Now OPEN Mondays!
No, I’m not suggesting a Fescue tossed salad, garnished with dandelions, wild onions, and inky cap mushrooms. Although Mother Nature provides those items for free, the taste and nutritional value might leave something to be desired. I’m referring to edible landscaping.
So you’re thinking to yourself, “Exactly what is edible landscaping”? Essentially, edible landscaping is the use of food-producing plants in the landscape. Edible landscapes combine fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, vegetables, herbs, edible flowers and ornamental plants into aesthetically pleasing designs. These designs can blend into any garden style and can include anything from a plant or two to a full-blown salad bowl landscape…without the bowl, of course.
There are nearly unlimited ways to incorporate elements of edible landscape into your garden. You might build a grape arbor, replace a hedge with blueberries, train raspberries to grow up your fence, put pots of herbs on the patio, construct or purchase a large decorative container; put a cylindrical wire frame in the center and plant with your favorite tomato plant, then plant colorful sweet peppers around the edges. The only limit is your imagination, and available sunlight. By incorporating just one—or many—edible plants into your home landscape, you may find a new relationship with your yard, as well as the food you eat.
Throughout history, “growing your own” has been essential to life. Persian gardens combined edible and ornamental plants. Medieval gardens included fruits, vegetables, flowers, and medicinal herbs. Plants used in 19th century English suburban yards (their plans modeled after large country estates), often included edible fruits and berries.
In this country, the edible components of residential landscapes have been almost completely lost to shade trees, lawns, and foundation plantings. It is not surprising that recent history suggests that more of a “Victory Garden” approach to our landscapes is inevitable.