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Aesthetic Gardening for Edible Landscapes

May 18, 2008
It is possible to create beautiful landscapes that not only provide natural beauty, but can also provide food and other useful items. There are many edible plants and vegetables that are also very attractive. Since fruits and vegetables are getting more and more expensive, smart people have decided to grow them themselves.

The majority of people who build edible landscapes utilize perennial vegetables, since they return every spring with no need to replant. After they're planted, they'll go on providing beauty and food for as long as you tend them.

These plants require little in the way of care; just watering, feeding, a bit of weeding, pruning and keeping any insect pests under control will be sufficient. There are plenty of perennial vegetable plants which are great choices. Remember, perennials do die back in the winter, so don't be alarmed when your plants appear to go away in the fall - they'll come back in the spring!

Perhaps you are a little leery of this idea - after all, doesn't a vegetable garden require a lot of care? This is certainly the case for traditional vegetable gardens; however, edible landscapes require only a little bit more work than other landscape plants!

You can utilize various kinds of edible plants to substitute for the features of more traditional landscaping. Try a fruit tree instead of a regular tree. Perennial herbs can serve as ground cover or small bushes. Decorative vegetables can be used in place of flowers or landscaping borders.

Beautiful mixes of edible and non-edible plants are also possible. Herbs are great edible plants to add to traditional flower garden beds. To achieve a different look, you can combine different kinds of plants together.

Sage and oregano work very well as small shrubs, especially as edging for larger shrubs. Try planting curly parsley among flowers such as lobelia, dianthus and pansies. Strawberries also work well in flower gardens.

Planting beds of leaf lettuces can easily create accent areas. Edge with a border grass and then fill the plant bed with your choice of multi colored varieties of leaf lettuce.

Edible flowers are also a wonderful idea. There are plants which give in more ways than one. Snap peas, for instance. Besides producing peas, they also give you the gift of beautiful pink, white and purple flowers on attractive vines.

Fava beans grow white and red flowers. The purple globe-shaped flowers produced by chives make them stand out from other herbs. The blossoms on the dill plant are a delightful shade of yellow. Savory nasturtium flowers come in a wide array of bright colors. The herb sage produces purple and blue flower blossoms. You can also find blue and purple blooms in salvia.

Requiring little maintenance (and delicious), perennial herbs and vegetables are a fantastic idea in any landscaping. Dandelions, chives, rhubarb, sweet potatoes, ginger, asparagus, sorrel and more are all wonderful to look at and to eat as well.
About the Author
Sarah Duke is publisher of The Vegetable Patch at http://www.vegetablegardensite.com, where you'll find lots of information for starting a vegetable garden.
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