Falling asleep last night with thoughts of ordering fruit trees, planting herbs and the concept of Valentine's Day flowers, all swirling in my head, as often happens with such things, the chaos gelled and the somewhat coherently combined thoughts woke me in the early morning hours, long before time to get up. Though I am not quite sure why all of these things were running in my thoughts at the same time, the coherent thoughts it produced were of reasons for planting flowers vs fruit and herbs.
First off, I would like to say that I have absolutely nothing against planting flowers and shrubs purely for their beauty. With that said, at the risk of sounding entirely too practical (though I most certainly am not), I tend to plant fruit and herbs instead of flowers strictly for their beauty. This seems a little strange to me as I do dearly love daffodils, lilacs, irises, roses and various other flowers that are primarily (if not totally) for the beauty.
My obvious argument for fruit instead of flowers is that fruit trees and herbs produce lots of beautiful flowers AND delicious food. In truth, the blossoms of fruit trees are, in my opinion, among the most beautiful and sweet smelling flowers. If the numerous shades of light pink do not provide enough variety, the herb garden can provide the full spectrum of colors including red, yellow, blue and everything between, from the brightest to the most subtle. There is also the consideration of contrast between colors of flowers and fruit, as with bush cherries, which are covered in springtime with lovely light pink blossoms, followed by loads of small, red cherries.
Though it sounds like I am defending my tendency to plant fruit instead of flowers, and in fact I am, there is really no substitute for the beauty of daffodils in early spring or the lush, fragrant lilacs. Roses are also almost a necessity. Flowers provide a beauty that the world would be a much duller and less joyous place without. Just keep in mind that there is nothing wrong with a combination of fruit, herbs and flowers, whichever you tend to prefer.