I love my gardens to be interactive. I want to be able to live, play, and seek solace from these spaces. And what better way than to incorporate edibles into the garden. And I’m not talking about a full scale vegetable garden. Maybe you don’t have the space. Or maybe you don’t want to devote the time to a large garden. Or perhaps you think edible landscaping looks messy and unkept. Well, change that mindset! By incorporating fruits and vegetables into your already established garden spaces, you can save on space, add beauty, and a fun element to your gardening.
Our grandparents used to do it. You’d find tomatoes tucked into garden beds or beans climbing up a windowsill, so why can’t we? There are plenty of compact varieties to choose from without sacrificing taste and yield. Plus, who doesn’t want to pluck a juicy blueberry from your own yard?
Here are my choice plants for incorporating fruits and veggies into your garden beds:
We know these are tasty, but did you ever realize that blueberry bushes are beautiful and provide seasonal color and interest? Blueberries are very ornamental, offering white or pink flowers in spring, followed by deliciously nutritious blue berries, stunning red fall foliage and colorful gold or red stems in winter. A blueberry hedge planted among a base of evergreen shrubs brings color and interest to the space. Opt for a compact variety to keep a nice shape like ‘northland’ vaccinium coryumbosum. This is a great 3-4′ tall and wide shrub with great fall color and sweet berries. These beauties look great in planters as well.
Fruit trees make for great edible landscaping. Especially when prunned well, they add an attractive element to your landscape, starting spring off with beautiful flowers in the spring and then leading the way to yummy late summer fruits. If you are brave and space is limited, try espaliered trees along a fence of wall. Some fo my favorite apple varieties, ‘scarlet sentinal’ and ‘northpole’ grow in a columnar habit and are great for vertical interest among you current garden plants
Gourmet greens can be super expensive at the store, but you can grow them and harvest all season for practically nothing. I like to keep these in pots for a quirky addition to my patio. A little planting tip: Plant each pot about a week apart so you’ll have greens all season. Just snip a few leaf off and they’ll keep producing
These are my go to for edible landscaping. They look great and I can harvest fresh herbs all season and even dry them for winter use. I sow these in both pots and plant within my garden. A rosemary plant with in a perennial garden adds interest and smells great. Don’t forget that sage, dill, and rosemary to name a few are great in flower displays
Basil: great in EVERY dish!
Oregano: great for a potted groundcover
Chives: beautiful in the spring, tasty, and better yet, they are perennial so they rebloom every year
These are a great alternative to groundcovers of mounding perennials. Beautiful foliage and perennial. Be mindful that these delicious little plants do attract furry friends!
Edible landscaping is taking off over the last couple of years. In my mind, it’s like getting a 2 for 1 deal at Target. They are both beautiful and functional so why not incorporate them into your landscape?
If you need some help in finding the right spot, or the variety just right for you, or even purchasing, reach out!