Several years ago, we wanted to buy a honey extractor. I found a used one being advertised in the newspaper.
When I arrived to pick it up, I found the most beautifully landscaped yard. The owners were very happy to give me a tour and explain what was growing. What was so amazing was that this yard was edible.
What was even more amazing is the fact that their yard was a very traditional yard with a lawn. They had turned the "flower beds" into "vegetable beds". There were vegetable beds on all four sides of their home.
Their yard looked a lot like this picture:
Here are some of the plants that made their yard so beautiful:
Cabbage and Sweet Potatoes
What other vegetables would make a great edible yard?
Invasive plants are Earth's way of insisting we notice her medicines. Stephen Herrod Buhner
Everyone learns what works by learning what doesn't work. Stephen Herrod Buhner
I'm planning on using a lot of "ornamental" looking plants to turn our garden beds into more productive and useful beds.
Currently I have rosemary, lemon balm, day lilies, and catnip in our front beds. I'm planning on adding Lavender,
Bull's Blood beets, rainbow chard, perennial artemesia, some varieties of purple basil, society garlic and garlic chives, Roman Chamomile, bronze fennel, some lamb's ear (or a native plantain), curly parsley, mint, pineapple sage, sorrell (a couple different varieties), some sprouting broccoli, cabbages, and lettuce in the fall/winter, probably some amaranth....
Since the bed out front can be seen from the street (and is subject to HOA approval) I'm trying to plan for things with a high "ornamental" quality.
I Solemnly Swear I am NOT the crazy cat lady!
*but not for a lack of trying!
This is something I've been trying to implement in my own yard, as well as marketing them in our little home based nursery. Here's some of the things I've had good results with....
I bought some of the taro bulbs from the supermarket and planted them in the "elephant ear" bed, and they are just as pretty as the ornamental cultivars.
Cotton & okra plants are good substitutes for ornamental hibiscus.
Peppers, like tobasco and poinsettia, look nice in the autumn landscape when left unharvested. The various shades of green, yellow, orange and red peppers on the plants catch the eye. Sweet lemon & tangerine peppers aren't as colorful, but still look nice in the flower beds.
Dwarf curled kale and the multicolored chard are nice in fall/winter.
Bunching onions are a good filler, especially when in bloom.
The ornamental purslane has pretty flowers and tastes the same as the "wild" type.
Runner beans aren't as aggressive as trumpet vine or wisteria, yet they provide plenty of color.