Everyone knows that everything I do in the garden is seriously slanted toward food production, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want it to be pretty. When it comes to landscape ideas, the great thing about edible landscaping is that there are many options for achieving all your goals, ornamental and edible.
One of the popular landscape ideas today is to build on a theme. Beyond that, each garden that benefits from years of human attention and interaction will evolve it’s own unique personality. My favorite extreme example of this kind of Co-Creation with Nature is demonstrated in the Findhorn Gardens of Northern Scotland. More on Co-Creation with Nature here.
A time-honored approach is to create theme gardens that naturally achieve both practical and beautiful functions. A favorite theme is the edible flower garden; perfect for cake decorating, delightful salads and food creations you might classify as ‘luxury’. As inspiration, take a look at this post listing seven of the top flowering plant choices for upping the elegance factor in all your cooking.
One of the landscape ideas that surely goes back to pre-history, is the admonition that you must have a culinary herb garden, and locate it in as few steps to the kitchen as possible. Mediterranean favorites such as Oregano, Rosemary and thyme are the logical starting points, but don’t forget savory, marjoram and a plethora of mints. Herbs are easy to grow and many will establish themselves well as perennials in our western climate. Favorite annuals to include are basil, parsley and cilantro. If you have large beds it’s wonderful to mix up the types of herbs grown, changing them year to year in accordance to your evolving culinary tastes. Being limited on space, I grow most of my herbs in containers. Richter’s is one of the great herb and seed garden catalogs that’s been enticing and educating herb gardeners for decades. It’s a resource I always find inspiring!
Lucky me: my home is fairly close to a world class herb nursery, MorningSun Farm. Rose, the owner, grows and has encyclopedic knowledge of hundreds of culinary and medicinal herbs that do well in our Mediterranean climate. I’ve been delighted to discover that not only European favorites grow well here, but I can also overwinter many Asian herbs such as lemongrass. Even before I met Rose I was aware of another excellent source for Asian herb and vegetable seeds: Kitazawa Seeds. If you love to pour over seed catalogs as I do, it’s definitely worth checking out!
Edible Ornamental gardening is one of the great landscape ideas that is here to stay.