by Tammy Taylor
Several years ago I became interested in dual-purpose or edible landscaping. I noticed how beautiful and fern-like the tops of carrots are and wondered why not border my front flowerbed with them? I planted a line of carrots against the porch and a semi-circle of spinach next to the sidewalk. Later I planted basil and oregano in the open space. I mulched with straw hay which decomposes and enriches the soil each year.
Then I saw some beautiful landscaping shrubs in the plant nursery that displayed colorful berries and I thought, why not blueberries? I planted two varieties of blueberry bushes in the flowerbed and pick fresh blueberries often to eat fresh and freeze the excess. I placed a large piece of fat-lighter wood behind the blueberries just for interest, but fat-lighter is a coveted wood for anyone with a chiminea or a wood fireplace.
My dad always said, “If you’re going to plant a tree for shade (or landscaping), it might as well give you something to eat!” So I planted a pair of Jonathon apple trees that only get about 10-ft tall when fully mature.
And of course I love my blooming Rosemary – great evergreen color, pretty purple flowers in the spring & wonderful for both cooking and soap making.
I typically mix this plan up each year as I play with the front flowerbed section of my landscaping. It’s lots of fun to change it out each year and I promise you that stepping onto the front porch to harvest fresh spinach or home-grown carrots for a dinner party is sure to get the conversation going!