One very popular trend is edible landscapes. This means creating beauty and charm with plants and trees that can offer a harvest of food for you. Here are some ideas for edible landscaping to get you started planning.
Dwarf fruit trees never reach more than 10 feet in height generally speaking. There are many types of cold hardy fruit trees available today.
Columnar apple trees are popular and can be grown even in large pots. You can get varieties that were bred to produce heritage breed apples such as Arkansas Black or Wolf. These are extremely attractive and easy to grow. This is an approachable choice for those that don’t know if they want to commit to a larger tree or want to use containers for some landscaping needs.
If you have been to the grocery store recently, then you might have experienced sticker shock when you buy salad greens. Salad greens can be as much as some meats on a per pound basis even though they have fewer calories. Spinach and micro greens are easy to grow and can be grown up until weather that is quite cold. In fact, greens are one of the first things that will begin to show life at the start of Spring and one of the last plants to die back. Using row covers and other methods can increase the growing season.
Stonework Raised Beds
Some gardeners have expressed concern over the amount of people using treated lumber and cinder block to create raised beds for “lasagna gardening” or beds that are dense and don’t have to be weeded as often but rely on heavy mulching and layering. Some feel that these materials may over time release toxins into the soil and thus the food you are growing.
Traditional native stone does not have these problems. Stone raised beds are permanent and will last a lifetime. The smoother surfaces allow for fewer places for some things to hide, and you get a very classy and streamlined look.
The beauty of all this is that you can change what you are growing in a raised bed regularly, so you get a change. Some garden plants can be planted in Spring and some in Fall, so you have a lot of food being produced most of the year. Raised beds can help protect plants from low temperatures as well though the use of coverings such as Plexi glass panels or row cover cloth.
Edible landscaping can have quite a color scheme. For example, you could have a row of Swiss Chard with its beautiful red veined leaves next to Savoy cabbage. Tomatoes and peppers come in a seemingly endless array of shapes and colors so they can be very fun to play with. Yellow banana peppers contrasting with green, yellow, red, and purple tomatoes will provide a lot of flavors that is easy on the eyes. Who knew that sustainability could be so easy and delicious to achieve while maintaining the beauty of your landscape?
Smaller stone planters can be used for an endless variety of food production. If you want to grow some things that cannot survive year round in Minnesota such as limes or lemons, you can grow the tree in a stone planter on wheels so you can bring it in easily. If the wheels are not appealing you can always have your friends at ALD, move seasonal plants into your greenhouse or home for you at the end of the year.
Garlic and onions will grow well in bed, but that can also be easily grown in containers. One of the most positive aspects about containers is that they can increase the space you have to work with because they can be placed on benches or stands that maximize your space. Custom pots and planters can be ordered and installed with ease.
Flowering snow peas are gorgeous and delicious. These are one of the earliest plants to produce in the Spring months, so they have to be on the ground early. A bountiful crop will mean you have some to freeze for cooking in the coming months.
Arbors are gorgeous year round, and Minnesota has a climate that can support many varieties of grapes. The disease resistance, vigor, and beauty of the grapes from the University of Minnesota Viticulture program cannot be matched. Grapes such as Marquette, Frontenac, La Crescent, and more have a lot to offer the home or business owner.
Designing The Perfect Edible Landscape
With good planning, you can have it all when it comes to landscaping. An edible landscape should change with the seasons, and this requires timing and planning if you are going to get the most out of your space. ALD can take a look at your space and make suggestions based on how much time, space, and how much of a budget you want to allocate.
Paying attention to layering of colors and knowing when and how plants flower and produce is crucial to creating the most attractive displays. With ALD you get more than a landscape designer and contractor because we can show you how to keep your landscape looking like you have been gardening and doing edible landscaping for many years.
Edible landscaping doesn’t mean that you can’t have some other touches in your landscape design. Water features, statuary, engraved stones, boulders, and more can all be part of your unique space. Stone furniture can provide a relaxing and enjoyable place for you to sit and admire the beauty with your family and friends.
Edible landscape designs can be made to highlight a favorite statue and make it come alive. If you have an idea in mind or statuary you already have, let us take a look and show you what we can do to make your landscape the most sustainable and beautiful one it can be!