Garden Design–Edible Landscaping

Edible landscaping may be the hottest trend in garden design right now.  There were 5 new books about it reviewed by American Gardener, the magazine of the American Horticulture Society in its last issue. It was covered several times on Martha Stewart’s show last season, and at least one of the shows was about replanting your lawn completely with edibles.

I’ve never taken quite such a dramatic approach, being from a colder climate where edibles won’t grow year-round outdoors.  I also don’t have that much sun (although I’d have a much better vegetable garden if my husband would let me rip up some of his precious–and now drought killed–lawn).

This is a good portion of my “edible” garden.  It’s not incorporated into the landscape because I don’t have a lot of sun, and, where I do have the sun is half an acre away and I don’t want to go that distance every time I want an herb snippet or two.  This is also way more convenient for moving onto the sun porch–the world’s largest cold frame–for wintering over.

This is the other portion of my “edible” landscaping–where I’ve incorporated the vegetables into the wildlife garden.  This is the updated photo that I showed on Tuesday–notice that the black-eyed susans have bloomed and faded.

Along with that pole-bean tower, you can also see the african blue basil in flower.  What you can’t see are two ‘black krim’ tomatoes, some more parsley and chives and society garlic and leeks.  This is the stuff I don’t mind deliberately going down to the garden to harvest.  And since most of it is hidden behind a mass of black-eyed susans, no one even knows it’s there, except the wildlife.

This is the garden that is literally less than 2′ from the road so it’s important that I make it attractive as well as functional.  I quite often get compliments when I’m working in it so I guess I’ve succeeded–at least in the neighborhood’s eyes.

Garden Trends, Hartford Style

Previously I remarked that I had not been to our local Flower Show in a few years because it seems as if it was all daffodils, rhododendrons, and waterfalls.  This is not to disparage the incredible efforts of those who force all those plants into bloom, and especially those who haul all that heavy stone into the Convention center and previously the Expo and Civic Centers to build to waterfalls!  But after awhile, it did all begin to look the same.

So it was with fresh eyes that I was able to view the exhibits at the Convention Center.  And yes, there were plenty of water features–very few exhibits lacked one.  Perhaps that is because water is such a soothing element in the garden.

Some of the water gardens were getting creative, as was this one–it actually had 3 blue urns used as the head of the waterfall, as a fountain in the waterfall, and as a third bubbler fountain used elsewhere in the bed, which was a winter garden display.

But by far the biggest theme, even in our cold Northern clime (no jokes from any of you suffering through the “snowpacalypse” this year!)  was the outdoor garden room.  No one really seemed to go over the top as I saw on a garden tour in Oklahoma City a few years ago–they actually had big, flat screen TVs in their garden rooms!

But we’re still the conservative Insurance City so an idea of what a garden room might be like is actually shown at the beginning of the post! Notice the lovely hydrangea candelabra.

Fire pits and fire bowls were somewhat popular but not overwhelming.

And edibles continue to be popular despite the setbacks and outright failures many of us had last year.

Overall, it was a lovely show–a breath of spring just when it’s most needed!