|The front of my house in the height of summer last year.|
Last summer I decided I was going to lasagne mulch over all the grass in the front of the house and replace it with edible plants. As fall approached, I went back and forth about what I was going to do with this space. In the end I did nothing because I just did not have a plan. Over the winter I did some more research on edible landscaping and I am glad I did not rush into making changes.
|A view of the side bed.|
The garden in the front of the house consists of two square areas approximately 12 feet by 17 feet each with a path running through the middle. Bordering the house is a layer of yews and a holly bush. In front is a layer of hostas. To the side of the house is another bed sized 4 feet by 13 feet with more hostas and two small blueberry bushes that I planted last year. I also planted four rhubarb plants two in the side bed and one on either side of the path in the border.
I know what I want to accomplish and I even have a list of plants I want to include in the design but there are decisions I just cannot settle on.
|Elderberries are at the top of the list of plants to add. Edal Anton Lefferov/Wikipedia|
Here is what I am hoping to achieve:
- Create a beautiful and productive garden that welcomes visitors and extends our food self-sufficiency.
- Add edible plants, both annuals and perennials.
- Add flowers and herbs, both edible and decorative.
- Remove the grass and an invasive Barberry.
- Remove the hostas.
- Replant the blueberry bushes in the back where they will be happier.
|Lots of lavender along the borders!! Fir0002/Flagstaffotos/Wikipedia|
Here are the plants I want to add to the borders:
- 2 elderberry bushes
- Tuscany Kale
- Peppermint Swiss Chard
- Garden Peas and Snap Peas
- Assortment of flowers including Black-Eyed Susans, Poppies, Bachelors Button, Prairie Asters, Morning Glories and Bee Balm
On the patches of grass, I want to plant pumpkins on one side. If I plant a hill in the middle, the plants will vine out and fill the space. I will need to monitor and pinch vine ends as needed but the vines should kill the grass underneath it.
On the other? Here is one of the places I can't decide on a design. I want to plant a dwarf apricot tree in the middle of the patch and surround it with cranberry ground cover plants. My husband is not sure about this plan. He thinks a lone tree will look weird. I am hesitant because fruit trees, especially in this region, are very hard to keep pest and disease free and I don't want to use chemicals.
Another question is do I move the border out to create more room. I would love to remove the yews but I'm not sure I'm brave enough for that! The largest plants I want to add are the elderberries. They need to be planted six feet apart and will grow quite large.
Here is a plan of what I am thinking for placement. I've also included the movement of the sun and where the sewer line and access point is, which has to be considered in the plan.
My philosophy is to use dramatic looking vegetables as if they were just another plant to fit into the design, according to form and color. Both the Kale and the Swiss chard leaves will be harvested over the course of the season while the plant remains undisturbed. The peas will add height, will be replaced by the morning glories, and will provide shade for the front porch. The edible flowers will also be harvested through out the season. The plan is for there to not be holes in the border design. A mix of perennials and annuals will keep the design fresh.
Color is important in creating a landscape and I have chosen plants with blue and purple flowers, with the yellow black-eyed Susan added for contrast. I plan to plant these flowers in groups of at least three identical plants. The Peppermint Swiss Chard has pink stems and the rhubarb has bright red stems. I will add containers of nasturtiums, calendula and geraniums to the porch steps.
I have been pinning edible landscaping ideas to a Pinterest Board. Please visit my site to get some great landscaping ideas!
|Morning Glories at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens|
You can also read about the edible landscaping lessons I learned from the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, while on vacation last year. These gardens are amazing!!
This is still a work in progress but I would really value any feed back or advice you may have!