Maybe it’s my age, but I have grown tired of mowing grass — and the vigilance required to keeping it looking nice. In recent years, I have started encroaching upon my lawn by finding attractive ways to incorporate vegetable gardening into the mix.
Finding Growing Spots
The concept behind edible landscaping is to blend veggies in with your existing landscape in such a way that it adds to the scenery and does not distract from it. To accomplish this requires some pre-planning and even a little trial and error. A simple way to clarify available areas is to photograph your lawn and look for potential garden spots.
Which Plants Are Best?
Since you are not going to till up a large portion of your lawn, you have to choose your plants wisely so you get the most ‘bang for your buck.’ You are looking for a couple things — plants that will grow in the spots you have available and preferably vegetables you and your family will eat. If you have a shady back yard, don’t despair, some vegetables actually tolerate shade.
Mixing Flowers and Veggies
When I decided to try edible landscaping, I chose to limit it initially to my back lawn until I became more adept at mixing the textures and colors of the various vegetables with flowers. Some vegetables are visually interesting — have you noticed the peppers plants used in the Chili restaurant landscaping theme? Since I grow vegetables primarily from seed — my trial and error approach is relatively inexpensive.
Don’t Overlook Containers
Some varieties of leaf lettuce or even spinach makes great accent plants for the flowers in containers. Large containers can produce a lot of leafy vegetables — while creating an interesting and intriguing flower pot. Blend and mix until you get a look you are comfortable with. You can also plant sweet potatoes inside containers (provided they get enough sunlight). The potatoes’ vines are aesthetically pleasing and can be used as accent plants for a flower centerpiece.