Many gardeners want to grow their own food. Homegrown produce is fresher, safer, and healthier. But many gardeners don't want to sacrifice the beauty of their yard by removing flowers or shrubs to plant edibles. The solution is foodscaping.
Foodscaping, or edible landscaping, is the technique of replacing purely ornamental plants with edible ones that are still beautiful. It's a way to have a beautiful yard and eat it, too.
The keys to foodscaping are identifying beautiful varieties of vegetables, edible flowers, shrubs, and trees, and looking for creative places to grow them.
For example, instead of a crabapple tree, why not grow a cherry tree? On a fence, instead of growing Virginia creeper vine, try hardy kiwi. For a groundcover, instead of growing pachysandra, try strawberries. Around the foundation of your house, instead of planting hydrangeas, grow blueberries.
Once you start looking around your yard, you'll find many places where edibles fit right in. Of course, you have to make sure the your edibles won't overgrow their location over time and have the right sun and soil conditions to thrive.
Many edibles are beautiful. Greens such as rainbow Swiss chard, heirloom lettuces and 'Red Bor' kale add color and edibility to your garden. Blueberries not only have white flowers in spring and blue berries, they have amazing red fall foliage color. There are purple leaved hot pepper plants, yellow peas, red pole beans, and colorful edible flowers such as nasturtiums.
To learn more about Foodscaping come to my talk on Saturday, May 6 at the Warner Theatre in Torrington at 11:00 am. There will be books, refreshments, and lots of fun.
Next week on the Connecticut Garden Journal, I'll be talking about lilacs. Until then, I'll be seeing you in the garden.