I read somewhere that the more functions a plant has in your garden, the more useful it is. If you fill your garden with multi-use plants, there’s more of a chance that your garden will work together as a natural system.
What do I mean by functions? Let’s take a look at bee balm, a plant I’m putting in the front flower bed this spring. Bee balm is a perennial herb. It is:
* Attractive to beneficial insects–As you can tell by the name, bees love bee balm. They even sleep under its leaves.
* Beautiful–Bee Balm adds visual pleasure to the garden.
* Edible–The leaves can flavor food and the flowers are a lovely addition to a salad.
* Medicinal–According to this site, bee balm can help in the “treatment of colds, … headaches, gastric disorders, reduce low fevers and soothe sore throat, [and] relieve flatulence, nausea, menstrual pain, and insomnia.” Wow.
[How Stuff Works]
So, four functions, one plant. Sounds like a deal to me.