Saturday, November 20, 2010

Review: Edible Landsaping

Wow.  Just wow.  I think Rosalind Creasy might just be my idol in the way that Taylor Swift is to 12-year olds.

By my estimation, Edible Landscaping might just be the perfect vegetable garden book.  Not only does it go into the basic mechanics of edible gardens-- light, soil, nutrients, required growing conditions for plants, etc.-- but it also goes into the complex (and fun!) world of garden design.  With case studies on how real home owners planned their gardens (one is from Arlington, too!), descriptions of basic design principles to keep in mind and lots of gorgeous pictures for inspiration, this book really takes you from A-to-Z. 

Now, you maybe thinking: "Um, I have a vegetable garden, not an edible landscape."  And, to that I say: "Why do vegetable gardens have to be ugly?" Incorporating flowers to attract pollinators and beneficial insects is not only pretty, but practical.  And, putting a little extra thought into the arrangement of your planting (like, maybe instead of rows of lettuce,  maybe a checkerboard pattern), you can get some lovely results.

Furthermore, why does food have to be limited to the *vegetable* garden?  In Arlington with our tiny lots, sometimes your front yard is what is blessed with sun.  I have been working to make my front yard more productive already, but Edible Landscapes has given that new energy.  I had been thinking about maybe a Wisteria frutescens to grow by my door, but now I'm leaning towards a grape vine.  How amazing would that be?!  We'd have grapes (either eating ones or ones to make juice/jam) and grape leaves!  In the winter, the gnarled bark of the grape vines is striking too and perfectly front yard appropriate.  I'm also going to tuck in some anise hyssop (an herb) into my cottage-garden style front plantings.  She's also got some lovely ideas on how to use groups of pots to grow food which I think I'm going to try to incorporate in our vegetable garden area (which is being finished today!). 

She's also written books specifically on edible flower gardening and edible herb gardening that go into more detail on those topics.  I can't wait to get my grubby little hands on those.

1 comment:

  1. You just solved a Christmas giving dilemma in my house! Thanks.