Thursday, May 19, 2011

Edible Landscaping Update

It has been a few weeks since I started our edible landscaping project, so I thought I would post an update. We haven't gotten more than a day of rain, but everything seems to be doing well only being watered twice a week. I love that there are little surprises tucked into the front landscaping. We've had so much fun spotting little cherry tomatoes or picking basil for dinner. The scarlet runner beans have really taken off and are showing off their beautiful red flowers.

Our backyard, which is made up mostly of trough container gardens, is becoming quite productive and we're reaping the benefits of our work in early spring. Yesterday Clay and I added some compost to the troughs and pulled a few lingering winter plants. We were able to harvest several red and 1015 onions, candy striped beets, blackberries, swiss chard, fennel, parsnips and carrots. The tomatoes are all over the place and we've already had the chance to enjoy a few sun golds, early girls and sweet 100s. 

Our arch with cucumbers and scarlet runner beans leading to our container garden troughs.

The little butterfly garden under our pergola has been home to many bees and butterflies over the last few weeks. I love the splash of color just outside our door.  The lemon grass shooting out of the side is a fun addition. We included some butterfly weed which they really seem to love. 

Edible landscaping is a wonderful way to incorporate edible plants into your existing landscaping. Remember to look for varieties that do well in your region and if possible, heirloom varieties that bring diversity back to the landscape. Add rich compost to the soil and make sure there are not any plants that could put toxins into the soil and use only organic methods when gardening. I used a mix of herbs and fruiting plants in our edible landscape which has given the landscape an interesting mix of textures and colors. The herbs are beautiful when they flower. 

There are many resources available. Here are 3 books that I used to get started. Check your local library or bookstore for these books as well as other helpful resources online. 

Edible Landscaping: Now You Can Have Your Gorgeous Garden and Eat It Too! by Rosalind Creasy

Eat Your Yard! Edible trees, shrubs, vines, herbs and flowers for your landscape by Nan K. Chase

The Edible Front Yard: The Mow-Less, Grow-More Plan for a Beautiful, Bountiful Garden by Ivette Soler

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