Friday, August 1, 2008

Edible Landscaping

I sent out this email today and I decided I would make it a post on my blog too.

Many of you know Julie Laporte from La Vida Local. She showed me and explained to me that she was going to do edible landscaping in her new lakefront home in Clarkston. I was very impressed and it got me thinking. Much of our landscaping that was here when we bought the house was very overgrown (6 years ago) and a few years back a friend helped me rip it up, weed, mulch and replant. We used the plants that were already there by dividing them and moving them, etc. I also added some beautiful plants that I received at Rocky Gardens.

I also started an herb bed the first year we moved in and have been adding to it each year. Well this year things were very overgrown in both my front and back garden, so we have started once again to redo our landscaping a little at a time.

In our front I tore out a ground cover that was overgrown and not looking so good right near my porch and planted lavender instead. I plan to harvest the lavender next year and use it in my cooking and dry it for its wonderful scent!! I also planted my large flower pot on my porch with herbs instead of flowers. It is really looking wonderful (my dad even commented on it) and I use the herbs frequently as well as my kids loving to munch on them!! I grew regular basil, thai basil (which is so pretty and smells amazing) and a globe basil which is bush like and little tiny leaves, I also planted rosemary and some parsley (from seed) as well as a Mexican herb related to coriander but I can’t remember the name of it.

I plan to tear out the rest for next year (keeping a few things that are beautiful like my rhododendron) and replant with garlic and other edibles. I also plant to plant some edible flowers next year like marigolds, nasturtiums, etc.

Along my side yard I plan to plant sunflowers next year.

In the back this year we cut down some spindly trees that were not in a spot that was good for them and they were producing too much shade and too close to the fence, etc. I also removed several overgrown daylilies and hostas (which we have A LOT of anyway) and gave them to some other people to enjoy. A couple years ago I had planted 2 rhubarb plants in this area and they produced this year and are lovely, I hope to find room to add more rhubarb as I love it. I also planted a few pepper plants (2 bell peppers and one jalepeno) and a roma tomato plant and 2 grape tomato plants. They have lots of green tomatoes on them and the kids check them every day!! I did an experiment by planting cucumbers this year, they are doing great and we picked enough the other day to make a quart of pickles, the neighbor kids came over and we had a great time picking and pickling the cukes!!

We tore out a bush and many weeds and have a lot more to go!! Next year we plan to have a much larger garden and try some new things. We are also composting this year (after a failed attempt before), so I hope that helps out the garden for the future.

Julie was my inspiration and I thought I would share this story as it seems to be a hot topic as we come to a time of more food insecurity. It has been mentioned in many magazines and websites that we need to revitalize the WWII victory garden concept and grow “eco-gardens” to save our planet and cut down on fuel consumption and global warming.

This video is a story about a landscaper in Oregon who has taken the backyard garden philosophy to heart. I was very inspired by his outlook and views as well as what he accomplished. It is about 26 minutes long, but very nice.

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