3 Sep 2012

Landscaping with Lettuce

Posted by bcsands

There really aren’t any excuses for not growing some of your own food!

All you need is some organic vegetable mix, a little fertiliser and a bit of imagination. You can create edible landscaping on your windowsill, under your roses or on your patio floor. You can literally grow fruit and vegetables anywhere that has light and a flat surface.

Of course, creating a special space for a vegie patch beyond the lawn in the back yard is a long held tradition, but what about incorporating vegies in amongst the rest of the garden.  For example, why not place some inconspicuous carrot plants in among the mulch around the roses, or thread some tomato plants up among the sweet-peas on your fence or trellis. Growing a passion fruit vine on a perimeter fence not only helps screen you from your neighbours, but you get to eat vitamin C rich fruits every year.

Did you know that so called “fresh” herbs from supermarkets have already been cut for a minimum of 2 days by the time they get to the shelf?  That’s not exactly fresh!  And sadly, you have to buy a whole bunch, much of which may well go into the bin.  You, however, can nip out on to your apartment balcony, pick a sprig of parsley and place it neatly on your magnificent grilled fish.  Or you can get a few leaves of basil from your windowsill for that Italian pasta recipe.  Now THAT is really fresh!

Here are some more ideas on how to landscape with edible plants:

  • Grow a miniature fruit tree or two on your porch.  They grow happily in large tubs and while the tree may be small, the fruit is full size.  Simply apply water and fertiliser regularly and let your tree reward you.
  • Pick strawberries from your retaining wall.  If you have a retaining wall with any sized gap into which you can pop a little plant, put a strawberry plant in there and surround it with pebbles so the fruit stays clean.  The advantages are that you don’t have to bend down to pick the fruit, and you have a nice green plant holding the soil back.
  • Plant vegies such as lettuces, leeks and celery in attractive rows and take advantage of the diverse colours and textures! Far more practical than traditional annual bloomers!  Planting them in pebbles will  prevent them from getting sandy.  This leads to less washing off dirt and more cooking and eating!

After all, nature abhors a vacuum, so instead of letting the lawn take over, the weeds grow or dust settle, use your imagination, spread a little organic vegetable mix, and incorporate some edible plants in your living space!

PS.  Bonus – you’ll be decreasing your carbon footprint too!

These two great images were taken from award-winning landscape architect Senga Lindsay’s new book. She has seen garden design trends come and go in her twenty years of working in the field, but by far the most prevalent has been the resurgence of interest in edible gardening.

See inside the book here.



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