Utlising the qualities of one plant to aid nearby plants is a way of creating resilience within a garden design. Deep rooted plants can be planted next to plants with shallow roots without competition for moisture and nutrients, some plants can attract beneficial insects that serve a purpose in the garden such as pollination, or carnivorous preying on plant pests, while some can be used as trap crops to lure pests away from the priority plants.
Companion planting, or guilds have been used to great effect for thousands of years such as the ‘three sisters’ guild in Native American agriculture. In this example corn, beans, and squash are planted together, where the squash covers the ground as a living mulch, the corn provides a framework for the beans, and the beans provide the corn with structural stability from strong winds. In addition, the produce provided people with a balanced diet.
Marigolds, calendula, and borage are beneficial flowering plants that can enhance the growth of vegetables, repel pests, or bring in pollinators.