FoodscapingLeave a Comment
What I hear you cry is ‘Foodscaping’? Remember ‘The Good Life’ and Tom and Barbara’s back garden?.. Well that was foodscaping!
And it looks set to become as big a trend now as it was back then!
But this time… it’s a little different…
The trend this time around is to actually make your garden look good whilst still giving most of it over to edible plants.
So how do you do it?
It’s surprisingly easy – but you do need to do your homework before hand. Find out what varieties of edible food give a good display for longest. If you do a bit of research you’ll be amazed at what you can find.
Take Blueberries for example…
They are a great alternative to an ornamental shrub – and some varieties of Blueberry go the extra mile and have great autumn colour such as the amazing ‘Bluecrop’ thus prolonging your season of interest. One thing to note though – Blueberries like acidic soil but don’t worry if yours is neutral or alkaline as most do very well in containers filled with ericaceous compost – and some even prefer containers such as ‘Bluegold’. But do remember to water them with rain water only as tap water is far too alkaline for them. Also try going for at least two different varieties that fruit at different times as this will give you a longer harvest and they will also crop better when they have a friend or two.
Herbs such as Rosemary, Sage and Bay not only taste great but are evergreen which will give your garden winter interest as well as great tasting herbs all year. Bay (Laurus nobilis) can also be grown as topiary which will add another dimension.
In darker areas of the garden try Alpine strawberries, Blackberries, Spinach, Lettuce, Rhubarb and Mint – all do fine in semi shade.
Some new varieties of Blackcurrants and Gooseberries are grown as standards which means they look like a standard rose – a stem with a ball of foliage on the top – a great ornamental focal point!
And old garden favourites the strawberry and tomato now come in fantastic yielding hanging varieties – ideal for hanging baskets and window boxes.
Archways and pergolas can be draped in runner and belotti beans and even climbing squash varieties…
This is beautiful but a bit extreme – but even one variety grown up a simple rose arch looks amazing.
If you fancy some flowers amongst all these vegetables, you could try climbing Nasturtiums – so easy to grow – they look fantastic and taste great too! You could even have whole borders of edible flowers!
Just by having a look and getting acquainted with what’s out there, you can create a beautiful edible garden that doesn’t look like an allotment.
Obviously foodscaping isn’t for everyone – but the trend can be diluted and introduced in part to any garden… Back in the old days working class families used their gardens for ornamentals and edible produce, both growing side by side in the same beds. With a little planning and thought, this can look really beautiful and will create a look that is both old fashioned and yet really current… That doesn’t happen very often!