The edible landscape concept is a scorching hot trend not just for the culinary artist in the kitchen, but for the Monet-like designer gardening outdoors. Brie Arthur a rock star horticulturist and friend, has recently written a book titled “The Foodscape Revolution.” You can put her tips and techniques in place immediately or get prepared for spring.
In Columbus Ga., this concept gets applied to mixed containers at the finest shopping centers and in high profile entrances to neighborhoods and upscale apartment complexes. If you are thinking I am just talking kale and cabbage, I am not, although they are certainly high on the list. There are a lot more edible beauties just sitting outside these favorite boutiques.
You are likely to see collards with pansies, Swiss chard or Red Giant mustard with snapdragons, violas with red leaf lettuce and architecturally wonderful plants like cardoon and dinosaur kale. Such is the wonder and fun once you too, start growing cool-season vegetables.
All of these cool-season vegetables love those light and fluffy soil mixes you find in mixed containers. In the landscape, they will thrive as well as long as you have good fertile well-drained soil and plenty of sun to allow them to really perform up to your expectations
The Garden Guy was raised in the south, and when it comes to eating, the thought of fried catfish, cornbread and a heaping pile of mustard greens, collards, or swiss chard cooked like spinach, will trump landscape beauty on many occasions.
Those of in zones 7-10 have a lot of edible landscape opportunities before spring planting. Those in colder zones should try these in window sill type crops. Visit your favorite garden center this weekend. You’ll find plants that will allow you to dress up the landscape before the holidays while creating some incredible, combinations with edibles.
Norman Winter, horticulturist, garden speaker and author of, “Tough-as-Nails Flowers for the South” and “Captivating Combinations: Color and Style in the Garden.” Follow him on Facebook @NormanWinterTheGardenGuy.