Eat Your Landscape: Planting an Edible Landscape

Delicious, ornamental and functional. Who says you can’t create a space that combines all three in your Utah landscaping strategy? Fruit-bearing Utah shrubs, flowers, vegetables and herbs can be yummy and decorative additions to your garden.

Enjoy the freshest of salads, add some garnishing to your favorite dish, pick some mint to flavor your drink or freshen up your breath. It’s delightful to think that you can do all these from plants in your garden. Your edible landscape can also mean savings for you. Rather than buy herbs and other edible plants, you can save a bundle on your food budget. Some of the plants can also be medicinal and can attract a variety of birds, butterflies and bees, while some edible plants repel insects such as mosquitos and moths.

Here are some steps to build an edible landscape:

Integrate into the landscape. Mix colorful herbs and greens such as oregano, basil, rosemary or sage with the plants already in the flower beds. Of course, you won’t be able to line up these plants, especially if there are already flowering perennials in the beds. These edible plants fill up empty spaces while adding more color to your landscape. For example, hot peppers, rhubarb, Swiss chard or purple cabbages add a dash of color to make your garden look more interesting.

Go miniature. If your space won’t allow for full-size trees, look for miniatures. These can be placed in large, colorful pots and are just big enough (just up to 5 feet tall).

Use as groundcover and edging. Plants such as golden garden nasturtium, lettuce and strawberries make for excellent groundcover and edging plants. You can plant them around the edges of existing flower beds. There are a number of herbs that spread quickly and are great as groundcover. These include chamomile and oregano. Another fast growing groundcover plant is chocolate mint, which emits a great scent when you step on it.

Look up and plant up. Add more interest to your landscape with the use of trellises planted with edible vining-type plants such as grapevines, zucchini, pole beans or cucumbers. When grown vertically, you can avoid fungal disease issues. Wood rose, which have edible roots, have bright yellow flower to make a more dynamic garden.

Mix and match.You can alternate a combination of vegetables and herbs, such as mixing white cauliflower with purple cabbage. You have the option to plant in alternate rows, mixed clusters or blocks.

Utilize as decorative shrubs. Fruit bearing shrub, bushes and miniature trees can serve as great decorative accents set out in strategic areas. Some of these even have flowers, including elderberries, blueberries, gooseberries, pomegranates, figs and currants. The fruits of persimmon, citrus, cherry or apple trees can be edible ornaments.

Grow your salad. Chives and colored herbs such as tricolor sage can add attraction to your foliage. These are also great for salads. Violas, nasturtiums, chive blossoms and other edible flowers can not only pretty up the garden, but your salads as well. Get a few of these petals and leaves to mix in with your salad.

Make use of pots. A number of herbs and edible plants can be planted in colored pots. These can be placed in key areas in the garden, as well as in windowsills.

Give your garden some backdrop. Add some texture to the garden with tall, vertical cover such as corn, asparagus and sunflowers. Tall plants such as fennel, beans, peas, daylilies and dill can also be planted behind the flower beds.

Enjoy harvest time and beautiful views with edible plants. If you need help in planning and implementing your desired landscape, you can also get help from Utah landscaping companies. All States Landscaping can help you get just the kind of landscapes you want.