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Eat Your Garden: Best Plants for Edible Landscaping

Not many folks are able to look at their beautiful, blooming landscaping and see their next meal. Most landscaping features a visual quality but lacks gustatory appeal. The good news for hungry gardeners is that edibility can be added to your landscape—all without sacrificing the eye-catching features you’d expect. Welcome to the world of edible landscaping. The following flora are as beautiful as they are scrumptious.

Globe Artichoke

Aesthetically, globe artichokes are one of the best edible plants you can add to your garden. Their spiky jade green leaves and flowering purple blades add visual appeal. Use these tasty vegetables for salads, grilling or the always popular spinach-artichoke dip.

Sunflowers

Classic and gorgeous, sunflowers’ electric yellow petals bloom around a fuzzy brown stigma as they peer up at our star. Their toasted seeds make for a wonderful snack or as a topping for salads.

Mint

Mint’s vibrant green leaves and refreshing fragrance makes it a fitting addition to any edible garden. This herb grows rapidly and its roots (called “runners”) will proliferate through your garden if it’s not contained in a pot, according to ApartmentTherapy.com. Sprigs should be collected prior to the plant flowering. Grow mint in areas receiving both sun and partial shade.

Figs

Plant a fig tree in your yard to please both you and your neighborhood fauna. The tree grows large, glossy leaves and produces the saccharine, purple fruit you know and love. Use them for fig jam, dessert or eat them raw. Use mulch to safeguard the trunk from the lawn mower and grass trimmer as well as to inhibit weed growth.

Nasturtium

Despite its unattractive name, nasturtium produces edible warm-colored flowers. Their leaves can be ingested as well—they’re mildly spicy with a taste not dissimilar to radishes, according to TreeHugger.com. The seeds can even be pickled—think capers—for a delicious condiment.

Chives

Chives are relatively easy to grow and are welcome in any garden. Harvest this perennial’s cylindrical green stalks for use in omelets or to sprinkle on your baked potato. Chives blossom into flowers with starry, pale purple petals—also edible, also delicious.

Elderberries

Respect your elderberries. Clusters of these deep purple berries lend themselves well to jelly and preserves as well as elderberry wine, according to TreeHugger.com. Its butter-cream flowers can be preserved as sugars and syrups.

Chamomile

Similar in appearance to daisies, chamomile’s creamy white petals bloom from a sunny yellow stigma. The plant can be harvested and used as an herbal remedy or for a soothing tea. Several plants share the chamomile name: English, Roman and German chamomile share similar qualities, according to HowStuffWorks.com.

Passion Fruit

The passion fruit is a climbing vine that uses its tendrils to scale any surface, no matter how high, according to TropicalPermaculture.com. The flower of the passion fruit alone is worth it. Even if the succulent fruit fails to grow, the beautiful violet foliage emerges in a stringy pattern that is a pleasure to behold.

NuMex Twilight

The spicy chili peppers of the NuMex Twilight resemble colored, conical LED Christmas lights in yellow, red, orange and purple hues. These peppers are suitable for pots.

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