Edible Landscaping Tasty Additions


Edible Landscapes

Can’t you see yourself now, walking out your door to pick some strawberries from the edging along a bed of mixed spicy greens like arugula, Bright- Lights chard and homegrown spinach? And looking up to admire a vibrant peach tree loaded with the promise of a bountiful harvest of juicy sweet fruit. For people with small yards, edible landscapes are a great way to have a beautiful garden, and eat well too. The truth is that if you love good food, and you’ve got even a small plot and a little sun, you can grow and harvest better food than you can buy at the grocery store.


So where to begin?  

First, don’t be afraid of experimenting. Plants can easily be lifted and changed. It’s how we learn, and that’s what makes gardening fun and challenging. Start by making a list of all the fruits and veggies you love to eat. You’ll need to do a little research on what fruits and vegetables will grow well in your area, take some time to read out “Choosing Fruit Trees” to get ideas on how to determine how chill hours, pollination and best ways to extend your fresh fruit season. 

Apple BloomJust as with ornamental plantings, edible landscaping starts by thinking about size and shape of the plant, its light requirements, and the color and timing of the blooms. From there you can let your imagination run free. Start thinking about fruit trees as specimen plants in your beds, as you would use a crepe myrtle or a dogwood. Apples and pears are stunning when in bloom, with clouds of pink and white in early spring, as well as being extremely colorful when loaded with fruit. Persimmon trees are the show pieces of the fall garden; their brilliant bright orange fruit hang like Christmas ornaments on the tree well past leaf drop. If you’re a fan of fall foliage, persimmon trees are outstanding; cherry pink, burnt orange and clear yellow. Use your low growing vegetables and herbs in a free-form mass under the trees as ground cover, combining the colors and textures. Think of creepers and spillers like oregano, thyme and strawberries to soften pathway edges. Grapes, kiwi, tomatoes, cucumbers and peas work well on arbors and fences. Hedges are another great place for edibles; include some pineapple guava or kumquats for a colorful evergreen show.

Here’s some useful charts to help you determine what fruits to use where.

Fruitful Hedges come in all Sizes and Shapes

Tall Evergreen Screens:

  • Pineapple Guava
  • Loquat
  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Grapefruits

Deciduous Fruiting Hedges

  • Blueberry
  • Pomegranate
  • Goumi
  • Banana
  • Blackberry
  • Raspberry
  • Fig

Short Evergreen Screens:

  • Bay leaf
  • Rosemary
  • Kumquats
  • Limequats
  • Orangequats
  • Calamondin
  • Tea Camellia

Great Edible Groundcovers

  • Nasturtium, ·  Strawberry, ·  Squash & Pumpkins, ·  Peanuts, ·  Creeping Herbs oregano, thyme, mints


Spring Blooming Trees

  • Apple (White)
  • Peach (Pink)
  • Plum (White)
  • Pears (White)
  • Mayhaw (White)
  • Citrus (White)


Showy Summer Color

  • Pineapple Guava (Blooms)
  • Pomegranate (Blooms)
  • Apple (Fruit)
  • Pear (Fruit)
  • Plum (Fruit)
  • Mulberry (Fruit)
  • Blueberry(Fruit)
  • Blackberry (Fruit)

Winter Interest Trees

  • Fig
  • Weeping Persimmon
  • Weeping Mulberry
  • Jujube
  •  Citrus


Vines for Fences and Pergolas

  • Kiwi ·  Grapes ·  Boysenberry ·  Raspberry ·  Passion Vine Boysenberry ·  Snow Peas
  • Cucumbers ·  Pole Beans · 


Large Shade Trees

  • Chestnut
  • Pecan
  • Mulberry
  • Large Growing Persimmon
  • Jujube
  • Olives
  • Paw Paw
  • Pears
  • Jujube
  • Olives
  • Loquat

Outstanding Fall Color

    • Persimmon Leaves & Fruit)
    • Mulberry (Leaves)
    • Blueberries (Leaves)
    • Citrus (Fruit)
    • Papaya (Fruit)
    • Olives (Fruit)
    • Jujube (Fruit)
    • Kiwi (Fruit)
    • Paw Paw (Fruit)
    • Pomegranate (Fruit and Leaf)
    • Raspberry (Fruit and Leaf)

Fragrant Edibles

  • Citrus (Blooms)
  • Apples (Blooms)
  • Pears (Blooms)
  • Plums (Blooms)
  • Loquats (Blooms)
  • Mayhaw (Blooms)
  • Papaya (Blooms)
  • Peach (Blooms)
  • Rosemary (Leaves)
  • Mints (Leaves)
  • Lemon Verbena (Leaves)


Titan Blueberry in Fruit
Titan Blueberry

Plant among the existing flowers…

Working fruit and vegetables into your existing landscape is another possibility; if you need some shade in your yard, why not plant a pecan or mulberry tree? A trimming of frilly parsley can brighten up an existing flowerbed, as well as provide food for the monarch butterfly.  Blueberries make a wonderful communal hedge between your neighbor and yourself: it’s sure to foster a better relationship with them, as well as with the birds.

Edible Containers


If you’re small space gardener with only a little sun, or hard to work soil, why not create a potted garden? This is a lot of fun, and the possibilities are endless. Citrus trees adapt well to growing in pots, and many herbs, including thyme and oregano, look wonderful spilling over the edge of a pot. You can create theme pot gardens; try “Little Italy” with a Blood Orange, fennel or an eggplant as the center piece, and a mix of oregano, basil and parsley around the edges. Or how about an “Asian Delight” planter featuring a Yuzu lemon, Thai ginger or lemon grass as the center piece with baby Pac Choy and Red Mustard mixed on the edges.

Good Books…

There are great books on the subject; check out Rosalind Creasy’s, “Edible landscaping“, its chock full of great ideas.  Florida’s own Tom McCubbin wrote a great resource book for the Florida gardener called “The Edible Landscape” that’s a good reference guide for the more tropical fruit grower. If you are interested in Permaculture, one of the ultimate forms of edible landscaping read Michael Judds book Edible Landscaping with a Twist. 

Retail Sales Herb and Vegetable Benches Early Spring 2015Adding edible plants to your landscape can be fun and rewarding experience. Planting rosemary and bay leaf to your front flower beds is sure to spice up the neighborhood, and provide many tasty treasures for your table.    

Got a question on how to use fruit trees in your landscape? Drop us a comment in the form below. We’d love to help.

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