Why You Need a Design For a Successful Edible Landscape

As a professional edible landscape designer for many years, I've had the opportunity to coach, consult, and design for tons of clients, just like you.  

My clients are smart, creative, independent, and love to tackle projects on their own.  Perhaps you can relate? Over the years I've helped homeowners address their garden frustrations, like:

  • Poorly designed spaces that are super high maintenance (which makes gardening a chore rather than a relaxing hobby)

  • Failed garden projects - from inadequately planned pathways to gardens located in inconvenient places

  • Improperly spaced plants that produce little and require extra maintenance

  • No overall design or vision for the space (which results in a whole assortment of issues)

  • Lack of entertaining space that prevents people from spending quality time outside

  • Eyesores and noisy neighbors that make outdoor time unpleasant

There is almost always one single cause for these common landscape frustrations: the lack of a high-quality design. So, what’s the big deal? Why do I recommend that every edible landscape have a high quality design?

A professional quality landscape design will ensure that your edible landscape and outdoor space are super functional, customized for you and your unique space, low maintenance, cost effective, and visually pleasing.

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Super Functional

Professional quality landscape designs focus on the whole picture as well as the nitty gritty details. What the big picture design means for you is an outdoor space that flows really well (including really smart planning for a lower maintenance yard and garden), is beautiful to look at, and fits your daily habits and natural movements through the space.

The nitty gritty details of the design mean that you have the exact plants you love to eat and use right at your fingertips. With a professional quality design, your eating habits dictate which plants are chosen for the design, how many of each plant you’ll need, and where the plants are located in your garden. Location of plants is key in the professional design process. A great designer will put the plants you harvest every day as close to your door as possible (or along a path you normally walk every day).

With a functional design, you'll save tons of time maintaining your garden so that you have more time for fun and relaxation.

Customized For You and Your Unique Space

A professional quality design will not be a one-size-fits-all solution. It isn’t one or two raised beds plopped in your lawn or a DIY plan that you find online and attempt to construct in a random place in your yard.

Instead, a professional quality design is a plan that is created specifically for you and your unique space. A high quality design will begin by thoroughly measuring and observing your site, then assessing your needs and desired uses of the space. From there, a base map will be created and the design will unfold through a professional landscape design process.

This process doesn’t happen overnight. It is a thoughtful (and sometimes slow) process that develops as all of the pieces of the design puzzle (aka design elements) are fit into the space in a way that is functional, provides easy access to plants that you harvest daily, takes environmental impacts into consideration, results in a cost effective plan, and is visually pleasing.

A design that focuses on your needs and your unique outdoor space will have much better results (for you and the functionality of the space) than planting an edible landscape without a professional quality design.

Low Maintenance

Designed well, a fully stocked landscape can actually be low maintenance. Does that sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not. Great edible landscape designs first lay out the space really well, then fill in the garden beds with a wide variety of edible plants. If you’re picturing a yard full of veggies, let’s shift that image to something that’s actual low maintenance.

Rather than 100% veggies, picture nut trees, fruit trees, berry bushes, fruiting vines, edible ground covers and roots, medicinal plants, perennial veggies, herbs, and annual veggies. This wide variety of plants serves multiple purposes. Here are a few:

  1. Once established, fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, perennial medicinal plants, perennial herbs, and perennial veggies are low maintenance. By planting the majority of your edible landscape with these plants, you are growing perennial food crops, herbs, and medicine with very little input.

  2. A wide variety of plants will create a strong community of plants that help to attract beneficial insects and reduce pest and disease damage to crops. (Picture a monoculture farm that needs tons of chemicals to stay “healthy” vs. a diverse community of plants that’s teaming with beneficial insects and so much diversity that one pest or disease isn’t able to wipe out the entire harvest.)

  3. With a great design in place, your outdoor space will be arranged so that the plants that need the most maintenance will be closest to your door, making it super easy to tend to the plants daily. Everything else (fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, perennial plants, etc.) that don’t need maintenance on a daily basis will be located beyond the high maintenance plants. This might seem like a small detail, but given the amount of time and energy high maintenance plants like annual veggies require, you’ll be happy that you have super easy access to these plants.

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Cost Effective

A professional quality landscape design will help you avoid costly and time consuming mistakes. Like I mentioned, I’ve had the opportunity to help tons of homeowners with their edible landscape design projects. Most of my clients got in touch with me after they had made costly mistakes. These were mistakes that cost them time, money, and/or resources. Having a landscape design will help you avoid these pricey mistakes. Plus, you’ll start to save money on your grocery bill as soon as you get a harvest!

Visually Pleasing

An edible garden doesn't have to be straight rows of plants.  Instead, picture the most beautiful garden you've ever seen... and now picture that in your yard but completely packed with edible plants.  Dreamy, huh?

This romantic garden image doesn’t need to be “just a dream”. Your desire for a visually pleasing garden (that’s also highly productive, super functional, cost effective, and low maintenance) can easily be a reality. How?

I’ve created an amazing free design training series for homeowners, just like you! This training gives you an overview of the exact steps I’ve used for over 10 years to create professional designs for my clients. Ready to get started on your own super functional, highly productive, and gorgeous edible landscape design? Simply click here to enroll in the free training series. You’ll get a link to the first video immediately!