Pest Control Plants and Flowers

There are so many beautiful flowers that can enhance the beauty of your garden. Besides adding color and beauty many also have beneficial qualities such as being a natural pest control – some act as a trap plant for pests and thereby save your vegetables and herbs from being devoured. I plant Marigolds in areas that are prone to earwigs and snails to keep them away from the plants I want to protect. Below are a couple of links that have great information about flowers that have natural pest control qualities. And many are also edible.

Be aware some of these, such as Borage and Calendula, are prolific seeders and will volunteer year after year. They are a friendly ‘weed’ that I welcome and they add great color to the garden.




Summer in Full Swing


The early signs of an abundant garden harvest are evident. It is beginning of June and there are already ripe tomatoes (cherry type), lots of green larger variety tomatoes, plenty of squash, peppers and lettuces. What a joy to walk to the garden and select items for dinner.

Even after removing thousands of volunteer tomatillos there is still an over-abundance. They will be transformed to Salsa Verde when they’re ripe (recipe will be on the Gourmet Retreats site soon).

Check out the garden photos on the Facebook page –

Fruit trees are loaded too. Apricots are almost ready to harvest, Santa Rosa plums will be soon after. Students will soon be able to harvest to use in class recipes. Harvested blueberries this morning to use for breakfast – they are so sweet right off the bush, many don’t make it to the kitchen. Finally I have kiwi on the vines I’ve had planted for years. I have 2 female and 1 male. Seems they finally decided they like each other and made some babies.

The Golden Delicious apple tree is heavy with fruit. Looks like it will time for Apple Butter and / or Chutney. Also easy to slice and dehydrate. Check out the Alton Brown dehydrator and recipe on Food Network. Easy to make, perfect for preserving the flavors of summer.