18 Feb Edible Landscaping
This a post in a series about 2015 landscaping trends. Be sure to check out our hub for it.
Challenging paradigms has been a big movement in both landscaping and many other aspects in the last few years. Pushing the boundaries of what is a garden and what is landscaping definitely fits in that boat. Thus, the invention of edible landscaping.
When I was a kid, I used to always separate my plate into very regimented sections. I had the space for my meat, my vegetables, and my starch. If one happened to slide into another, the offending mixture was not to be eaten under any circumstances. As I’ve grown older, I like mixing a bunch of the pieces together (hello corn, mashed potatoes, and chicken). The interesting flavor and color combinations surprise me and add to the fun to the meal.
Landscape designers have started to mix their vegetables, ornamental plants, and hardscapes. There are many advantages to mixing these elements together.
It opens up a whole new world of colors and smells into the toolbox for designers to use. The possibilities for making interesting and exciting visual combinations are limitless. Chili peppers can be used as ornaments to spice up a landscaping bed. If you’re building an arbor or pergola, instead of using the typical vines, try using cherry tomatoes. Some varieties of chard and lettuce and rhubarb have very cool colors that pop against other plants. Asparagus and raspberry bushes make a welcome addition to flower beds that need to be tended anyway.
Edible landscaping has the added bonus of making the landscaping interactive. When designers dream up their designs, there is often very little engagement with the landscape beds. They’re purely decorative, like an art piece hanging on a wall. But adding in edible plants forces you to get into their landscape and really enjoy the time you spend in it. Tending to vegetables makes a connection and relationship between you and the land.
This is an obvious statement because it’s in the name, but edible landscaping provides food for you to eat! People are much more health conscious nowadays. They want natural foods where they can control the source. Farmers markets are more popular than ever. Imagine having a farmers market in your own house! Picking your aspargus and eating it for dinner within an hour.
- Edible landscaping is more work than ornamental landscaping. To get your beautiful bounty, you’ll have to do some pruning and maybe a little bit of soil work. The work is worth it though!
- Pick fruit trees that spread their fruit over several months. Also, try dwarf fruit trees instead of the super large full fruit trees.
- Vegetables need sun so be careful working with your designer to plan them out.