Warren Miller says the person having the most fun in your neighborhood is the one with the worst looking yard. I don’t completely agree with this but I get his point. If you are spending too much time working on your landscape and not getting enough enjoyment from it, this article is for you. Landscape management includes turf, shrub and tree maintenance as well as managing irrigation, fertilization and pest problems. The benefits of a well maintained and managed landscape include increased property values, improved curb appeal when selling your home, lower energy costs and a greater sense of well being while living in the home. However, this can be an expensive or weekend consuming task (sometimes both) and moving to edible landscapes can greatly improve your experience.
Like most of you, I spent a good portion of my younger years mowing lawns in the neighborhood for money not for enjoyment. In contrast as soon as I started to grow food in a garden the real joy of gardening hit me. Americans cover millions of acres of valuable agricultural land around their homes with lawns, shrubs, annual flowers and a tree mixed in here and there. What if we started to plant more edibles in our landscapes? Below you will find ideas for edible plants that are beautiful, will provide food for you and your family and provide a great sense of accomplishment and enjoyment. Let’s minimize how much lawn we plant and instead plant boarders of herbs or chard. The opportunities are endless and you will end up saving money on food, eating a more healthy diet and enjoying your food more.
Here Are 6 Amazing Ideas
Create a series of raised beds with gravel-lined paths between. This is a basic design of an old French garden. It is beautiful to look at and you can control your soil and water easily to grow great tasting food.
Hot peppers ripen to rich colors that are beautiful especially when they are mixed in with flowers. Try peppers with flowers, cilantro, onions, garlic and tomatoes. Call it your salsa garden and make your own homemade salsa.
All those places you have planted or want to plant boxwood for a border, switch it up and plant lettuce as your edging plant. They make great borders.
Make shade your friend. Many growers today are learning how to use shade to grow healthier plants. Cabbage, spinach, cauliflower and radishes all do well in shade.
Swiss chard comes in a rainbow of colors. Use the various colors like you would annual flowers. You will have similar beauty and delicious food too.
Brighten up your salads with edible flowers. Basil, sunflower petals, and lavender are all edible and more importantly taste good. They will make your salads taste and look better.
Time To Get Growing
Start with a small project. Replace a few border shrubs or start planting some edibles in between what you are already growing. Remember we are trying to make gardening more enjoyable not a bigger headache. Imagine working up to a time when you can have a meal of all homegrown foods. Keep watching the blog for articles on edible landscapes. We will be updating them all summer long.