The Garden of Eat'n
In 2003 I bought my house with ½ acre of land and quickly launched an ongoing project of re-landscaping my yard with all edibles. My neighbors were alarmed when I dug up my front yard and began making dramatic changes. One neighbor came over to ask me what I was doing and after hearing that I was re-landscaping with edibles, got a worried look on her face and replied that “Flowers are pretty too.” I fear she may have been worried that I was going to plant ugly rows of corn or some other vegetable crop that would have lowered their property value.
Unbeknownst by my neighbor, I follow a pretty stringent plan of combining aesthetics with low maintenance, all with the premise of using only plants that contact at least one edible component. In my yard, if it is not edible, it is a weed. I’ve held to this with the exception of limited patches of grass and trees that border my neighbor’s yard.
Initially, I hired a professional “edible landscaper” to assist me in developing a plan, but was really discouraged to find her unwilling to listen to my request of using only edibles in the design. She insisted it was impossible to do. I determined to prove her wrong.
Years later, the result has been a colorful and beautiful array of flowers, shrubs, and trees that are wonderful throughout our seasons, all the while being able to be enjoyed not only by sight but also taste and smell.
I now have over 20 fruit trees, dozens of different kinds of berry bushes, a wide variety of edible flowers, herbs, and much more.
I believe my front yard showcases how attractive an edible landscape can be. In my yard, spring is welcomed with trees full of blossoms, colorful rhubarb jumping to life, and an array of new growth replacing the dormancy of winter. Summer is enjoyed with blossoms of Echinacea, Bachelor buttons, Roses, Chive blossoms, Calendula, red and blond strawberries, and much more. Fall is full of the color and smell of ripening fruit and berries, such as my carefree Asian pear trees and Blueberries. Winter is definitely not a barren and ugly time in my yard, with all the beautiful evergreens that are there throughout the year, such as my Evergreen Blueberry hedge, Spanish Olive, Pineapple Guava, Strawberry trees, and more.