• 2014: Year of the Cucumber
    The cucumber is one of the top five most popular garden vegetables. Cucumbers are very adaptable. They have been grown in space and a mile underground in a nickel mine. Very easy to grow from seed, cucumbers deserve praise and a place in the modern garden.
  • 2013: Year of the Watermelon
    Not only are watermelons (Citrullus lanatus) delicious, they are one of the largest edible fruits grown in the U.S. It’s also one of the most useful fruits as every part is edible: the flesh can be eaten as is, the rind can be pickled and the seed can be roasted or ground into other ingredients.
  • 2012: Year of the Heuchera
    Heucheras (commonly called Coral Bells) are all-American. Literally. Different species hail from the islands off the California coast to the highest mountains in the Rockies to the Gulf of Mexico. With this diverse range of habitat, these plants are able to find a niche in everyone's garden. Breeders in America and Europe have taken a well-aimed swipe of a paintbrush between these species, and have assembled a plethora of plants with amazing flower and foliage forms that didn’t exist a scant ten years ago. Not only are these plants aesthetically pleasing, but they have become stronger, fuller, and more disease resistant. With few pests, great adaptability to containers and a seemingly unending number of forms, Heuchera should be in everyone's garden!
  • 2011: Year of the Zinnia
    For decades, zinnias have been the flowering annual of choice for spreading glorious colors throughout the garden as well as for cutting to bring indoors. But it wasn't always so. When the Spanish first saw zinnia species in Mexico, they thought the flower was so unattractive they named it mal de ojos, or "sickness of the eye!" Years of breeding have brought striking new colors, shapes, sizes, and growing habits to the humble zinnia. No present day gardener would ever describe this versatile bloomer as anything less than eye catching.
  • 2010: Year of the Marigolds
    Marigolds, native to the New World and sacred flower of the Aztecs, journeyed across the Atlantic Ocean twice to travel 3,000 miles north of their center of origin. This lengthy serpentine journey is a testimony to the rugged durability of marigolds.
  • 2009: Year of the Greens
    Their names are sometimes unfamiliar and their tastes exotic. Leafy greens are popular everywhere from gourmet restaurants, farmers' markets and supermarket produce sections to backyard gardens.
  • 2008: Year of the Eggplant
    The eggplant has been celebrated as an aphrodisiac and feared as the cause of insanity. Today it is appreciated for both its inspiring beauty and delightful flavor.
  • 2007: Year of the Cabbage and Kale
    Cabbage and kale are among the hardiest and most nutritious vegetables a home gardener can grow with ease. Both are handsome in the garden, with colors ranging from pale green through dark battleship blue, to deep reddish purple.
  • 2006: Year of the Celosia
    Celosias are one of the most eye-catching annuals to grow in the garden.
  • 2005: Year of the Melon
    According to Webster's Dictionary, melons are "the large round fruit of various plants of the gourd family, with sweet pulpy flesh and many seeds (honeydew, cantaloupe, muskmelon)."
  • 2004: Year of the Dianthus
    For centuries, Dianthus has been one of the most sought after plants for the garden.
  • 2003: Year of the Bean
    Young snap beans to eat fresh from the garden. Colorful green, purple and yellow beans. Bush beans that grow on compact stems and pole beans that clamber up tepees and trellises.
  • 2002: Year of the Vinca
    Clear flower colors and glossy green leaves make Vinca indispensable for season-long interest in the garden and in containers. Add practically no maintenance to these drought tolerant plants and you have a winning combination.
  • 2001: Year of the Basil
    Can you imagine a garden without basil? Impossible!
  • 2000: Year of the Sweet Corn
    Sweet Corn is an indisputable native of the Americas and has been consumed for 7,000 years.
  • 1999: Year of the Asian Vegetable
    The National Garden Bureau celebrates the Asian culture and the contributions to North American gardens and ethnic cuisine.
  • 1998: Year of the Geranium
    Should we call them geraniums or pelargoniums? By any name, they are definitely as sweet.
  • 1997: Year of the Petunia
    Whether edging a flower bed, covering a bare area like a ground cover, spilling out of a container or trailing from a hanging basket--petunias help keep the gardening season at its most colorful from late spring to fall.
2014: Year of the Cucumber


