If you’re thinking of upgrading the plants around your property consider making them look “good enough to eat”; literally. Edible landscaping is a great way to add character to a property while also providing fresh fruits and herbs for your kitchen. You can achieve the look you want, while also creating multi-functional spaces. For example, strawberries make an excellent edging plant and also work as good groundcover. Not to mention they’re delicious and add a pop of color to any landscape; their little pops of strawberries, russet colored leaves in the fall, and those pretty white flowers during spring. If strawberries aren’t your thing, there are a plethora of other edible ideas to choose from. We highlight a few of our favorites below.
Oh, the grapevine. Vines in general add so much character to an outdoor living area, and grapevines are by far my favorite form of “edible landscaping”. They are absolutely beautiful. Try growing two of these up and over an arbor to create a truly stunning walkway. You can also grow these up a wall by creating a wooden ladder feature or other means for the vine to latch onto. Grapevines grow incredibly fast and because of that they need some help finding which direction to grow. Be sure to lightly tie off the vines to your arbor or wall feature to ensure they keep growing in the right direction. The clusters of grapes are quite heavy on the vine so it’s important to help alleviate some of this weight to avoid drooping, bending, or breaking. When you aren’t harvesting the grapes, the leaves can be used to top salads or to serve as a plate decoration.
Chives are not only good in a homemade potato soup or finely chopped and tossed in a salad; they are actually a pretty effective edging plant. Their playful long green foliage creates a great look when planted in rows around the perimeter of a home, and their ball-like purple flowers allow them to blend in with (and enhance) any flower bed. But chives don’t have to blend in with the crowd. They’re beautiful by themselves and are an excellent potted plant option. You’ll want to cut this perennial at the base, about an inch above the soil, when harvesting.
Blueberries and Raspberries
We briefly mentioned strawberries above, but blueberries and raspberries are also among our favorite forms of edible landscaping. They provide so many uses in the kitchen, from shakes to desserts, and are also good when freshly picked and eaten all by themselves. Berries are moderately shade-tolerant and will do just fine if tucked away close to the house or in the corner of a property. If you don’t want these plants out of sight, make them the focal point of your landscape. Both the blueberry and raspberry plant can function as decorative shrubs; plant them in a dense line to create a nice fruit-bearing hedge.