My father spent a lot of time growing things in the garden. Throughout my life, he had different garden styles. Initially, he grew tomatoes and peppers. Later he expanded when we moved to our first house in Indiana, adding his first apple trees. It was later on, as the trees were added that dad began to experiment with flowers. There are flowers that keep some pests away. Onions keep other pests away. So dad would layer the garden with flowers, onions, and other plants that repelled insects. He stopped spraying using chemicals when he had the mini-farm. He was looking to be truly organic and not to have chemicals in his garden at that time.
These flowers were not planted by dad completely — some others were left by the previous owners of the house. But dad kept the home going. The flowers would bring bees. Dad had bees on the Mini-farm, but he lost the hive. We did get clover honey one year that was beyond amazing. With apple trees, pears, walnuts, and other flowering trees, the bees still came, they didn’t return to the fiberglass hive. The hive went into the garage eventually. The other thing dad had was an upper and a lower garden on the mini-farm. He had 15 acres to work with, so he was able to try different styles of farming. I think honestly that was 90% of his goal anyway.
In the lower garden, there were tomatoes, potatoes, onions, and grapes. The grapes were not wine grapes. The upper garden was fruit and nut trees. The tomatoes dad grew to remain the best I’ve ever eaten. When we would visit mom and dad, we always took home armloads of tomatoes. My wife and I have spent eight years in Maryland looking for tomatoes like that here. We have found good tomatoes, but not ones as good as dads. OF course, dad also had some other things he grew. Peppers, both tradition but also the Thai ornamental peppers that would light you up! He also grew his Horseradish. That is something for another story. He also planned Jersulum artichokes, the worst vegetable ever!
I forgot to mention the one veggie I hate to this day, he grew a lot of squash.