Edible landscaping is an exciting way to have your landscape pull double duty for you. By including edible plants among your ornamentals you have an opportunity to grow a landscape that’s good enough to eat. You’ll have healthy food, save on your grocery bill, and support sustainable gardening practices.
From a historical perspective, edible landscaping is not new. In fact, some garden styles that we recognize from European landscapes were initially designed for food production. Large park-like lawns were actually communal livestock grazing areas, and borders of tightly clipped hedges encircling planting beds were designed to keep out small farm animals. Over time, the food production aspect of these gardens was replaced with ornamentals, and mowing equipment replaced grazing cattle and sheep.
While the concept of edible landscaping is not new, modern gardening practices based on University of California science-based research and information can make it easier for the home gardener to have a productive and beautiful edible landscape. The process of creating an edible landscape is the same as creating one with purely ornamental features. But by substituting fruits, vegetables, and herbs, where appropriate, for lawn, annuals and perennials, shrubs, and trees, the result is much more functional and sustainable, and good tasting too.