Double duty flowers?  And dumb herb question.

Double duty flowers? And dumb herb question.

My husband and I had some pollination issues last year and so, in attempt to attract some pollinators we want to plant some flowers.

We would like to, if possible, find some flowers or flowering plants that are edible or medicinal, or insect or animal repellent, or even a slightly frivolous double duty. (For instance, we found out about a black hollyhock that's flowers can apparently be used to make dye and ink...and we know red and white hollyhocks do grow in our area...so we might plant a few of those and then see if we can manage to get a bit of dye from them, just for fun.)

So do you all have any recommendations for double duty flowers?

We're in zone 5 in a very dry climate and at 6500 feet altitude with bad sunlight exposure to most of our yard. So drought tolerant would be a plus, as would shade tolerant. We'd like to still keep as much of our prime "sunshiney" real estate for the veggies as we can. We're especially interested to know if there are any climbing flowering plants that might do well in shade, as we have an eyesore of a fence around our backyard that would be great to get some flowering vines on...but most of the fence is mostly in shade.

And, a related dumb question. I grow some herbs indoors and use them for cooking and most tips for that include pinching off any and all blossoms. My assumption is that this is to keep encouraging leaf production. If we plant an herb patch and let it go a little crazy, let them all flower...at the end of the season before the cold gets them, can we still harvest and dry the herbs and bring in some clippings to keep alive until next year? I mean, the flowering doesn't make them un-useable for cooking, does it? I know, stupid question, just wanna make sure though.

Thanks!



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