I have a back yard veggie patch and grow most of my own food there. As I am in Brisbane, I can garden all year round, moving from summer to winter crops as required. For a long time I only ever planted food producing plants and considered growing flowers, just for their beauty, a luxury and a waist of space.
Then one year I grew flowers in the garden, along side the veggies, and noticed a significant increase in the yield for that year. This was due to the fact that the flowers attracted more insects, and in particular bees, to my garden and I therefore had a much higher rate of pollination, resulting in better fruiting of my plants.
Since then I have been planting flowers with my veggies every season. I had some successes and some failures, until I learned what flowers to plant when. I was used to planting the right veggies for my location and time of year, but not flowers. That was where the Flower Growing Guide came in handy. I now take this laminated guide into the garden with me, along with my Vegetable Growing Guide and plan out all my garden beds for the season.
Once I have a plan, I go to the nursery and get just what I need, with no impulse buying of plants that are not right for my location or season. What I cannot get from the local nursery, I order in from the Diggers Gardening Club, or another catalogue company.
Now that I have experienced the greater abundance that flows from my garden due to the flowers attracting pollinating incests, such at bees to my garden, I will never think of flowers as a luxury again. They are in fact a necessary part of any well balanced ecosystem and when you plant flowers you are helping nature to return to that natural balance, that was there before we came along.