If you’ve taken my free training series on edible landscape design, you’ll know that my passion for edible landscapes runs deep. In the first video, I talk about my journey into this work and how my desire to make a positive difference in the world led me from ornamental landscaping to edible, medicinal, and permaculture landscape design. But what I don’t talk about very often is HOW edible landscaping can improve your life (and even the world).
I get so excited when September arrives and I can plant our annual garlic crop. Why? I'll be completely honest with you. Garlic is one of the easiest crops to grow, plus it fills the empty garden spaces left by my summer veggies. Here are a few suggestions for growing enough garlic for your household.
I wish I had captured my friend's face when she took her first bite. Before I stepped away to grab more tea, my friend said, "This plate might be empty by the time you get back." She wasn't kidding. She ate several cookies during our visit and took the recipe and four more cookies home for her family.
I've found myself grazing in my garden already this year. I am thrilled to see some of my greens returning after being eaten to the ground by slugs as seedings last fall and surprise returns from my arugula, spinach, and collard greens.
Yesterday I snapped a few pictures as I grazed in the afternoon sun, hungry for fresh food, despite the lunch I ate a couple hours earlier. Perhaps it's the change of seasons or my body's desire for more greens, but I made my way around my backyard (mostly in a squat) snacking on anything edible. It was one of the most delightful snacking experiences this year.
What's snack-worthy this time of year, you ask? A surprising amount of greens. Here's what I have growing right now:
Lavender looks great with nearly everything. It's silvery foliage and beautiful purple flowers add unique colors and textures to any garden. Try growing it near your vegetable garden, in your herb garden, in a perennial border, or paired with roses for a cottage garden feel.
Encourage rebloom by removing the first flush of flowers. Avoid pruning after late summer to prevent new growth from emerging. Pruning for shape and to remove seed heads is best done in mid- to late spring.
I generally prefer to grow plants directly in the ground, but there are several places that I don’t feel comfortable growing food in our small city lot, like where a garage once stood and along the side of our house. One project this year is to increase veggie garden space by adding some large container gardens.
If you’re new to container gardening, here’s a quick into to thrillers, fillers, and spillers.
- Thrillers are larger or showier plants than the others in that container.
- Fillers do just what their name suggests - fill the space and are typically medium height.
- Spillers and cascading plants that grow down the sides of the container.
7 ideas for gorgeous and edible container gardens...
Understanding the difference between open pollinated, heirloom, hybrid, and genetically modified seeds is crucial to selecting the right seeds for your garden, whether you're planning to save your own seeds or just simply eat your garden's bounty.
Saving open pollinated seeds is the oldest way of seed saving. Open pollinated seeds are seeds that have been saved from a crop of open pollinated plants. This is done by keeping one variety of plants far enough away from another variety so that cross pollination does not occur. With open pollination, as long as pollen is not shared between different varieties, the seeds will be true to the parent plants and will hold their quality over time.
Have you thought about what you'd do if you didn't have access to food from your local grocery store, the farmer's market, or your weekly CSA share? Do you know how to grow any food yourself?
Keeping a supply of water and non-perishable food on hand is recommended for emergency preparedness, but having fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, eggs, honey, etc. available in your own garden can help keep you fed now and in a time of need.
Daily Harvest Designs weaves food, medicine, shelter, water storage, and more into beautiful and functional landscapes. This makes it easy to incorporate food into your landscape while maintaining a beautiful and functional yard.
When I took my permaculture design course in 2010, there were a few permaculture design elements that seemed easy to incorporated into most gardens. Herb spirals are one of them.
Our backyard is designed with a lot of big looping curves, creating wonderful nooks and crannies for seating areas, play areas, veggie gardens, and the perfect spot for an herb spiral.
What is an herb spiral? Herb spirals maximize garden space by coiling up a linear garden space into a mounded spiral. Built with some elevation, herb spirals offer various micro-climates. Each side of the spiral receives a different amount of sunlight and the soil moisture fluctuates as it moves down and around the spiral.
As a landscape designer with a passion for "harvestable" landscapes, my designs tend to focus on edible and medicinal plants. Many of our native plants are edible and/or medicinal so I like to work these into my designs too. Surrounded by some of my favorite native and edible plants last weekend at a state park, I took some photos and was inspired to write this post.
The following three shrubs are easy to spot in our forests. They are all evergreen and have edible berries. Can you guess which shrubs I'm thinking of? Read on to find out!
...Where will you grow your vegetables?
A client recently looked at me a little sideways when I said she could plant her veggies either in raised beds or directly in the ground. "You can plant them directly in the ground? But what does it look like?" she asked
I've never thought twice about my decision to plant directly in the ground, for two reasons. First, in-ground beds are endlessly flexible and could be changed every season if I wanted; and second, it's less expensive to just plant directly in the ground. Here are some pros and cons to raised beds and in-ground beds.
As I was canning 18 jars of elderberry blackberry jelly last weekend, I started thinking about all the different ways to use elderberries. The ideas kept flowing as I stirred in the honey and pectin and filled each jar.
Blue elderberries are an excellent garden plant. Their large shrubby form makes a great backdrop to any garden, the white flowers and dark berries are both beautiful to look at, and the birds enjoy the fruit. Each self-fertile plant may produce around 40-50 pounds of fruit!
Turning back the clocks this morning was yet another reminder of the change of season and change of pace. Fall is in full swing and winter is just around the corner. Time to snuggle up and settle in until spring. But before that, I must ask: have you gotten your garden ready for the winter?
This week I've turned my attention to the garden, in the few dry days we've had. There are a several things I like to do in the fall.
Yesterday was one of those days that you wish could go on forever. I spent the day exploring the garden with my 8-month old daughter. We played, read books, and of course, snacked on the fruits of our labor!
I brought out my favorite harvesting basket and slowing filled it up as we made our way around the back yard.