garden design

Edible Plants That Will Increase Your Harvest

Edible Plants That Will Increase Your Harvest

When you think about growing food in your home garden, which plants come to mind first? Do you think of tomatoes, peas, green beans, cucumbers, and other veggies, or do you think of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and fruit trees?

Here’s a question to consider: If you could put in a little more planning up front to get a harvest with less effort later, would you?

How To Design An Edible Hedgerow For Your Homestead

How To Design An Edible Hedgerow For Your Homestead

Are you looking for a landscape design solution that will create privacy, increase your food production, provide wildlife habitat, and add beauty to your yard? Then, how about planting an edible hedgerow?

Wait, what’s a hedgerow? A hedgerow is simply a hedge of trees and/or shrubs that often borders a road, property line, or fence. Historically, hedgerows have been used for windbreaks, growing food, timber, and basket-making materials, and living fences. These are all great functions that be woven into your home’s edible landscape.

What Would You Like to Know About Edible Landscaping?

What Would You Like to Know About Edible Landscaping?

I’ve been getting a ton of edible landscaping questions lately from people planting their own edible landscape. Do you have any burning questions about the design process I’ve used for years to create custom edible landscape designs?  I'm collecting all of your questions so that I can focus my blog topics and help you succeed with your edible landscaping project. 

How to Stay Connected to Your Garden in the Fall (and Winter)

How to Stay Connected to Your Garden in the Fall (and Winter)

Fall and winter pose an interesting challenge for gardeners. On one hand, it’s really nice to have some forced time away from your garden to rest, relax, and recuperate. On the other hand, if you’re in a cold climate (like me, in Wisconsin), you might start to feel pretty disconnected from your garden over the long and bitterly cold winter months.

Why You Need a Design For a Successful Edible Landscape

Why You Need a Design For a Successful Edible Landscape

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.

10 Examples of Edible Gardens That Will Inspire You

10 Examples of Edible Gardens That Will Inspire You

Fall and winter are great times to create garden designs and plans. Whether you’re just getting started and need a full landscape design or simply making some changes to your existing garden, the colder months offer plenty of time to get your best ideas on paper.

Today I have a fun blog post for you. I’ve gathered ten inspiring photos of edible gardens from around the internet. They are all great design examples and offer creative edible landscape ideas for a variety of garden spaces.

The Best 5 Books for the DIY Edible Gardener

The Best 5 Books for the DIY Edible Gardener

If you're a gardener or lover of gardening books, you likely know that the gardening book selection is vast.  It can even be overwhelming.  When I lived in Portland, OR, I would spend hours just browsing books in the gardening section of Powell's Books (the best bookstore I've ever been to, by the way).  Libraries are often well-stocked with gardening books, too.  

I've put together a list of five gardening books that I absolutely love.  If you're overwhelmed by all the choices at your favorite book store, online retailer, or library, take a look at these books to get started.  Then search around some more and decide which other books suit your gardening (and learning) style.

Surprise Your Friends With These 7 Unusual Garden Fruits

Surprise Your Friends With These 7 Unusual Garden Fruits

Here are 7 unusual fruiting plants for your home garden, so that you can opt for a unique and highly valuable landscape surrounding your home.

6 Permaculture Principles for Your Edible Landscape

6 Permaculture Principles for Your Edible Landscape

When I first learned about permaculture, I was blown away by the profound accessibility to the design principles.  Reading over the 12 principles, I remember thinking, "This makes complete and total sense.”  Applied to our gardens, permaculture is basically a design system which is intended to mimic patterns and relationships in nature while also providing food and energy.  In a nutshell, it's very smart design that focuses on the relationships between things, rather than on separate objects or pieces of your landscape.  This interconnectedness reduces your work, increases your harvest, and returns energy back to our wonderful earth. 

How to Design Your Edible Landscape Like a Professional

How to Design Your Edible Landscape Like a Professional

The most common question I'm asked is where to plant something in someone's yard.  I love and dread this question because choosing a location for one plant is challenging.  What seems to be a simple question turns into a lengthy discussion with me asking way more questions in return.  I can usually come up with a good location based on the information I've gleaned from our conversation, but what I really want is to encourage people to look at their yard with a bigger vision. 

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Designing Your Edible Garden

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Designing Your Edible Garden

I absolutely love helping homeowners create the edible landscape of their dreams.  As a landscape designer, I've had the pleasure of visiting tons of gardens.  Over the years I have seen common mistakes that leave homeowners feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, and simply at a loss on how to move forward.  Here are five challenges I see most often, with tips on how you can can avoid making the same mistakes.

5 Sensational Resources For a Delightful Garden

5 Sensational Resources For a Delightful Garden

The rain has returned to Portland and the leaves are beginning to change colors. The daylight is getting shorter. Fall is here and our bodies naturally want to focus inward. During this time of year, I bring my love for gardening indoors through books. I've been reading some amazing books lately on plant medicine (which I'll write about this winter) but today I have five gardening books that I want to tell you about. 

What's so special about these books? They are fantastic resource for any climate and they are the books I turn to often and/or frequently recommend to my friends and clients. 

How to Grow Enough Garlic For a Year

How to Grow Enough Garlic For a Year

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.

Introducing the Most Useful Expert Landscape Design Tips

Introducing the Most Useful Expert Landscape Design Tips

As a landscape designer, I'm always looking at landscapes and gardens. I've seen plenty of DIY gardens, landscape projects, and even online information that unfortunately weren't the best ideas. I've gathered four links to the best landscape design tips I could find online so that you have easy access to quality information, without feeling overwhelmed.

How to Make My Favorite Dandelion Flower Cookies

How to Make My Favorite Dandelion Flower Cookies

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. 

How to Eat Well From Your Garden in Early Spring

How to Eat Well From Your Garden in Early Spring

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:

How to Grow and Use Lavender For Your Family

How to Grow and Use Lavender For Your Family

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.

5 Words You Need to Know Before Designing Your Landscape

5 Words You Need to Know Before Designing Your Landscape

For any landscape to be great, the very first aspect to consider is function. Is the space easy to use? Are the elements of the landscape arranged in a way that makes sense for daily use and with your specific microclimates within that space? How can the space be arranged to achieve multiple goals at the same time?  

What Should You Plant in Your Edible Container Garden?

What Should You Plant in Your Edible Container Garden?

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...

How to Grow and Use Violet Flowers

How to Grow and Use Violet Flowers

Violet species are numerous and their flowers are blue-violet, yellow, or white. Violets have five petals and the lowest petal typically is heavily veined and leads back into a spur. The leaves are almost always heart shaped. The plants are small, growing close to the ground. Most violets are perennials.  

Both young violet leaves and the flowers are edible. They can be eaten raw as a trailside snack or mixed with other greens. Violets are not a strong medicine alone, but they do help enhance the medicinal properties of other plants. Violet leaves are high in vitamin C.