your kitchen garden, you'll never go back to seeing your garden as a utilitarian place to only grow food again. Instead, you'll see your garden as a beautiful and productive space that plays host to beneficial creatures, increases plant diversity in your yard, and brings you so much joy, season after season.

Thanks for helping me bring back the kitchen garden.

9 of the Most Beautiful Flowers to Grow in the Kitchen Garden