This year has been THE year for edible gardens, and we’re excited to see so many folks getting outside and trying it for the first time. However, there’s also a misconception that growing food means choosing between a pretty garden or a practical garden. In fact, incorporating edibles into your landscape doesn’t have to take away from the look of your yard at all. In some cases, your landscape will actually be better off! Here are some ideas for marrying homegrown produce with your home’s aesthetic.
Blend Raised Beds into Your Hardscapes
When we think of raised vegetable gardens, we often think of a traditional cedar structure. However, if you’ve already got beautiful hardscapes featuring brick retaining walls or modern pavers, there’s no reason your vegetable beds can’t match!
We can install raised beds that match the look of the rest of your yard’s hardscapes that follow the flow of your yard while maximizing sun exposure.
Add a Zing of Colour to Garden Beds
Whether you’re planting in raised beds or beds at ground level, why not interplant veggies with your flowers? Many popular veggies, like tomatoes and peppers, benefit from being close to flowering plants because they attract vital pollinators. This results in a much better crop and a more beautiful, diverse landscape!
From a design perspective, choose veggie varieties that complement the shapes and colours already present in your garden beds. Peppers and tomatoes in shades of green, yellow, and red blend beautifully with warm-toned annuals and perennials, while eggplants create a colour echo with cool-toned blue and purple flowers.
Try Edible Edging!
Why not give the usual border annuals a rest and edge your garden with herbs? Compact, bushy herbs make excellent groundcovers, hiding the “feet” of taller plants while making it easy to harvest everything you need for your recipes in one trip. Basil, oregano, mint, thyme, and sage are all excellent options.
Plant More edible Fruit Trees
Fruit trees have so much to offer any landscape because they provide food and ornamental value throughout the season. In the spring, fruit-bearing trees burst into flower, bringing an early flush of colour (and pollinators!) into your yard. The flowers gradually mature into fruit through the summer, adding more and more texture and, eventually, tasty treats for you and the local wildlife.
Then, in the fall, many fruit trees, Iike apples and pears, burst into beautiful autumn shades of gold, orange, and red. As the leaves begin to fall, the leafless trees remain beautiful after the snowfall. Frankly, if you’re looking for four-season interest in the landscape, fruit trees are hard to beat!
Don’t Shrug Off Berry Shrubs!
Shrubs, along with trees, form the backbone of the landscape, and some of the prettiest ones are the ones that bear edible berries. Like fruit trees, berry shrubs produce gorgeous flowers that eventually mature into sweet, healthy snacks for the whole family. Some, like blueberry and Saskatoon berry shrubs, also offer excellent fall interest while others, like raspberry brambles, keep producing fruit nearly up the first frost. Berry shrubs are excellent for short hedging, lining foundations, planting along fences, and some dwarf varieties can even be grown in large containers!
Fruit and vegetable gardening may be especially hot in 2020, but it really never goes out of style. By choosing the right varieties and the right hardscaping to match your landscape design, these edible ideas will continue to add value to your home, your recipes, and your lifestyle!
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