‘Friendly’ Plants in the Vegetable Garden

Alyssum, Marigold

You know what?  I just love this time of year.  The garden is full of colorful, blooming plants and all the brown, crispy frost-damaged growth has been pruned away.

That was what my husband and I did yesterday.  We finished pruning off all of the frost damaged growth and everything now looks so much better.

I spent some time out in my vegetable garden, which has some winter vegetables still growing as well as summer vegetables.  I will show you more about my vegetable garden soon.

Alyssum, Marigold

Alyssum, Marigold and Bachelor’s Button growing in the vegetable garden.

What really caught my eye were my beautiful, flowering companion plants in the vegetable garden.  What are companion plants you may wonder?  Well, basically they are plants that attract beneficial insects to your garden and/or repel damaging insects, which decrease or even eliminate the need for pesticides.

Alyssum growing beneath a San Marzano tomato plant.

Alyssum growing beneath a San Marzano tomato plant.

 I just love the fragrance and delicate beauty of alyssum.  It also attracts bees to my garden, which help to pollinate my summer vegetables.



Marigolds are a powerhouse in terms of repelling damaging insects.  The fragrance of marigolds is just fine with me and I just love their bright flowers.

Finally, I have a new flowering plant in my vegetable garden, which is not listed on any companion plant list, but it is just beautiful and was given to me by my fellow blogger Grace, who lives in Oregon, and has a fabulous blog called Gardening With Grace.  She was kind enough to send me some after I admired it in her garden.

I planted it in the corner of my vegetable garden last October and it started flowering just a few weeks ago.

 Pink Oxalis

Pink Oxalis

I just love how the little pink flowers are borne on top of clover-like leaves, don’t you?  I’m not sure how it will do with the summer heat, but the unknown is something that has always attracted me to gardening.  I do hope that it does well.

In the meantime, whenever I look at this beautiful little plant, I am so thankful for Grace’s generosity.

If you would like to learn more about companion plants, you can check out this earlier post, where I list quite a few beautiful, companion plants.


I hope your week is going well.  I had a bunch of consults earlier this week, but now I have a chance to catch my breath and have fun writing again 🙂

Please check out my latest blog post over at Birds & Blooms.

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
6 replies
  1. Patty@sewingseeds
    Patty@sewingseeds says:

    I'm with you…this is my favorite time in te garden. I love new growth and fresh promises of summer gardens. I don't know why alyssum gets such a bad rap? I love what it adds to the garden and its so easy to pull out what becomes invasive. Your new plant is just beautiful. It looks like its doing well, I may have to try that one out myself.

  2. Darla
    Darla says:

    Grace is a doll isn't she? This pink Oxalis grows wild here, we also have the yellow flowering and the burgandy leaved one….it will probably rest when it gets really hot, but should return.

  3. Elephant's Eye
    Elephant's Eye says:

    Is that our, South African Oxalis? Mine has just come into bloom now. The bulbs wait for the autumn coolth and winter rain. Dormant, as in dry, in summer.

  4. Joseph
    Joseph says:

    Hi Noelle! It has been quite awhile since I've dropped in to see what's going on in your garden. There's a lot to catch up on. I really enjoyed your recent posts about staking and planting trees – a lot of information that I didn't know.

    I also love the flowers you have planted in your veggie garden. It adds a lot of interest to the vegetable patch to see those flowers. Alyssum is something I love as well! My veggie garden looks pretty bare in comparison!

    You'll be seeing more of me in the near future, I promise. 🙂

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