How to grow ornamental and edible plants together

in , , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Friday, April 15, 2022

Yesterday was National Gardening Day, so I couldn’t miss that wonderful opportunity to share another wonderful gardening book review and giveaway with you today. You know I love growing flowers and herbs, but for the last few years, I’ve been wanting to grow more edibles and have Googled How to grow ornamental and edible plants together many times over the last year or so, so imagine my delight when I received the opportunity to review garden designer Linda Vater’s newest book that teaches us how to pull this gardening style off. Read on to learn more about the book and enter the giveaway.

Grow ornamental and edible plants together

The Elegant and Edible Garden book

My Thanks to Quarto Knows Publishing for the complimentary book highlighted in today's post and for hosting our giveaway. No other compensation given. All opinions and love of books are my own. 

About The Elegant and Edible Garden: Design a Dream Kitchen Garden to Fit Your Personality, Desires, and Lifestyle, by Linda Vater Published: April 12, 2022- Cool Springs Press

The Elegant and Edible Garden book by Linda Vater

“Stylish and celebratory, The Elegant and Edible Garden takes food growing to a higher plane, presenting a vision for creating a garden space where food and flowers grow side by side. You’ll flatten the learning curve for designing a beautiful, edible garden by sharing common-sense tips and inspiration and ideas from Linda’s own personal experience of starting a garden from scratch, while still allowing your style and personality to shine.”

The Elegant and Edible Garden is a vision of the absolute best things a garden can offer:

  • Food
  • Beauty
  • Connection
  • Relaxing Space

Linda wants to show us how to create a garden that rejoices in seasonality while still allowing our style and personality to shine.


What is your Garden Style?

Lush Potager Garden
Courtesy: The Elegant and Edible Garden Book 

I’d love to walk out of my front door and see this lush garden look! I’m an informal gardener, loving a laid- cottage vibe where plants are lush and allowed to grow to their fullest potential before I do anything to stop them. That doesn’t bode well for a traditional vegetable garden. 

Since picking up this book, I’ve learned that I’ll have to let go of some of my laid-back tendencies, so that I can add a more formal framework to my garden if I want food and flowers to peacefully co-exist in what is known as a Potager garden.

What is a Potager Garden?

A Potager garden is both lovely to look at and productive. A garden space where flowers and food grow side by side in harmony. A Potager garden can also double your outdoor living area, it’s also perfect for entertaining family and friends.

That sounds ideal to me and since the author of this book also hosts The Potager Blog (@potagerblog), I’m  confident Linda Vater is just the teacher I need for this garden project and how to pick the right spot for my garden and even better, how to make it work with my home's overall look. Let’s take a closer look at what you’ll learn in The Elegant and Edible Garden Book.

Topics Covered:

Coneflower in my garden

  • How to grow flowers, fruit, veggies, and herbs together en masse
  • The function of symmetry in a potager garden
  • Ways to create visual harmony and match the style of garden to its surroundings
  • Tips for blending your family’s needs and lifestyle into the garden
  • Advice on how to utilize focal points and garden ornaments in your garden’s layout
  • The importance of rhythm, repetition, and harmony in potager design
  • How to position garden structures with practicality and purpose in mind
  • Where to put your potager for not just convenience but also to create a destination
  • Best practices for growing your beautiful new garden organically

I love that The Elegant and Edible Garden takes us through the steps to understand gardening fundementals, so that no matter where you garden, you'll have the knowledge needed to succeed. The books are set up in Parts with chapters diving deeper into each subject in that part.

Part 1: Aspiration

Chapter One: Beauty and Sensual Appeal (decide what we want)

Chapter Two: Garden Style and Setting ( make it your own)

Then, the author moves us to Part two with four chapters (I'll spend alot of time in this section), Part three has three chapters that include chapters on garden stewardship,  lifetstlye and wellness, community and seasonal celebration. 

Throughout all of this, you'll find gorgeous photographs and designs that showcase how lush and wonderful ornamental and edible plants can look together. 

Tips on How to Set up and edible garden:

If you're a beginning gardener, Linda suggests starting small. At least at the outset, it's better to have a successful, well-tended small garden than a large one you can't keep up with. If you are just learning gardening fundementals, or if you aren't sure if gardening as a hobby is right for you, a simple 10x10 feet or even smaller is good, or even do a container garden. 

Select up to five types of vegatables, flowers or herbs to grow, then plant a few of each type. Some suggestions are:

  • Basil and Tomatoes
  • Nasturtiums and Cabbage or Broccoli 
  • Sunflowers and Pole Beans or Cucumbers
  • Petunias and Asparagus
  • Carrots and Sage

My Thoughts:

This book is a thing of beauty. From the lovely feel of the cover with elegant, embossed title, to the gorgeous images within the pages, The Elegant and Edible Garden Book by Linda Vater is a coffee table book, one you’ll want your guests to pick up and flip through.

This book has a charming, almost storybook appeal, inviting you to dream of gardening in these lush gardens and then, once you’ve got your fill of ideas and inspiration, there’s step by step instructions on what to do and how to do it.


In the books introduction, Linda says she had imposter syndrome when authoring this book because she’s had no formal garden training. No degree in landscape architecture, garden design or horticultural schooling of any sort. She readily admits to not even being a master gardener and that’s when I knew Linda and I were going to get along just fine!

The Takeaway:

This book is for all aspiring gardeners with or without a garden design degree. Bring your love of nature and your desire to grow ornamental and edible plants together and this book will help guide you to becoming the gardener you’ve dreamed of being. I invite you to learn more about Linda Vater on her author page at Quarto Publishing. You can purchase the book there as well. Be sure to follow Linda on Instagram (@potagerblog) for a daily dose of garden goodness. While you’re there, I’d love it if you’d follow me too! (@ismilefirst)





Win It:

The Elegant and Edible Garden book

Thanks to today’s sponsor, Quarto Knows Publishing, one lucky reader will receive a hardbound copy of The Elegant and Edible Garden by Linda Vater.




No purchase is necessary to enter using the Rafflecopter form below. My WAHM Plan is not responsible for prize fulfillment, sponsor is. Winners will be notified by email used on entry form and have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. This giveaway is not associated with nor endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, or any other social channel.



Good luck!


Thanks for reading my blog and entering my giveaways. I hope you find them helpful. If you’d like more gardening help, just go to my Garden tab at the top of the blog or click here. Thanks!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please share in comments: Are you interested in starting a Potager Garden this year?


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