Gardening is often a labor of love, but you could make it a labor of two loves if you choose the right garden theme.
A vegetable garden with a theme allows you to combine your love of history, food, and more with your love of gardening. It can also provide you with homegrown gifts than can then be accentuated with other accessories. For example, if you planted a garden with a salsa theme, you could make your own salsa. The salsa can then be used as part of a gift basket that might include different types of tortilla chips and a ceramic bowl. As an alternative, you can gather seeds for a corresponding theme and give them as a present to a friend.
Here are some popular themes that you might choose to plant:
A Chinese cuisine garden would include your favorite Chinese vegetables and other vegetables commonly used in Chinese cooking. Possibilities include snow peas, radishes, cucumbers, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, and bean sprouts. Of course, you will also want to include spices commonly used in Chinese cooking such as ginger, green onion, and garlic.
You do not have to be a history buff to plant a Colonial garden. However, it is a great way to help teach your children about that era. A few staples that should be included in a Colonial garden include carrots, onions, garlic, corn, potatoes, and beans. During Colonial times, a garden was not just a source of food. It was also the primary source for spices and medicine. Flavorings that could be included are sage, rosemary, parsley, and mint. Medicinal herbs that can be fun to try are calendula, lavender, and yarrow.
A Native American garden will include many of the same plants as a Colonial garden. Essential to this theme will be corn, beans, and squash; which was a primary staple for the Native Americans. Additional plants that you could include are chives, wild lettuce, wild strawberries, sunflowers, Echinacea, and hyssop.
A salsa garden would include tomatoes, sweet peppers, chili peppers, onions, tomitillos, and celery. You will also need some herbs such as cilantro, cumin, coriander, and dill. The tricky part to this garden is to plant enough so you can make your own salsa without running out of ingredients. Especially if you find yourself particularly good at making salsa and find all your friends stopping by for a taste.
A Mexican garden is perfect for anyone who enjoys cooking Mexican food. Of course, it would be similar to a salsa garden, but would also include pinto beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and hot peppers.