Edible landscaping is a specialized form of gardening where ornamental plants are replaced by plants that have some food use. The range of plants is varied and can include fruiting shrubs, trees, ground cover as well as edible flowers, and may include an apiary.
The design of the edible landscape can match many different styles of gardens ranging from formal to japanese gardens. The most successful designs emphasize biodiversity and attempt to include more than one type of cultivar for plants that are duplicated. Each plant is selected and placed for it's ornamental value and because it produces food.
Edible Landscaping Advantages and Disadvantages
Edible landscaping enjoys some advantages over traditional or ornamental landscaping techniques. Reduced shipping decreases fuel consumption and increases the availability, variety, and quality of produce locally.
Extra food can be preserved through home canning or through freezing. Extra food can also be used to supplement food banks or sold in local farmers markets making the edible landscape a beneficial feature for the community.
Compost is considered the Cadillac of organic fertilizers. Compost can be made from plant, animal, and mineral-based materials. The beauty of making compost is that no matter what material you start with, the end product is relatively similar. Finished compost has a low but good balance of nutrients, while being high in organic matter that helps feed the soil's microorganisms.