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Old 03-13-2010, 11:55 AM
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Anyone here into Edible Lanscaping?


I'd love to hear about your experiences. I myself am currently waging war on grass and replacing it with comestibles, and when I lived in Northern Canada, I was heavily into edibles as ornamentals. My goal is not to have anything that I can't eat, extract perfume from, or use medicinally in my gardens.

How about y'all?
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Old 03-13-2010, 03:19 PM
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I have never been a purist about goals , because then I would have to control my impulses. I also live in a place that has bad wildlife problems and if I can eat it, so can they. Those Tiara wearing rats in high heeled shoes have a huge entitlement complex and they hang in the brush and laugh at me at night. Am I sounding paranoid? I find myself building a fortress to protect my edibles. I went out there and found my cactus that I planted for napales eaten down to the ground. My pungent herbs are out there unprotected. They seem to leave them alone, so I have lots of salvia and thyme and rosemary. I am experimenting with epazote this year. I was thinking about trying Strawberry Guavas, olive tree, Fig tree. They are on my list of to do's this spring. I have 17 acres so I don't have to make a choice between having all edibles. It would be a impossible conversion given the quality of my soil and the amount of irrigation I would have to do.

Last edited by marasri; 03-13-2010 at 03:22 PM..
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:20 AM
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I have edible landscaping on my backyard. Since I have limited space, I replaces the grass with garlic chieves and other chieves and stepping stones. I have my fruit trees (green gage plums,pluot, donut peaches, jujube li, various pitayas, longan, 3 in 1 apple and rose/water apple) in the middle. Then, underneath them, I added more soil and plant my peppers, onions, garlic, leeks.
On both side of my yard, I have 2-3 ft x50 ft where I have my Keiffer lime, mexican lime, strawberry guava, kumquat, 7 different kinds of banana. I also planted various hot peppers on one side and sweet on another. Then I plant all the creeping up vegetables (cucumbers,yard long beans, pole beans, etc). I also planted eggplants and tomatoes. To avoid weeds, I planted yam ,sweet potatoes and water melon.
If you have a limited space, the key to is to plant (annual vege) the tallest plant height first (tomatoes, cucumbers, pole beans, etc), then move on to the not so high one and lastly the one underground (yam, watermelon, etc).
Also, never plant a cucumber plant next to a hot/medium hot pepper plant. Once, I end up with hot cucumber that is barely edible. Yuk.
On my front yard, I have malunggay and keiffer lime tree. On the side, I put lemon grass and laura nobilis. My front porch is full of galanga because their flowers are beautiful and smell like jasmine when they bloom . I also have edible flowers in the front yard, though I am not sure what their names are.
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:48 AM
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I dearly love to graze my way around the yard on my morning strolls. I definately believe that for all the work I contribute to the yard, that it should give me something back to eat. Most of the summer, something is in season here. I love the peaches best, no, maybe the blueberry bushes, or could it be the strawberry patch? I have all those and trees of pears, apples, pecans, figs, plums, bananas, lime, lemons, oranges that always freeze, thornless blackberry bushes and a vegetable garden. Life is good in the country.
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:21 AM
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Currently we have several plum, blueberry, cherry trees and cherry bushes. We add more of different fruits every year and this year will be adding different peach trees among others. Many herbs and alpine strawberry plants. The leaves make a healthy tea! The chamomile has a wonderful sweet fragrance that should spread more this year and hope it will take over more of the grass. Then this late spring and summer will bring out the banana, citrus, cocoa, avacodo and dragon fruit cactus to add to landscape. Had to let my olive tree stay outside this last winter, just no room for it. Hope that it will still come back...I babied that thing for 8 years! But we did have a very mild winter here this year...first time in many years.
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:00 PM
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Lorax, What a lovely idea for a thread! I like the idea of edible gardening.... but for me, it would need to be highlights of edibles amongst the ornamentals.... I just love my gorgeous toxic flowers too much (brugmansias and clematis, etc.) (I can relate with you, Mara... love the idea but not too extreme).

Istanabunger... you have quite a garden! I'd love to see pictures. And it sounds like you have learned to maximize space and have a good system going.

BC, I would love to take a nice walk through your expansive garden some day!

Bluesky... wow, that's alot of different kinds of fruit. Are you almost always harvesting something for the table? Or does it all come at once?

I think it is just so neat to see a garden that throws in an edibles amongst the landscape plants. If done right, it's not only a yummy adventure to walk through the garden, but also such a beautiful sight.

