Since the days of World War II “victory gardens,” many homeowners want a yard that supplies not just beauty and shade, but food. The edible yard is one of the hottest landscaping trends today. Vegetable gardens, herb gardens, fruit trees, berry bushes-all are items that a landscaping company can use to transform a yard into a place where kids don’t just go to play, they go to eat. Parents benefit too-they can save on grocery bills by making dinner from ingredients grown in their yard.
Ideal Spots for Edible Plants
Most yards contain a mixture of sunny spots and shady spots. Few edible plants will grow in the shade, but sunny areas can prove very useful. A landscaping company will provide ideas for planting a mixture of edible and non-edible plants in aesthetically pleasing designs. They can also help homeowners understand and implement smart gardening tips such as proper drainage and enriched soil.
Herbs make attractive additions to any yard. Basil comes in over 40 different varieties. Sage is a hearty herb that can grow almost anywhere, and there are different, colorful varieties-for instance, Perovskia Rocketman (Russian Sage). Fennel will grow tall and add movement as it sways in a breeze. Thyme also grows tall, and golden lemon thyme features beautiful golden leaves.
Some vegetables add great color too. Artichoke plants feature purple blooms as large as baseballs. Cherry tomato plants can be trained to cascade over a trellis. Lettuce plants make a lovely border, and will thrive in cold months.
Fruit trees add shade as well as fruit. Tall trees like Jonagold Apples provide shade and beauty. Dwarf trees will be easier to maintain. They rarely grow to more than 10′ tall but produce full-sized fruits. There are dwarf varieties of many well-known apples such as Gala, Fuji, and Granny Smith. In warmer areas like California, citrus trees will thrive year round. They are also well-suited to smaller areas.
Plants that Attract Helpers
For an even more lovely garden, consider plantings that might not be edible to humans but will attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Asters, marigolds, and black-eyed susans attract butterflies. Dogwood trees and privet hedges also attract them. Delphiniums, foxgloves, and flowering Tobacco plants attract hummingbirds. Any blooming plant will also attract honeybees, an important part of the ecosystem.
Don’t forget vines. Grape vines are becoming more popular everywhere, likely because most climates and soils will grow grapes. The vines require some pruning but don’t need much fertilizer. Grapes are not the only thing grown on vines-consider passion fruit, kiwi, or scarlet runner beans.
Plants, trees, and shrubs that are chosen by a professional landscaping company can transform a yard. Don’t settle just for the ornamental. Branch out and let your garden feed you!