An Introduction to Edible Landscapes

Many people are choosing to move to creating more natural landscapes, even landscapes which contain plants that are useful, or can be eaten. Many vegetable plants are very attractive, and a lot of edible plants have ornamental varieties.

Most people who create edible landscapes use perennial vegetables, because they come back year after year, without the need to replant them each year. Once you’ve planted them, they’ll continue to provide you with beauty and food as long as you care for them.

A little watering and feeding is all most of them need, aside from the occasional weeding, pruning, or insect control. There are plenty of varieties of vegetables that you can plant that will keep feeding you year after year.

They’ll usually die during the winter, but every spring they’ll return and go through a growth cycle again. With the prices of fresh vegetables and fruits rising at an alarming rate, it’s a very good idea to grow some of your own.

You might not want the responsibility of caring for a traditional garden. Traditional gardens require a lot of work to maintain. You must constantly weed, rake, hoe, water, fertilize, and spray traditional gardens. But edible landscapes require little more effort than traditional landscapes!

You can use many different types of edible plants to replace various aspects of traditional landscaping. You can use fruit trees in place of standard trees. Many perennial herbs can be used to replace ground covers and shrubs. And ornamental vegetables can be used in place of flowers, borders, or other accents.

You can also mix edible plants with other plants to form beautiful combinations. Some edible plants, especially herbs, make great additions to flower gardens. You can mix all kinds of plants together for different looks.

Curly parsley looks beautiful with many different types of plants. You can plant it with pansies, lobelia, strawberries, dusty miller, or dianthus. Sage and oregano are very beautiful plants, and make great low shrubbery. They look fantastic as edging in front of larger bushes.

Leaf lettuces look lovely planted in beds as accent areas. You can plant a bed of different colors and varieties of leaf lettuce, and then edge it with a border grass. There are several types of plants that have edible flowers.

Many of these plants also have other edible parts. They can look very striking as part of a landscape while they’re in bloom. Sugar snap peas have gorgeous white, pink, or purple flowers, and they produce delicious peas.

Fava beans produce white and red flowers. Chives have amazing purple globe-shaped flowers. Dill has lovely yellowish blossoms. Nasturtium blossoms are edible, and some in red, yellow, and orange. Sage has blue and purple blossoms. And salvia also has blue and purple blooms.

Perennial herbs and vegetables are superb for planting in edible landscapes, because they require so little maintenance. You can try perennial broccoli, dandelions, sweet potatoes, rhubarb, sorrel, artichokes and Jerusalem artichokes, chives, fennel, garlic chives, ginger, and asparagus.

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Learn more here in our online Guide for Choosing the Right Type of Gardening for You and Your Home Garden.: Gardening Tips For Beginners.

You can also learn here about how to make your own tower garden to help you grow a beautiful garden in small spaces.

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