Wednesday , 23 July 2014
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Why Edible Landscapes?

Why Edible Landscapes?

edible-gardenThe simple essence of edible landscaping is to create the same bright botanical display that any gardener desires, while using plants that are as delicious and nourishing as they are stunningly beautiful!

In the conventional methods of landscape design, the goal is to provide an aesthetically pleasing backdrop to your home. Landscapers use trees, bushes, flowers, sod and vines to decorate the surroundings of your house and yard. It is more than rational to want to make our outdoor spaces attractive and pleasing to onlookers. A visually pleasing setting brings about a very positive energy to a residential environment, and cultivating plant life in the area of our homes can keep us aware of our connection to nature.

A good landscape design also incorporates the use of plants for utility. Decorative vines and shrubs may be installed to hide visually unpleasant elements of the home such as oil tanks or swimming pool pumps. Tree rows are planted to create visible boundaries and to provide a wind break. Hedges can even be installed in place of a fence for privacy. There are so many useful and innovative ways to create a landscape in our yards, yet in the convention of landscaping today so many of us are missing a golden opportunity.

In a time when food costs are steadily rising and there is very little comfort in the quality and source of fruits and vegetables, we should really begin to explore the possibilities of growing our own food. Sure, you can grow a vegetable or herb garden, and many of us do. However, there are a large number of homeowners who don’t think they have the time or space to have a garden. Yet, since most of them do make certain that their property is landscaped, the solution seems quite logical; use edible plants in your landscape design!

Who wouldn’t want a strong wooden pergola overflowing with gorgeous blossoming flowers creating an archway into their backyard. This majestic scene would be a breathtaking addition to anyone’s space. Now, imagine that these flowers belonged to the passion fruit vine, and in addition to the splendor of their captivating display this wonderful plant would also provide delectable morsels of free organic fruit! Now imagine a border of ornately shaped deep green ground cover mixed with bright luscious hibiscus flowers. Well, guess what, those ornate green groundcover plants are actually tender salad greens, and even better yet, those hibiscus flowers are just as edible, and go great in those salads!

Sometimes the use of edible plants, in itself, requires the application of even more beauty. If you utilize raised bed vegetable or herb gardens in your yard you will need them to be pollinated right? So there is no better way to do so than planting a copious display of breathtaking butterfly plants. In addition to the outstanding display of bright colorful butterfly attractors such as fire spike, milkweed, and lantana, your landscape will be infinitely enhanced by the butterflies themselves; an organic living display of graceful beauty and the unifying symbiosis of nature, right in your backyard!
You see where I am going with this? For every ornamental plant we use to beautify our outdoor living space, we could easily substitute a delicious edible food that would be just as beautiful as any other typical landscape plant. If we collectively begin to think with this mentality we will be creating a great deal of positive opportunity.
Using edible plants in the design of our landscape is a very economical solution and, in the end, will provide a great deal of financial relief. We will, of course, save so much money that we would have spent on the overpriced low quality store bought fruits and vegetables, but also think about how much healthier we will be when these highly nutritional treats are growing all around us. Any time we make a healthy change in our life we can recognize the money we inevitably save on the high costs of healthcare.
We should also consider the amount of open space we are losing every moment from residential development. That, plus the growing overreach of industrial plant and animal farming, is making organic growing space quite a limited commodity all over the world. In that awareness it would be most responsible and wise to utilize every square inch of soil we do have, to produce what we all need to survive; food!
So when you are considering an installation or upgrade in the landscape of your outdoor living space, remember how important it is to explore the possibilities of edible aesthetics. Instead of pouring your resources into the beautification of your yard, make an investment in your health and prosperity. While saving money, enhancing your wellness, and achieving the serenity of visual splendor, you will simultaneously be contributing to an incredibly positive environmental impact worldwide. Be smart, be sustainable, be beautiful, grow your own food!