There are many ways to enhance any garden by adding edibles to the plants that you grow. Traditional vegetable patches are often in grid patterns and neat rows. But an edible garden incorporated into your ornamental garden can be free flowing, beautiful and produce incredibly tasty plants to eat. When selecting edibles, think about color, texture and variety.
Landscape beauty good enough to eat.
If we are talking ‘bones’ (trees and bushes) of the garden, try using some fruit trees, even an espaliered fruit tree if you are looking to save space or need a hedge type border. They are easy to prune if you buy one already shaped in an espalier, or use wire and bamboo to form your own espalier. Try apples, pears, figs, citrus. Columnar apples are another option. They grow up in a columnar fashion and save space. If you have a small corner or want to have a narrow tree up the side of a structure.
Color, flowers, Fall leaf color and interesting structure. All with great taste too.
Other plants that make a good shrub hedge that are edible are blueberry, gooseberries, huckleberry, and pomegranate. The can be close and touching or separate enough to walk around.
Vines with arbors or trellis can add depth, coverage and greenery to a garden of any size. Try using vines that provide fruit like grapes, kiwi, or passion fruit. Very easy to grow and most vines produce a great deal of fruit.
Easy ways to turn your bedding areas into edible delights.
There are lots of edible plants that have ornamental interest too. A large plant like an artichoke is showy with large silver leaves that can produce lots of artichokes. Kale, swiss chard, curly or burgany lettuce are beautiful leafy greens that make a statement.
Brussel spouts, cauliflower, bush beans, strawberries, and my favorite, eggplant, are great additions to any ornamental garden. Herbs incorporated into the bedding area are always welcome. Mints, thyme, oregano, parsleys, cilantro, and chives can jazz up your areas with new colors, textures, and smells. They can be used fresh in your cooking or dry them for later use.
Be creative and experiment to incorporate edible and ornamental together. Look for interesting foliage colors and textures and add the variety a garden is always looking for.
How are you satisfying your client’s growing appetite for edibles?
Have you integrated edible plants into your garden? Share your experience and help other gardeners enjoy the fantastic aromas and flavors of edible gardens.