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Edible Landscaping

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Wednesday Web Sitings

There is so much information out there for planting and growing things, be it from seed or seedling, indoors or outdoors, edible or pretty. However the first thing you might need to know is what zone you are in. There are several different zoning systems in the United States. I typically use the USDA zoning for no other reason than that is what my dad uses. I am familiar with it and so I stick with what I know. Here are some sites for finding out your zone:

USDA Plant Hardiness Map
Climate Zones
A Good Site For Alternatives To USDA

Granted I am posting this in a season where there is not much planting going on but depending on the year and the location you might still be able to squeeze in a few plants before the snow flies (if snow flies in your area). Most gardening calendars are based on zone and you can search for gardening calendar and your zone number to find them. But the following is a good resource for all zones:

Gardener’s Almanac

Another thing you can do at this time of year is get seeds for spring. For example, squash is all over the grocery store right now. I buy several types, clean the seeds out, lay them out to dry on a paper towel and then eat the squash. Once the seeds are dry (about a week or so) I put them in a paper bag, write the name of the squash, the year, and what I liked about the squash or a good recipe on the bag. This way in the spring I am all set to plant.

Baked Squashes And Pumpkins And How To Save The Seeds
How To Save Seeds
Seed Sanctuary

Granted you might be reading this at a time of year that gardening is in full swing. If that is the case then enjoy! Explore! Be brave! Try things out, if it doesn’t work then try something different (unlike how I keep planting those sunflowers in the same exact spot!).

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Edible Landscaping

Today’s Harvest

This is a fun post because it fits in so many categories! I grew basil and tomatoes (among other things) this year and here’s today’s harvest. the basket of tomatoes doesn’t show quite how much is there. Enough for another batch of tomato soup!!!

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Then I hung the basil to dry.

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