The reality is I love food. More importantly, I love local food or food that I grow myself. In the last ten years, I have heavily researched landscaping ideas for personal use. I have moved four times and opened a garden centre; all five locations required a landscaping plan of some sort and brand new beds or landscaped areas and my love of homegrown food.
I have never been fortunate enough to move into a already designed and gorgeously landscaped home that requires little maintenance…what a dream that would have been. Instead, I have sat and stared at a blank canvas and tried to create a work of art. Landscaping can be tough for some of us as we (I) feel the end result should just instantly look perfect and have a hard time envisioning a space that will grow to be amazing in a few years. I will admit that I have rushed a few times and toiled with the instant gratification of a gorgeous space only to discover a few years later a jungle that is so compact that selling my house and running away seems like the best option.
My current landscape idea and solution to all of the above problems is to fill void spaces with annuals. Not pansies and petunias -- all are beautiful -- but they don't provide a solution to my desire for food. I mean lettuce and strawberries and herbs, etc. I plant blueberry bushes next to my Rhodos and stuff strawberry vines in my floral hanging baskets. Lettuce plants will grow in any void space of the yard that has full sun and kale plants look gorgeous next to deep colored flowers.
Landscaping with edible and non-edible herbs bring beautiful textures and calming aroma to any space. I love a well-stocked kitchen window planter full of herbs, easily accessible at all times. Another landscaping idea is to add a few neutral colored pots of various heights or sizes in spots that you are waiting to fill in. Fill these pots or old wheel barrels or anything you can find (I love old tin farm tubs) with annuals or vegetables. I have a long narrow bed that runs the length of my driveway; it is filled with Rhodos and deciduous trees. These Rhodos need a few more years to really fill in so every year I pack in 6 to 10 pumpkin and squash plants to fill the bed with their lovely green foliage. Our family loves the food we get from those plants and the chickens love the leftovers.
While this is my solution to filling in a bare landscape, I will caution that it all hinges on one condition: the soil. I would not recommend this landscaping idea if you are currently using improperly composted products, sewer sludge or any chemical fertilizers in your beds. My beds are topped up with only OMRI listed SEA SOIL. I landscape with this product so I know my kids and pets are safe as well as any food I grow in it.
One final tip: while landscaping, use the slope of your property and the natural rocks and plant what will grow in your climate. Take into account areas that get full sun and shade to avoid disappointment. Good luck and happy eating -- I mean landscaping.
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