There is a whole world of folks out there who practice something called edible landscaping. The idea is that you plant things you can eat. If you have ever been to Disneyland you might have noticed the lettuce that they grow everywhere as decor.
There are so many plants that are not only beautiful but edible. Quite a lot of herbs that can be used as tea and many vegetables have a beauty all their own! For green leafy look go for lettuce or kale. For the rich colors add some purple eggplant or snapdragons. There are multitudes of edible flowers and so many vegetables are actually pretty when they grow (basil is not only beautiful but releases a strong fragrance that is very pleasant).
Disclaimer: Of course I have to say it, make sure before you eat a plant that it is safe for consumption. There are many resources online and you can also check with your local nursery for more information. Be sure to check several sources as there are many plants (like Jasmine) that have some edible and some non-edible varieties. When in doubt, don’t eat it.
Here are some photos from my garden. I do practice edible landscaping and with the exception of one plant that I am not certain about, everything has some sort of culinary quality.
Basil really is a beautiful plant and so much of the plant is useful! The leaves are for cooking, the flowers can be steeped for tea (the leaves as well), and the seeds inside the flowers can be stored for future plantings.
You don’t often hear “what a beautiful tomato plant” but they really are quite lovely. The red and green colors compliment and, properly supported, it is a nice large plant that adds lots of height to your landscape.
Roses are always a lovely addition and the petals are edible as well as the rose hips (the bud), when left on the plant they will develop into a fruit that can be used to make jams, jellies, teas, etc.
Thyme is a great ground cover and is easily trimmed and dried for use all year long. It also is a great with some lemon balm as tea.
Lemon Balm is also a great herb for tea (do you see a running theme here? I really like tea). It is another easily trimmed and dried for future use. It also stores well in the fridge, just put in a zip lock with some air and a bit of water and it will last you for quite a while.
Lavender is of course beautiful and has quite a lot of uses. Even if you aren’t ready to eat it you can always just rub some on your wrists for a stress reliever.
Bell pepper plants are quite pretty with their broad green leaves. Once the peppers start turning color it just adds more beauty to the plant.
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