Edible Landscaping: Decorate your Lawn with Fruits and Vegetables

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Edible Landscaping: Decorate your Lawn with Fruits and Vegetables

Landscaping with fruits and vegetables: aka “edible landscaping” is one of the thriftiest and most fun ways to bring healthy fruits and vegetables into your home. And with ornamental vegetables it can be even more beautiful than a yard!

Many schools have learned the value of having a edible landscape on the schoolyard.

My children learned the value of edible landscaping young They were lucky enough to be part of the Berkeley Schools , which followed the great traditional of school gardens. I remember the Vista worker who helped the kids in the garden, I do believe she was the happiest person I have ever seen at a job!

They were sometimes mentored by the likes of Alice Waters, the fabulous creator of the infamous Chez Panisse restaurant: one of the first in the world to feature dishes cooked from the restaurant’s own garden.

There are so many reasons to replace lawns: to maintain they require so much water and even pesticides. And if you can eat from your yard – so much the better!

PS – You don’t even have to have a yard to practice edible landscaping! Urban homesteading can be done with vertical gardening and all kinds of other methods to bring healthy fruits and vegetables into our homes.

The Flowers and Blossoms in an Edible Landscape Brings Bees to Your World

One of the main advantages of replacing your lawn with flowers, vegetables and fruits is that will be attracted. You will know that you are bringing more sweet honey to the world!

Edible landscaping brings more honeybees to your community.

Guides to Edible Landscaping

You have so, so many more ways to go besides a lawn in your yard! It is very rewarding to go out to your front lawn and pick a vegetable for your salad.

Here are guides that started the movement: change over from wasteful lawns to lush edible landscapes full of fruits and vegetables!

Edible LandscapingEdible LandscapingEdible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist: How to Have Your Yard and Eat It TooEdible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist: How to Have Your Yard and Eat It TooFoodscaping: Practical and Innovative Ways to Create an Edible LandscapeFoodscaping: Practical and Innovative Ways to Create an Edible LandscapeThe Edible Front Yard: The Mow-Less, Grow-More Plan for a Beautiful, Bountiful GardenThe Edible Front Yard: The Mow-Less, Grow-More Plan for a Beautiful, Bountiful Garden

Edible Landscaping starts at Home

Many people have found that by raising food instead of lawns, they save money, create unusual beauty in their home and help build a community in their neighborhood.

I was lucky enough to come from a family of farmers. Even though we lived in an ordinary home in a mid-sized town we always had free fruit, vegetables and even our own bees and honey: thanks to my parents planting. Some of our neighbors might have wanted us to have a more traditional lawn, but my parents practiced “edible landscaping” without knowing it! Edible landscaping is not hard, and you can do it too!

Be a Urban Homesteading Guerrilla

How to Plant a Farm in a Hoity Toity Area

A Little Means a Lot when It comes to Edible Gardening

Never hesitate to start with a little, and realize it means a lot. Maybe you can just grow one pot of tomatoes, or a windowbox full of herbs. Maybe you just sprout some mung beans. The next year you Grow Potatoes in a Trash Can or Barrel , the next year you will be Turning the yard to a Garden .

Edible Landscaping Can be Done on a Small Scale

Raised Beds Can Help you Raise Veggies in a Small Area

You can grow a salad from your own balcony!

And remember: even if you do not have a lot of land you have vertical space. Vertical gardeners have had good success with stacked pots like Akro-Mils RZJMEDI Medium Stack-A-Pot, 30-Quart , the reviewers seem to be happiest with the 30 quart size, and it is especially recommended for herbs and strawberries. Other people have had good luck with hanging planters, the The Urban Garden-vertical planter, hanging garden received very high rankings.

Ornamental Vegetables Can be a Beautiful Addition to Your life

The picture is of ornamental kale: which can be eaten and is pretty as any purely ornamental flower.