Last edited by miamipanda; 03-15-2010 at 02:20 PM..
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:18 PM
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i love the idea of edibles mixed in w/flowers and the garden magazine i have says mixing them also promotes a healthy lanscape and guards against invasive plant and insect species. im planning on planting some flowering kale w/my flowers and mixing herbs w/my flower garden!! great thread lorax
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:21 PM
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If strawberries grew better here, I'd love to line a pathway with them, using them as a border plant! In the backyard I do grow tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, arugula, spinach, green beans, red onions, eggplant, strawberries (not very fruitful though). I also have some papaya trees and my mango tree. I also have a couple of patchouli plants.

I've thought about planting dill and other herbs in the butterfly garden, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

Last fall I bought five small Camellia sinensis plants, hoping to grow my own green tea. I am pushing the climate zone a bit, though. I've planted them in partial shade, hoping that will protect them from our sun and intense heat in the summers. But they still have yet to really take off and grow, it's still too early to tell if they will do well here. I also bought some hibiscus sabdariffa seeds that make a great deep red rich tea... either cold or hot. I am just waiting for the soil to be a constant 75 degrees to plant. I also got some Lion's Tail seeds in an exchange. It's leaves are suppose to make a great tea that has a pretty strong sedative effect
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:28 PM
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Hi Maimipanda, The fruits come all different times. The cherry bush is a late summer fruiting but the dang bunnies got to it before I could do anything to help it but now it is caged in until it can get it larger again. The alpine strawberry plants bear fruit all spring summer and fall. Two different kinds of plums..i think it's mid summer but not sure. Also have a fig tree that is inside and bearing 6 fruits right now, this bears fruit several times a year. Have a friend that gets cuttings of passion fruit vines often and will try that this year to replace the grapes we were growing but a....not very nice person kept wacking it down with a weeder. That person has finally moved on.
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:50 PM
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MP, you'll notice that I did say that I'm aiming for things I can eat and also things I can use in perfumery and medicinally... I wouldn't eat them, but neither would I give up my species Brugs for anything, nor would I stop growing Hildegaard's roses or Jasmine or Pride of Madeira! However, those plants all do have places in the simples gardens and the perfume patch.

Camellia is a really slow grower even in its native zones, so I wouldn't worry too much about it being slow for you. The fact that it's surviving and growing is a great sign!

In my front yard, I've got five varieties of claudias (similar to plums), a durazno (peachpricot), a dwarf red pear, a tea tree, three limes, a striped lemon, the brugs, and a buttload of irises. I may put in some of the larger squashes as well, to hold moisture at ground level.

In the back, I'm still planning it, but it will have: three cultivars of banana, tomatoes, tomate de arbol, naranjilla, three varieties of passionflower, hops, multiple types of lettuce, squash, sweet corn, bush beans, nopales, yellow pitahaya, and the herb garden. I'm also going to try replacing my grass with low-growing chamomile of some sort. If I've still got space once all of that goes in, I'll look at a smaller timber bamboo.
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Old 03-15-2010, 04:56 PM
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How do brugmansias do for you in your desert conditions? I know that many are native to South America, but I've always imagined them in the tropical humid regions.

I didn't know that they made perfumes from brugs..... aren't most of the toxic plants harmful even to the skin? I was thinking you meant predominantly fragrant herbals like lavender, patchouli, etc.

It sounds like your garden is coming along. I just love planning a new garden area!!
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:09 PM
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Brugs do gloriously for me - B. sanguinea is actually native to the dry scrubland a bit north of me! There is a higher species density in the higher-altitude cloud forests, but they can and do grow in the altitude deserts. Most households keep at least one tree, as it's important in folk medicine here. It's tradition to place a freshly opened blossom in the crib with a restive baby - it knocks 'em out but good and is also though to strengthen their constitutions.

Here's my B. sanguinea x carchiensis in full blossom; it's a lovely tree. B. alba, though is much more fragrant. The plant on the right is true B. sanguinea in a friend's garden even further up the Andes than I am.


I've used Brug essence prepared via enfleurage in soaps and perfumed pomades without any ill effects or irritation whatsoever. The absolute essence is medicinal - it's a fairly powerful inhaled soporific. I personally would never use it with babies - passionflowers, especially Granadilla flowers, are less dangerous but with similar effect. However, it knocks adult insomniacs flat on their tushies and generally gives them about 5 hours of good, restful sleep.
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:19 PM
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How do you make your Brug essence?
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:57 PM
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Beth, this is extremely interesting. I always see 'warnings' about brugs and other plants being extremely toxic.... and to see a useful essence come from them is so neat to hear.

Thanks for sharing this info.
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:00 PM
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Mara, I use a technique called Enfleurage, which is basically the extraction of the essence into fat of some sort. I'll post a thread detailing how exactly to do this, tomorrow.
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