So I picked up a copy of The Edible Landscape by Emily Tepe. Here is her advice on "creating the edible landscape". Ask yourself these questions. I found myself nodding along in quiet enthusiasm.
... it's time to take a walk around your yard. Stop in different areas, look around, and imagine what your garden will be like. What do you see in your mind's eye? What shapes? What pathways? How do you imagine walking through? Do you see an entire yard bursting with color and flavor? A border along the fence? Perhaps a few beds here and there sprinkled with colorful lettuces? Stand in the doorway, front or back, and think about what you'd like to see as you step out. Maybe an entry garden along the front walk, welcoming guests with the scent of herbs, the sound of bees hovering around tomato blossoms. Take some time to ponder: How far do you want to go to pick a few fresh veggies for dinner? Do you relish the thought of walking all the way through a fragrant, colorful garden to get to your harvest, or would you rather be able to step right out of the door and gather a few berries for your ice cream or a fresh tomato for your salad? Maybe both.
I think one of the more serious problems I've had with our garden is that it's pretty far back from our house. We have a very long, narrow backyard and we build our garden in the place with the most sun. What I love about this book is that it offers suggestions for creating mini edible landscapes all over your yard. I love kale. I just never thought about putting it around my tree in the backyard for a great look AND a great taste.
It may be snowy or cold or miserable where you are now, but that doesn't mean you can't get to thinking about how you can use whatever space you have to create a beautiful and delicious garden. Just think about how great your meals will taste with homegrown fruits, herbs, and vegetables.
PS: If you want to start small (or have a small space), why not try your hand at a cocktail garden? See the video here.
As the fresh food revolution sweeps the nation, more and more people are seeking out delicious offerings from local growers. We have had our fill of tasteless, woody tomatoes from the far reaches of the globe and have begun tasting again—thanks to farmers’ markets and co-ops—the real flavors we remember from childhood.
Inspired by these events, people have started growing food in the most unlikely places, including rooftops, abandoned parking lots, and tiny balconies and backyards on average city streets. Individuals and families are taking up the trowel and discovering that gardening can be fun, fulfilling, and, ultimately, delicious. Far from sacrificing their ornamental flowers, creative gardeners can discover the joy of growing food in beautiful, thoughtful gardens overflowing with both color and flavor.
Creating an attractive and productive garden in your small space might seem impossible, but throughout this book, you’ll see examples of some wonderful things that can be done, from interesting plant combinations to unique structures and planting beds. If you can banish the thought that vegetables and fruits must be grown in rows and open up to the idea that a tomato plant can be a striking addition to your landscape plan, The Edible Landscape will help you explore some ideas for transforming your yard into a feast for both the eyes and the table.