Planting Edible Landscape
In this post, Blythe talks about making your landscaping work for you by using edible plants:
Confession time: I am lazy when it comes to the yard. I don’t mind mowing occasionally but I don’t want to weed, trim, edge, or fertilize… and I certainly don’t want to do it for some thankless shrub that isn’t going to give anything back to me. Selfish, I know. On the other hand, I also don’t want our lawn to be barren and unwelcoming. Our yard has, over the past ten years, gone through multiple transformations.
Project #1 was removing a ficus and adding a few palm trees.
Then we ripped out the shrubs and threw in some hibiscus.
More recently we created some shade by planting an oak tree in the backyard.
While all of this made the yard a little more “us,” it still wasn’t working “for” us, so to speak. So… this leads us to our most recent project, which has been slowly but surely adding in edible landscaping. Gone are the hibiscus, which were always gangly and yellowed (remember my whole no pruning/fertilizing policy?). In their place, we’ve planted rows of collards. Some people may think, why on earth would you plant twenty collards? BUT, one, they look beautiful, all dark grey green and lush; and two, we eat a whoooole lot of greens in this household—we love cooked greens and frequently start the day with green smoothies. Collards are pretty low maintenance: we haven’t had to prune them, outside of simply going out and harvesting, and they love sandy Florida soil, so there hasn’t been any fertilizing or soil amending. Easy-peasy.
We’ve also planted a Florida peach. We got it as an Easter gift two years ago and this year it has a good thirty peaches about to ripen (IF we can keep the evil resident squirrel from pilfering any more of them). Cora, our two year old, can hardly wait—although she doesn’t like getting sticky, as you can see. The peach—seen in the background– provides some lovely shade and has grown incredibly quickly; in addition to being a productive tree, it’s also really handsome with long light green leaves that hang down.
In addition to the collards and the peach, we also have a loquat, which is a really great tree for someone with a small backyard; they can also withstand freezing temperatures, so they do well in all areas of Central and North Florida. We’ve also planted sunflowers, both beautiful and edible, and once had a kumquat, which you can grow on the patio in a large container if you so desire. Nate and Cora are the resident gardeners: they are currently growing tomatoes, squash, lettuce, broccoli (which has been producing for six months now!), carrots, green beans, radishes, onions, and more… I love that our two year old can identify everything in the garden and knows what grows above ground and below. Just yesterday she said, “I love rain. Makes my flowers grow!” However, much as I love our garden, I’m even happier that we’ve found ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into our landscaping, “useful” plants that are an ever-present part of our home.