The idea of an edible garden is as old as the world. And this is not an exaggeration. We see gardens with magnificent fruits in all world cultures. The ancient opulent Persian gardens combined many ornamental and fruit trees. The gardens of India were fragrant and bear fruit all year round. In addition to ornamental and fruit plants, spices and vegetables were grown. The ancient gardens of Greece and Rome were no exception and delighted not only the eye but also gave bountiful harvests. Purely decorative gardens became quite late. Only in the Renaissance the foundations and principles of decorative garden and park art were laid.
Over the past few years, edible gardens have re-emerged in the residential landscape. We are used to the fact that our gardens and plots look something like this: on the one hand, decorative flowers, shrubs, and trees that carry beauty and fragrance, on the other – beds of healthy and tasty plants in the backyard. This ratio of benefit and style has long been considered traditional in our garden and park culture. It seemed impossible to combine them, but this is only at first glance. The modern trend “edible garden” is designed to change the current state of affairs.
Fruits and vegetables are certainly aesthetically pleasing both at the time of flowering and as harvested. More than once they have become central figures in the work of artists and designers around the world. Modern gardeners have enthusiastically embraced the idea of returning edible plants to their well-deserved place in the aesthetics of flower beds and lawns. Today we want to show you how to create an edible front yard using food plants.
Edible Garden Plants
Herbs and Greens
Many would confirm what a special pleasure is to pick crispy lettuce, your favorite mint, or thyme under your window. Even people far from gardening indulge themselves with useful edible herbs grown by their own hands on the windowsill.
Perhaps the easiest way to create such a landscape is to grow annual and perennial grasses. Many herbs, including sage and thyme, are perennials in some climates. We also recommend that you take a closer look at herbs such as dill, rosemary, and parsley. They are fragrant additions to cut bouquets, combined with other traditional garden flowers. And from boxwood basil, for example, you can make excellent pesto.
If you decide to go on a diet, then such a useful bed is the first assistant in this matter. All herbs and greens are low in calories and are a dietary product. They contain a large amount of cellulose and dietary fiber, which helps to cleanse the body and strengthen the immune system.
Not all gardeners are tasked with obtaining the maximum possible yield. True lovers of nature want to create beauty in the garden that can be served on the table. In such cases, decorative vegetables come to the rescue.
Moreover, any vegetable growing in favorable conditions with its well-groomed foliage is already a decoration of the site. If you have not yet decided what to plant, then we want to give you a couple of excellent examples.
These beautiful vegetables are also a must in some delicious dishes. Newer varieties would delight you with the absence of thorns on the leaves, which greatly facilitates harvesting. But the breeders did not stop there. They created new compact types that grow well in containers and are a great accent plant along the path or on the sun terrace.
If this is exactly what you are looking for, then we recommend taking a closer look at Patio Baby. Their purple-black fruits are 2 to 3 inches long. If you are looking for a more interesting option, then you should turn your attention to Fairytale. This compact plant produces an unusual purple eggplant with pale white stripes. If your climate is characterized by warm nights, then the Italian Rosa Bianca can decorate your edible landscape design with incredibly cute spherical pink and white eggplants.
If you decide to plant these luxurious purple vegetables, keep in mind that they cannot stand the cold. Planting them outdoors is only worthwhile when the temperature at night is at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
An equally useful plant to grow that often becomes attractive to animals. This is especially true for young transplants. For this reason, we recommend growing them in containers up to at least 6 inches before planting outdoors. These edible ornamentals would look great in containers on a sun terrace. If you are looking for a not bulky option, then we advise you to take a closer look at the Tangerine Dream variety. This compact edible bush would brighten your landscape during blooming with red-orange peppers up to 3 inches in size. Another interesting option is Cornito Giallo. This sweet Italian pepper is often used for frying.
Perhaps the leaders in this matter are tomatoes. Use decorative obelisks or rose towers instead of boring tomato cages for the vines. You can also train them over an arch for a more aesthetic effect in your backyard. Considering that some vines can grow to 7 or 8 feet in length, make sure you have enough space for a mature plant. We recommend that you take a closer look at Patio Choice Yellow. This is a popular bright yellow high-yield cherry type. An equally good option is the Cherokee Purple. Gardeners just adore them for their sweet taste.
We couldn’t help but mention this in our list of edible landscaping plants. And here are the most popular ones:
Everyone has heard about the wonderful properties of raspberries. Believe it or not, raspberry bushes used to grow exclusively in the forest. Only a couple of centuries ago, they began to be grown in personal plots. Depending on the variety, the berries can be either red or yellow, and rarely purple-black.
In terms of healing properties and taste, it surpassed raspberries. This shrub was not in demand for a long time due to sharp thorns. But the breeder managed to breed thornless varieties. Its shape resembles a raspberry, and it tastes a little sour.
In many regions, it is considered a rare berry. It can usually be found in the wild. But lately, gardeners are willingly growing it on their backyard plots. With proper care, you can get a good harvest of healthy berries.
There are so many different berries that a day would not be enough for us to list them all. Whichever you choose, they would not only be a useful addition to your diet, but also beautiful edible landscaping for the front yard.
Fruits and Nuts
When it comes to landscaping with fruit and nuts, there is a lot to choose from. The great advantage of using these plants as an edible landscape is that they are very easy to maintain and still look good for another 2-3 seasons. You can grow trees such as pecans, walnuts, persimmon, or apple trees not only for delicious fruits but also to create shade on hot days. When choosing a tree make sure it is adapted to your climate.
Edible Flower Beds
Flowers gained popularity as edible dishes in the second half of the 20th century. In Asia, edible flowers are very popular among tourists. You can choose from the more common varieties such as dahlia, rose, cornflower, magnolia, and Pansy, or more unusual ones, such as peony, carnation, or gladioli.
We told you about the most useful plants to grow on your site. A functional and inviting space is at the heart of the edible garden style. The usefulness of vegetables and fruits is unconditional, therefore, the central theme in the formation of this landscape is the external beauty of useful plants both at the time of their flowering and at the stage of ripening of the crop. Almost every vegetable or berry can become a “star” of landscape design along with ornamental plants, you just have to use its color and texture correctly.
- Our article was helpful for you, green finger? Great and how exactly?
- You didn't like it? But why this happened?