Less Noise, More Green: Planting begins in my edible landscaping project!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Planting begins in my edible landscaping project!

A lot of the hard work is done on my edible landscaping project. The shrubs and hostas have been removed, the lawn is gone, compost has been turned in, mulch applied and stone paths laid. Now the fun part begins - finally I can start planting!

I hired my friend and fellow Master Gardener Charlie to help me purchase some of the new plants. Charlie is much more knowledgeable about shrubs than I am and I felt I needed some guidance in choosing, installing and maintaining these expensive plants. He also helped me locate some of the more unusual items I wanted.

The first wave of plantings included most of the plants to go around the porch. We chose Dwarf Juniper Spruces, Purple Passion Rhododendrons, Whipcord Western Red Cedar, a Kousa Dogwood and Bearberry for ground cover. I really wanted to only include edible plants in this garden but the reality is I live in New England where we have four seasons. I need to plant evergreen shrubs around the house for color in the winter.

It took us over four hours to install all the shrubs. That seems like a long time but taking the time to correctly dig the hole, fertilize and water is essential to setting the plant up for long term health.

Wolf Eyes Kousa Dogwood, edible landscaping
Under the cloth are my poor rhubarb plants that had to be moved again. I hope they survive!

The Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa) is a variegated variety called Wolf Eyes. I discovered how good Kousa Dogwood berries are last year when I used the pulp to make these great muffins. This tree, when fully grown, will provide us with shade and privacy on the porch. Our neighbors had to remove a very old tree that was diseased and we lost all of our shade.

Wolf Eyes Kousa Dogwood, edible landscaping
This tree should flower and fruit later this year. I love the pink leaf tips!

Bearberry, edible landscaping

The Bearberry  (Arcystaphphylos uva-ursi) is a plant well known to Native Americans (and eaten by bears, hence the name). The leaves can be brewed into a medicinal tea (or smoked) and the berries cooked into jelly or jam. These little perennial plants will spread and serve as mulch beneath the larger shrubs. Hopefully I'll be making jelly later this year!

This project has a long way to go but seeing it start to take shape is a lot of fun.

See you in the garden,



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