Package of 30 Seeds, Turks Turban Winter Squash (Cucurbita maxima) Non-GMO Seeds by Seed Needs)Package of 30 Seeds, Turks Turban Winter Squash (Cucurbita maxima) Non-GMO Seeds by Seed Needs)Climbing Malabar Spinach 60 Seeds - Ornamental/EdibleClimbing Malabar Spinach 60 Seeds – Ornamental/EdibleFlower Kale Sunset D1471A (Red) 50 Seeds by David's Garden Seeds PurplishFlower Kale Sunset D1471A (Red) 50 Seeds by David’s Garden Seeds PurplishBolivian Rainbow Heirloom - 10 Seeds - Ornamental Hot Pepper - Beautiful PlantBolivian Rainbow Heirloom – 10 Seeds – Ornamental Hot Pepper – Beautiful PlantTasty Colorbell Pepper 4 Live Plants - Green/Yellow/Purple/RedTasty Colorbell Pepper 4 Live Plants – Green/Yellow/Purple/RedFlowering Kale Ge Ornamental Cabbage Brassica oleracea 50 Pcs Seeds Mix ColorFlowering Kale Ge Ornamental Cabbage Brassica oleracea 50 Pcs Seeds Mix ColorCimmaron Romaine Lettuce Garden Seeds - 4 Oz - Non-GMO, Heirloom Vegetable Gardening Seeds - Salad Greens & MicrogreensCimmaron Romaine Lettuce Garden Seeds – 4 Oz – Non-GMO, Heirloom Vegetable Gardening Seeds – Salad Greens & MicrogreensOutsidepride Swiss Chard Red - 1000 SeedsOutsidepride Swiss Chard Red – 1000 Seeds

 

No Space for Edible Gardening? Wrong! Vertical Gardening Makes it Possible Anywhere

Vertical gardening adds beneficial fruits and vegetables to the smallest spaces

These planters will help you establish a garden in the smallest space.

Living Art Vertical Garden Succulent Cactus Small Plants Herb Planting Cylinder System Unique Gift DecorLiving Art Vertical Garden Succulent Cactus Small Plants Herb Planting Cylinder System Unique Gift Decor5 Tier Stackable Strawberry, Herb, Flower, and Vegetable Planter  - Vertical Garden Indoor / Outdoor5 Tier Stackable Strawberry, Herb, Flower, and Vegetable Planter – Vertical Garden Indoor / OutdoorGronomics VG3245 Vertical Garden Planter, 32-Inch by 45-Inch by 9-InchGronomics VG3245 Vertical Garden Planter, 32-Inch by 45-Inch by 9-InchAmgate Gardens 4 Pocket Vertical Wall Garden Planter Wall-mounted PlantAmgate Gardens 4 Pocket Vertical Wall Garden Planter Wall-mounted Plant

Flowers Can be an Integral Part of Edible Gardening!

Just be Sure which one You are using!

Flowers can bring amazing flavor and color to salads, and make stunning decorations for cakes and other dishes.

Flowers can also be used to make teas, and their flavor extracts can be used in cakes, frostings, candies, and other foods. Many flowers are also very good for you. Roses are very high in vitamin C, especially rose hips.

Nasturtiums and marigolds also have a decent amount of vitamin C, and dandelion flowers contain both vitamin C and vitamin A. If a flower isn’t poisonous, it’s considered technically edible, but not all edible flowers are tasty.

Just keep in mind that you should be absolutely certain what you’re eating, because some flowers have poisonous look-alikes! You should never eat flowers if you have hay fever, asthma, or other allergies.

Never eat flowers that have been sprayed with any type of pesticide. And be sure to choose only blossoms that haven’t wilted. Remember, even edible flowers should be eaten in moderate amounts.

Some people may still have minor reactions to large amounts of edible flowers. Some common flowering plants should NEVER be eaten. Lily-of-the-valley is highly toxic, for example. Other flowers that shouldn’t be eaten include hydrangeas, azaleas, daffodils, wisteria, lupines, hyacinths, castor beans, rhododendrons, sweet peas, clematis, bleeding hearts, oleander, and calla lilies.

This is just a partial list! Always carefully research any flower before eating it, and even check varieties of the same type of flower. For landscaping purposes, you should probably concentrate on perennials.

Now let’s look at some of the very best blooming plants and flowers for landscaping. Remember, these are all perennials, since our purpose is creating landscaping:

• Dianthus comes in shades of red, white, and pink. It tastes similar to cloves.
• Daylilies come in many colors and taste a bit like squash or asparagus.
• Red clover has pink or red flowers that taste delicate and sweet.
• Tulips are mild and sweet and come in many different colors.
• Violets are slightly sweet, slightly sour. They come in pink, white, purple, and blue.
• Chives have beautiful pink globes of blossoms that taste very much like onions.
• Bee balm has pink, red, white, and lavender flowers that taste a bit like tea.
• Hollyhocks are slightly bitter and come in many colors.
• Borage tastes a lot like cucumbers, and comes in blue, purple, and lavender.

Perennials will continue to come back year after year, without the need for replanting each year. This is a very important part of landscaping, since landscaping should require only minimal maintenance.

Never Eat These Flowers

Some common flowering plants should NEVER be eaten. Lily-of-the-valley is highly toxic, for example. Other flowers that shouldn’t be eaten include hydrangeas, azaleas, daffodils, wisteria, lupines, hyacinths, castor beans, rhododendrons, sweet peas, clematis, bleeding hearts, oleander, and calla lilies.

