Edible Landscaping – Combine Form and Function

Sometimes it seems that we spend an awful long time in our garden, all for show. When we do plant edible vegetables and fruit, we often shove them into the backyard, out of sight.  With yard sizes getting smaller and with the more folks moving towards raising their own produce and canning it, we’re trying to find more and more space to plant.

Because of this, using edibles as landscaping has been making a comeback. First popularized over four decades ago, we are beginning to see more edibles making their way into front gardens, window boxes, and even used to decorate hardscaping. The key to edible landscaping is picking out the right plants that can accent your existing landscaping – a lot of it is trial and error. So what are some quick and easy ways to get a start with edible landscaping?


While it may take a bit of time, planting trees such as apple, pear, crabapple, and walnut trees can provide food on a recurring basis, as well as providing shade for relaxing under during the summer. These can be difficult, given the length of time they may take from planting to bearing fruit or nuts and the amount of space they can take up. This means they might not be a great idea for an urban homeowner. But for a suburban or rural homeowner with plenty of room, the bursts of color can be a welcome addition. Best of all, once planted, these hardy trees require little in the way of regular care.


Using vines to highlight and decorate trellises, fences, and railing can provide bursts of color. Grapes, some hardy berries, even hardy varieties of kiwi can live and bear fruit in the cooler climate zones of the northern states. A great option, especially for these who brew their own beer, is hops – just make sure to keep them out of reach of dogs and cats, as they can be deadly to pets. A great solution for this is a high, arched trellis with the vines weaved through, providing decoration and flavoring for your next batch of home brew.


Using small plants, particularly herbs and colorful berry plants, you can create an effective, low-lying border around gardens and hardscaping that’s also useful. Strawberries are great, but have a tendency to spread and take over a garden – make sure you get the alpine strawberry types, as they don’t produce runners. Herbs such as basil and thyme will keep low and not spread, making them good to place along borders or in window boxes. An added plus is that basil also repels flies and mosquitoes, perfect for planting around areas where people will be sitting.

Garden Plants

For the body of the garden, to mix in amongst flowers and bushes, plant annual vegetables tat provide a variety of colors. Tomato, cherry tomato, and pepper plants are all very popular – when they produce vegetables, the reds, oranges, and yellows are great for bringing color to a late-summer garden. Lettuce also flourishes as part of the garden, meaning that it’s not all that difficult to grow a nice little salad next to your front stoop.

So get to work making your front garden not only look good, but work for you as well. It might take a few months, but you’ll reap the rewards come the end of the season.

About AndrewT

Written by Andrew T for LawnEq - The specialists for Lawn Mower Parts and Small Engine Parts. We offer genuine premium OEM parts for Land Pride, Toro and many more dependable brands.