June 23, 2015
Foodscaping is not a word you hear every day. It’s the practice of incorporating edibles into your decorative landscaping—and we’re not just talking for the deer. The concept harkens back to the early 1980’s, but has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years thanks to a downturn in the economy and growing trends of farm-to-table and urban farming.
Unlike traditional planters, foodscaping is more about creating an integrated landscape plan that is productive, low-maintenance, beautiful and delicious to boot. Edible landscapes pioneer Rosalind Creasy defines foodscaping as the “practical integration of food plants within an ornamental or decorative setting to bring a greater variety of textures, forms and color into your landscape.”
The Ohio State University Extension Office offers some tips:
• Beginners can start with herbs since they blend well with flowering plants and are generally hearty growers. Best of all, they bring really vibrant flavor. The fact that fresh herbs are among the more expensive ingredients at the market means a quicker payback on your time.
• Tuck in lettuce, radishes and other short-lived greens in a flowering bed. Edge your beds with lettuce varieties featuring deep reds and purples.
• Brightly colored vegetables look great interspersed with flowers. Or consider sweet peppers or berry bushes as a backdrop to perennials.
• Low-growing, spreading alpine strawberries are an attractive and tasty way to cover sunny spots, while cherry tomatoes are well suited for a window box or hanging basket.
• Plant vegetables with looks in mind. Alternate colors and species in decorative blocks and patterns instead of rows.