Gardening is Much Better for You than Having a Lawn!

Besides the fun, nutritional value and just delight of getting to eat your own food, gardening is good for you. You will burn about 272 calories an hour at least, even with easy gardening and you will have access to fresh vegetables and sunshine. As you learn more how to do it you will develop competence that just feels good. One of the most amazing programs around are the Master Gardener programs – Learn to Become a Master Gardener

If you decide to become a Master Gardener you will be involved in many hours of training, which you will return by volunteering in the community. Some of your volunteer experiences might include garden lectures, demonstrations and exhibits, school and community gardening, phone diagnostic service, or research.

Gardening is definitely therapeutic. Your life will not TOTALLY be changed, there still are lots of stresses: but it can help.

Creating an Urban Garden

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I have already discussed how edible gardening can be a wonderful way help kids with their schools, and that the first time I was exposed to an urban garden was in my children’s school in Berkeley. We have a great tradition of school gardens that was started in the 1890’s in Boston. I know that edible landscaping can change kids lives when they have it in their schools. They are exposed to great vegetables and fruits, and that is so important to health.

But urban homesteading, having an edible landscape on an empty lot, community gardens or even just planting fruit trees that are accessible to the public can change the whole neighborhood. In the past, people who have tried to do this have come up against a lot of resistance but gradually city councils are seeing that the value of a garden far outweighs any perceived value in having uniform lawns everywhere. The photo shows a community garden in Detroit created by urban homesteaders, a city that has suffered from blight as much as any other.

Oramental Veggies and Herbs Beautify Striking Planters

There is no reason why flowers need to have all the fun!

These planters are perfect for your edible landscaping as well.

Collections Etc Amish Wagon Decorative Indoor/Outdoor Garden Backyard Planter, BlueCollections Etc Amish Wagon Decorative Indoor/Outdoor Garden Backyard Planter, BlueSorbus Tricycle Plant Stand - Flower Pot Cart Holder - Ideal for Home, Garden, Patio - Great Gift for Plant Lovers, Housewarming, Mother’s Day - Parisian Style (Bronze)Sorbus Tricycle Plant Stand – Flower Pot Cart Holder – Ideal for Home, Garden, Patio – Great Gift for Plant Lovers, Housewarming, Mother’s Day – Parisian Style (Bronze)Sorbus Garden Cart Stand & Flower Pot Plant Holder Display Rack, 6 Tiers, Parisian Style - Perfect for Home, Garden, Patio (Bronze)Sorbus Garden Cart Stand & Flower Pot Plant Holder Display Rack, 6 Tiers, Parisian Style – Perfect for Home, Garden, Patio (Bronze)

 

Edible Landscaping Can Bring the Benefits of the Farm to the City, the Suburbs and the World

We need more food and we need more beauty.

Edible landscaping – starting as simply as a pot of tomatoes on your porch is where we need to be!

Edible Gardening per Wikimedia – creative commons photographer Wilson Liew


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7 Comments

  1. Edible landscaping is such an important alternative to lawns. And so simple to do!

  2. I’ve been growing some ruffled cabbages. They look lovely but I wasn’t sure if I could eat them too.

  3. 3QuartersToday

    I need to learn more about vertical gardening, and pet proof gardening, my dogs just want to tear things up. Good ideas.

  4. Edible landscaping is an idea that just makes good sense – and it’s beautiful too!

  5. Edible landscaping is a great way to not only decorate and add color to your yard but you can eat it too. The best of both worlds. Thanks for the great information.

  6. I am so very pleased with the idea of edible landscaping. I once saw a documentary where a man took it upon himself to start edible landscaping in his community. He had two concerns. Number 1: The grocery stores were not conveniently located to make it easy for the people in the neighborhood to grocery shop. Number 2: The people in the neighborhood should have easy access to healthy food. He planted and was successful in growing crops in small spaces. Can you believe it? The people complained and he was reported to the authorities. (O.o) Eventually, folks figured out what he was doing a good thing. (No duh!) It was an unbelievable but inspiring true story.

  7. I really enjoyed the colorful vegetation ideas that can be used to landscape a yard.
    Thanks for sharing the books too. Louvetta

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Meet The Author

Gypzeerose

Gypzeerose - aka Rose Jones - is a Mom, nerdy, fun loving traveller through life, currently living in the East Bay in the San Francisco Area.

She loves to write and blog, and has aspirations towards fiction.

She can be found ferociously packing boxes and packages as an eBay seller at http://stores.ebay.com/Gypzeeroses-Bargains-and-Treasures

In her spare time she is a nurse. :)

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