A traditional garden design allocates separate areas for flowers, lawn and vegetables. As you will gather from the title the idea here is to grow plants that can perform a dual function of providing colorful flowers and an edible crop. And all these fruit bushes, herbs and vegetables should be grown together in such a way as to form a harmonious whole. It reminds me of a traditional cottage garden, but that is not how Marion Owen describes it in her article which I found on the Plantea website.

Have you ever wanted to get more out of your garden?

You can, by landscaping with edible plants. Edible landscaping, especially when paired with organic gardening practices, enhances any yard, garden or landscape. Is that great, or what?

Plants that do double duty

Stick with me, and you’ll discover how easy it is to combine fruit-bearing shrubs, herbs, vegetables and flowers. You’ll also learn how to put edible landscaping into practice, no matter what size garden you have. I’ll also provide you with a list of books, helpful links and other resources.

Edible landscaping with currants
Red currants make the world’s best jelly!

Like the Victory Gardens of our grandparents, edible landscaping can turn any growing space, large or small, into an incredible, edible resource!


Edible landscaping with grapes

Grape arbors thrived in ancient Egypt

If the idea of edible landscaping sounds a little far-fetched, you’re not alone. Until recently, such applications were limited to apple orchards and quiet rows of raspberries. Yet, edible landscaping dates back to the gardens in ancient Egypt where flowers, grape arbors, vines and fruit trees were blended with places to sit and enjoy the scenery. By the Renaissance era though, things had changed. Gardens became more formal and segregated as gardeners planted herbs, orchards and vegetables in separate areas. Mixing and matching edibles with other plants became a thing of the past, at least for a while.
Then came the 1970s and edible landscaping experienced a comeback as people strived to do more with their land. Publications like Mother Earth News featured (and still do) back-to-the land success stories. Sales of fruit-bearing shrubs and trees, and the popularity of herbs reflected the renewed interest. The introduction of unusual vegetables to the home gardener by seedsmen like Renee Shepherd of Renee’s Garden has also played a big role in how we arrange our gardens.

See more at Plantea