Edible Landscaping Ideas

Posted on: 2 August 2018

Not every backyard is suitable for a vegetable garden, but you may not be allowed to grow vegetables in the front yard. Fortunately, there are ways to sneak edible plants into the landscape by choosing varieties that do double duty as ornamental plants. The following guide can show you how.

Plant food-producing groundcover

Groundcover plants make your landscaping look lush and better tended, especially since they act as a mulch that keeps down weed growth. Why not opt for groundcovers that also provide food for your family? There are a variety of berry-producing plants that provide wonderful groundcover. For a low groundcover, consider strawberries for a sunny area or lingon berries for an area with a touch of shade. Another option is to plant herbs for culinary use. Thyme, many mints, and creeping rosemary provide a savory touch to your favorite recipes while looking right at home in an ornamental garden.

Add some fruit trees

Trees are a welcome addition in any landscape, which makes it easy to sneak fruit trees into the ornamental garden. If you have plenty of room for a full size tree, you can grow almost any of your favorites -- cherries, plums, apples, or peaches. If space is limited, look into dwarf varieties of some fruits, like apple. Another option is to espalier a fruit tree. This method consists of erecting a trellis against a fence or wall. The tree is then planted right against the trellis. As it grows, it is pruned to grow along the the trellis in one dimension, with any other branches carefully pruned off as soon as they develop. The tree takes up minimal space but still provides you with plenty of fruit. An espaliered tree is also very attractive, providing a focal point in the landscape.

Tuck in some vegetables

Many vegetable plants are pretty enough to display, so you can tuck them into your flower gardens without raising any eyebrows. Asparagus, for example, provides you tasty shoots in spring, but it's feathery, fern-like leaves add a backdrop for summer flowers. Ornamental lettuce and cabbage can be grown among your favorite annual flowers. Even the annual flowers can be edible -- pansies and nasturtiums, for example, are a welcome addition in a salad. Another striking choice are artichokes. The tall stalks are an interesting addition, especially if you leave a few of the buds on the plants to produce pretty purple flowers.

For more ideas, contact landscape designers in your area.