Less Noise, More Green: Including vegetables in my edible landscaping project

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Including vegetables in my edible landscaping project

Less Noise, More Green Edible Landscaping Project, including vegetables in edible landscaping

One of the main reasons for creating an edible landscape in the front of our house was the amazing sun exposure. Our house faces south which means the back garden where all the vegetables are growing is in shade for some of the day. With two trees being removed due to disease from the strip next to the street, our front garden is now awash in sun all day. I needed to get my hands on this sun drenched earth!

Black Beauty Eggplant, including vegetables in an edible landscape
Black Beauty Eggplant

I had two criteria for incorporating veggies into my edible landscaping plan. I did not want to be digging up rows of veggies which would leave holes in my design, so the vegetables I chose had to either produce fruit, or be cut and come again varieties. For the most part I have stuck to that plan. I have included radishes but if I reseed immediately after harvest, they grow so quickly there will only be gaps for a couple of weeks.

Peppermint Swiss Chard, including vegetables in an edible landscape
Peppermint Swiss Chard

Peppermint Swiss Chard, using vegetables in an edible landscape
Love the hot pink on this chard!

I have kept the vegetables for the most part in the center diamonds. Either side of the ceramic pot is Peppermint Stick Swiss Chard which has amazing pink stems. Next to them are bush zucchini. Behind the pot I have New Zealand Spinach and Black Beauty Eggplant. In front of the pot are three kinds of peppers: Twingo, California Wonder and Giant Jalapenos.

Sweet and Hot Peppers, using vegetables in an edible landscape
Three kinds of peppers will add lots of color to the landscape
All of these plants are at last starting to grow after a little transplant shock from the eggplant and zucchini! In the left hand herb triangle I planted rows of radishes and cut and come again lettuce. I had planned on growing chamomile in this space but the seeds didn't germinate, so on to Plan B! In the right hand herb triangle I planted radishes and cilantro. All of these vegetables fit into my height zones plan and will contribute to the design with their colorful fruit and/or leaf and stem texture.

Patio Zucchini,  using vegetables in an edible landscape
This zucchini is called 'Patio" and designed to be grown in a container or small space.
I'm anxious to see how this all looks and functions once the plants are mature. I want this garden to be attractive but it needs to also be productive. It needs to produce vegetables, herbs, berries and edible flowers that I can eat or ultimately I have just created an experimental garden.

New Zealand Spinach, using vegetables in an edible landscape
New Zealand Spinach
I got a late start with planting due to delays in getting the garden ready, so I know I need to give myself some slack! This is also virgin growing soil and there will be some trial and error in figuring out what is happy here and what is not. I can already see after just a few weeks of maintaining this garden that next year I need more perennial fruits and vegetables (I have some great ideas!) and I need a water management plan.

Radishes and Cilantro, using vegetables in an edible landscape
Radishes on the left, cilantro on the right

 It feels like the garden is growing slowly, but it has only really been a few weeks. I am already thinking about the fall and some of the veggies I am planning on planting in the front to fill in the spaces left by the summer crops. I have both Tuscany Kale and Red Russian Kale planned as well as some beautiful red cabbage varieties.

Less Noise, More Green Edible Landscape Project, using vegetables in edible landscaping
This is the left side garden.
I also plan on reseeding the poppies that I planted too late this year. Apparently, sown in the fall, they come up in the spring. My other flower sown for their seeds - the sunflowers- were eaten by birds as soon as they popped through the soil. I have a second group happily growing indoors and will plant them out when the danger of instant death has passed!

Less Noise, More Green Edible Landscaping Project using vegetables in edible landscaping
Gardening is always a mixture of joy and frustration. So far this project has brought me moments of both. I'm hoping that in a month, with another four weeks of growth, this edible landscape will be on the way to fulfilling it's purpose and I will be harvesting and eating the fruits of my labors.

See you in the garden,


If you are interested in following the progress of this project, click on the front garden redo tag in the right hand column.

To see all the plants I have included so far in the project visit my Pinterest board "My Edible Landscaping Project".


  1. I'm enjoying seeing the progress on your edible landscape project. I love the idea of replacing lawn with edible plants. It looks great already but in a few weeks as it fills in it will really be beautiful...and productive! Keep the updates coming!

    1. Thanks, Andrea! I was looking at photos of the garden from just a few weeks ago and it has filled out a lot. It just doesn't seem like it when you are closely examining it every day!

  2. Fabulous idea; my front yard is the only space that gets 6 hours of good sun so I am looking at it to produce veggies this coming year. As veggies are getting too expensive to buy at the store I need a good plan B. Your gardening tip is a real inspiration.

    1. Charlie, I hope you try growing some veggies in your front yard. As The Beatles said, "follow the sun".

  3. Hey Sue- I'm one of this year's Master Gardener interns. I was at the RWP garden today volunteering and Sharon suggested that I check out your blog (I live in Edgewood and she said you do too). My husband and I are planning on digging up our front yard next year to plant more edibles so your pictures are inspiring! Would love to come see it in person sometime :)

    1. Hi Kate,
      You are welcome to stop by any time! Send your email to Sharon and ask her to forward it to me and we can get in touch.

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  5. Sue, Can I ask if you also grow garlic? I found it to be the most useful "food" in my garden. Numerous of healthy effects (real), even could be a working aphrodisiac if use wisely. That thing about the aphrodisiac could be maybe too much but I found on this link that is is working.

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  7. So beautiful. This is genius, imo. And landscaping should be edible!