2013: Year of the Watermelon


2012: Year of the Heuchera


2011: Year of the Zinnia


2010: Year of the Marigolds


2009: Year of the Greens


2008: Year of the Eggplant


2007: Year of the Cabbage and Kale


2006: Year of the Celosia


2005: Year of the Melon


2004: Year of the Dianthus


2003: Year of the Bean


2002: Year of the Vinca


2001: Year of the Basil


2000: Year of the Sweet Corn


1999: Year of the Asian Vegetable


1998: Year of the Geranium


1997: Year of the Petunia



Welcome to the National Garden Bureau website. We hope you’ll find information inspirational for your gardening endeavors. The extensive gardening content found here is provided at no charge to garden writers, extension agents, garden centers and others who want to use it to promote the hobby of gardening. Choose from full length articles, fact sheets, e-newsletters or hundreds of photos. All we ask in return is that you credit National Garden Bureau as the source and when possible, provide a link back to this site. Thank you and Let’s Go Garden!

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Edibles in the Ornamental Garden

National Garden Bureau's members are often on the cutting edge of garden trends and one we've seen a lot over the past year or so is planting edibles in what was traditionally considered an ornamental garden. In fact, there are famous stories of well-meaning gardeners converting their entire front lawns into an edible garden. If you're not ready to take that bold move, then at a minimum you can start interplanting some edible plants with your other decorative garden features, either in containers or in-ground, like parsley in a perennial bed, as seen above. We like this article from NGB member Burpee on the subject of growing the two types of plants in harmony. Bonnie Plants hones in on combining ornamentals and edibles in containers in this article.

Ornamental - any flowering or non-flowering plant used for decorative purposes.
Edible - any fruit, vegetable or other plant that can be consumed by humans. (As we know too well, many of our favorite garden plants are edible by numerous critters.)
Companion planting - the close planting of different plants that enhance each other's growth or protect each other from pests.

Need more reasons to plant vegetables and other edibles in your flower or ornamental garden?

  1. If your garden is small, then you won't have to sacrifice space dedicated to one crop for the other.
  2. Many of today's vegetables have beautiful colors and are considered ornamentals as well as edibles.
  3. The popularity of mixed container gardens lends itself perfectly to a mix of edible and ornamental plants.
  4. In some cases, companion planting may be beneficial to the health and vitality of both plants.

To get the ideas flowing, our members have some new varieties that would work very well together--see possible combos below. For even more ideas, take a look at the NGB Pinterest Board on Edible Landscaping.


  • Onion Red Marble Cippolini

    Red Marble Cippolini is a small, flat, dark red onion.    It is a beautiful onion with a slight pungent flavor. 

  • Melon 'Melemon' F1 AAS 2013 Winner

    The earliness, high yield on healthy strong plants and superior taste all contibuted to this Piel de Sapo type melon becoming an AAS Winner. Judges related the taste of this melon to honeydew but with a surprising and delicious tanginess. A uniform fruit shape makes it perfect for home gardeners. Each personal-sized fruit has refreshing crisp flesh and a unique sweet-tart taste.

  • Viola 'Floral Power Red'

    Viola 'Floral Power Red' will withstand temperatures down to 14°F/-10°C. This vibrant, prolific bloomer will be a welcome pop of color on dreary days. You'll enjoy 'Floral Power Red's' cheery color in spring and fall containers and gardens.

  • Zinnia 'Profusion' Series

    Profusion Series Zinnias: Carefree color all summer long. Heat tolerant, free-flowering, and self-cleaning, with unmatchable disease resistance. Well-suited for containers or landscape plantings. Choose from singles or doubles. New for 2014 in 'Double Deep Salmon' and 'Hot Cherry' both 2013 AAS winners.

  • Tomato 'Amsterdam'

    Just like a work of art by the great Dutch, Amsterdam is sure to wow you.  In our trials this year, Amsterdam had one of the highest brix levels of all tomato varieties.  Brix levels are indicators of sugar levels in produce.  If you like a sweet tasting grape tomato then you should try Amsterdam.


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The Seed Den, Inc. is a wholesale seed supplier that markets mainly to seed distributors. Our mission is not only to supply a quality product to customers, but also to educate and help them to succeed.