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Ornamental edible gardens

 
Max Kennedy
Posts: 480
Location: Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
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My wife likes grass lawns, I hate them, especially since we really don't have use for it other than "it looks nice". I'd like to significantly reduce this wasted, gas guzzling space since the only thing I'm allowed to do with it right now is mow it. I'm in zone 2b, cold long winters, and want to plant perennials that can also contribute to our food base but look nice. Don't know if I'm asking the impossible but any help is welcome.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9414
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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This is an idea I'm 100% in favor of, I think we can make our front or other "public" gardens also food gardens.

For your zone you'll probably have most success with fruiting shrubs such as currants. Here's a listing of perennial vegetables for cold areas: http://perennialvegetables.org/perennial-vegetables-for-each-climate-type/extreme-cold/

For many ideas look into "Edible Landscaping"

http://www.rosalindcreasy.com/

http://www.edible-landscape-design.com/
 
Max Kennedy
Posts: 480
Location: Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
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Thanks for the links. Some of the edible flowers look good, didn't know you could eat day lilies, nasturtium (also a pest repellant which I did know, but it's more of an annual here). Many of the herbs would be good too. Though perennials are preferred I wonder about ornamental annuals, have seen some showy cabbages etc...
 
Case Smithey
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My wife also is very fond of the manicured and more ornamental look. Our compromise is that the front yard is hers and the back is mine. This year I added a long swale that I planted with some ornamentals. It has a few of the "black lace" elderberry bushes witch look really nice, very much like a japanese maple. I also planted lettuce all over the swale and it has turned out awesome. Not really a perennial, but it readily self seeds and looks great. I did about 4 different lettuce varieties ranging from dark red leaf lettuce to very light green stuff and it really works well from a visual/groundcover/tasty-treat standpoint.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
pollinator
Posts: 1422
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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I always thought that rhubarb was a beautiful plant. My mom lives up north in the Chicago area and has had a rhubarb patch in every house she has lived in. She surounds the base of the bed with pansies, which up there grow almost all summer.

That is not something that grows well - if at all here - but I'm going to keep trying.
 
Sherry Jansen
Posts: 59
Location: Southern MN
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It's really about finding balance. Pets, people and children need run space and we all need food.

I love the idea of permied food sources but I also like to walk there to get the food on something other than mud.

To get rid of the gas guzzling lawn is a great idea and we replaced our lawn with NoMowGrass and are happy to have it. Once we put it in, we used plugs to plant additional areas and it only needs work in areas away from the main building area once every few years.
 
No. No. No. No. Changed my mind. Wanna come down. To see this tiny ad:
2017 Permaculture Design Course and Appropriate Technology Course at Wheaton Labs
http://richsoil.com/pdc
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