Frances Wright once said “The knowledge of one generation is the ignorance of the next”. This quote greatly applies to gardening also. The trend of vegetable gardening that began with the elite gardening ideas like kitchen gardens, home gardens . Although a lot of landscape architects have now started realizing the importance of foodscaping or edible landscape. The best part about edible lanscape that anyone can grow food . The edible plants do not always have to be grown in the kitchen only; A landscape garden can be a pretty great planting area too and also you can grow food in your balcony. Balcony kitchen garden saves your money and makes you healthier and happy.
Foodscaping or Edible landscape is the hottest trend right now as it not only focuses on farming but landscaping too. Diane Blazek, an executive director of All-America Selections which field tests plants for garden performance states that we don’t need a lot of space for edible landscaping because plant breeders have developed more compact edibles that can thrive in small spaces and containers without sacrificing taste and yield. This is great news for those who are looking for vegetable gardening or Edible landscape ideas so they can spice up their Balcony gardens. Some of these ideas include:
Edible Landscape Ideas
- Use leafy vegetable seeds– it’s better to sow leafy vegetable seeds as they grow faster instead of using a lawn or a ground cover. For instance, seeds of mustard and fenugreek can be used.
- Plant flowering vegetables– these kind of flowering vegetables can be planted in bunches for a beautiful landscape design. For instance, blooming groups of okra, maize and sugarcane can be used.
- Cruciferous plants– these cruciferous head forming plants can be planted in an open landscape, containers or ornamental pots. For instance, cabbage and cauliflowers can add a beautiful colour to your foodscape.
- Medicinal plants– such plants deserve their own garden patch as they are the most useful plants a person can grow. For instance, tulsi, aloe-vera, lemongrass and asparagus can be grown which not only will act as a medical aid but will also add to the attractiveness.
- Growing herbs– where there are medicinal plants there will always be herbs. Herbs can be used for garnishing, aroma and for attractiveness. For instance, thyme, basil, rosemary, fennel and chives can be grown.
- Use local materials– Wooden chips, sand stones,etc .. can be used for the decoration of edible landscape.
Anne Marie O’ Phelan reinforced the practice of edible landscaping by stating “instead of just planting shrubs, trees, vines, grasses and ground covers, foodscaping involves adding edible plants that add interest, colour, texture and, of course, taste.” What could be better than mixing up of beauty and utility? Our grandparents weren’t wrong to tuck a tomato plant or a row of beans whenever they could because they knew it wasn’t enough to be “just pretty” from outside. The end goal might be to make your garden look aesthetically pleasing but that in no way should defeat the importance of growing useful plants like:
- Peppers- these are a good choice for those who are always short on space. They can easily grow even in the containers and requires consistent yet moderate watering all throughout the season. Some of the peppers that anyone can opt for are bright-orange red peppers called Tangerine Dream, a sweet-tasting pepper called Mad Hatter and lastly a sweet Italian frying pepper with a yellow fruit called Cornito Giallo.
- Eggplant– newer varieties of eggplant lack thorns and are of compact size so they can fit in containers too. This makes them easier to harvest but make sure to wait until the temperature is really high before you plant them. Some of the eggplants to opt for are Fairytale- a compact plant that yields tender eggplants, Patio Baby- a compact plant that yields purple-black fruit and Rosa Bianca- an Italian variety that grows best in warm climate.
- Berries– these are pricey fruits and are not available in the market for too long. Hence, they are best to grow yourself. Moreover, berry bushes are great for border planting and barrier hedge. They are of compact shape and can also be grown in decorative plants. Some berries to opt for are dwarf, thorn-less blackberries called Baby Cakes, Shortcake and Delizz Strawberry.
- Beans- it’s advisable to sow them right into the planting beds or containers. Beans are the most prolific veggies to grow and can be trained up a decorative trellis or tower. Some varieties of beans to opt for are Mascotte- a compact bush bean that grows well in containers .
- Tomatoes– nothing compares to eating a warm tangy tomato on a summer afternoon. There are varying kinds of tomatoes to grow that can suit your taste buds. However, it’s important to make sure that you place them at a distance as the mature tomato vines can become huge. One can opt for growing Patio Choice- yellow coloured cherry type tomatoes and Cherokee Purple which is rich, sweet tasting tomato.
A lot of times, people behave stereotypically when it comes to vegetable gardens. Nevertheless, this complaint seems worthless because foodscaping in other terms means using your yard’s space to its full potential. You can’t ever go wrong when it comes to raising something fresh and healthy . Grow in a way that introduces more biological diversity. Plant and then stand back and let it grow.”