Having your own garden can be a great way to battle food-price inflation while still providing healthy meals for your family. However, if you have limited space for a garden, you can supplement your harvest with edible landscaping. If you have even a small yard, and local regulations allow it, it is possible to use beautiful as well as edible plants as part of your landscaping. You might be surprised at how many beautiful plants can also provide you with food.
Ground Cover, Vines and Beautiful Flowers
There are plenty of herbs that offer beautiful blooms as well as ground cover. Consider using rosemary (a favorite in our front yard), lavender and chives for their attractive flowers. Beans and peas can provide pretty vines, dotted with flowers, in late spring and early summer. And, of course, the vines remain. My neighbors grow grapes, even in our mountain region. If you want ground cover, creeping thyme, chamomile and alpine strawberries (we use this) are also great choices. And, naturally, if you use sunflower seeds, sunflowers can be a stunning addition to your yard.
Berry bushes are a great solution if you are landscaping for privacy as well as for eating. My family makes use of raspberries and blackberries in our landscaping. You can also use highbush blueberries and goji berries to create a privacy barrier. Interestingly, rose hips — which are left behind after a rose bloom has died — are edible, and make great teas. You can also use them for flavoring in soups and breads, and they can be made into jelly. Harvest them after the first frost for best effect. Make sure you remove the irritating hairs that form on them.
You might not think it, but there are some vegetables that look quite lovely and distinctive as shrubs. Eggplant, pepper plants, okra and even some varieties of lettuce can make attractive ornamental plants. If you live in a drier climate and are interested in xeriscaping, you can use prickly pear cactus as part of your landscape plan. Prickly pear can be prepared and eaten for a bit of an exotic addition to your dinner table.
Make a Salad
You can grow pansy, borage, spinach, and other herbs and plants for use in salad. You can even use dandelion leaves in your salad (although most people don’t encourage the growth of these weeds as part of the landscaping!).
With what you grow in a garden, or what you landscape with, it can be easy to put together a tasty, healthy dish or two for dinner while saving money at the grocery store.
Photo: Mario Spann, Creative Commons 2.0
Miranda Marquit is a journalistically trained freelance writer and professional blogger. She contributes to several personal finance web sites, writing on topics such as budgeting, home loans and mortgages, and investing. Views by guest bloggers do not necessarily reflect those of LendingTree.
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