Sneaking Edibles in Among the Ornamentals

Edibles are a perfect solution for adding ground coverage to your garden. Follow the tips in the passage below (excerpted from Little House in the Suburbs by Deanna Caswell and Daisy Siskin, published by Betterway Home, 2012) to integrate edibles in your ornamental design.

For gardening in the front yard, herbs and fruit are where it’s at. They blend in with your other shrubs and require little care. Additionally, they can be quite lovely. Some vegetables hide well, too, but there’s no fooling the neighbors with corn or tomatoes. Here are some suggestions to get you started.

  • Strawberries make a beautiful evergreen ground cover for a sunny spot.
  • Rosemary can be pruned to look just like a shrub.
  • Fruit trees can completely replace your other ornamentals. Dwarf varieties look beautiful and produce fruit sooner than their standard-sized relatives.
  • Berry Bushes make fine foundation plantings.
  • Asparagus** makes a wispy fern-like privacy border with pretty berries in the fall.
  • Sweet potatoes* look just like ivy spilling over a wall or as ground cover.
  • Parsley* and cilantro* and bush beans* fit easily between the monkey grass.
  • Thai and other hot peppers* look like their ornamental cousins.
  • Cucumbers look like large ivy scrambling up an iron trellis or spilling over a patio railing.

*Annuals that will not be there in the late fall and winter.

**Perennial plants with foliage that dies back in the winter.

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Learn more tips for effective fruit and vegetable growing in Smart Gardening Techniques: Edible Gardening.

Use the Smart Gardening Techniques: Herb and Vegetable and Bird Garden Wheel Combo to add edible ground coverage to your ornamental design.

Discover how easy it is to grow your own herbs with The Beginner’s Guide to Edible Herbs.

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2 thoughts on “Sneaking Edibles in Among the Ornamentals

  1. I don’t know where you are based, but in New England, aspargus is a perenniel that dies back in winter, parsley is a bienniel, cilantro, bush beans, peppers and sweet potatoes are the annuals.

  2. I have been working at this sort of integration for years with middling success – as it is fun for my motel guests to see both decorative and useful plants mingled, and gives me more edibles in the same space. Many herbs are decorative as well as useful, especially those with variegated foliage, and are mingled among my flowers. Two points – the * and ** above seem out of kilter – asparagus is perennial while sweet potatoes are annuals. Also I had to work to get to this page, as the intriguing link in the email did not work.

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