Saving money, helping the environment, plus making your Maui home look great is all possible to be done together. Edible landscaping is a new-ish design concept that marries the tradition of planting fruits and vegetables for consumption with the design principals used for decorative gardening. No longer are your edible plants hidden in a back corner of your yard. Instead, they are strategically planted all over your property, not just for their eating value, but for their ornamental properties.
Rather than planting plants that only have aesthetic properties, you can plant items that will keep giving, in terms of looking great, but also tasting great once you pick them. Basically, it is a mixture of beauty with usefulness.
Good design is going to be the key to your success in your edible landscaping. Forget what you know about rows upon rows of plants in a traditional garden and add walkways and other features to break up the symmetry. You want to achieve strong, firm lines and structure, but also give a mixture of textures, forms and colors. With fruits and vegetables, it can be difficult to get a good balance, so you’ll want to consider a number of factors before planting your edible garden:
- Seasonal nature of the flowers, fruit, foliage including:
- What plants grow better when near each other
- What plants will take over your garden
- Which plants will be best for the border and which will be best in the background
- How each plant will tie the entire garden together
- How long each plant takes to mature
While the look of your design is important, the health of your plants is also an important factor. Each plant may need a different soil preparation and placement in the yard in terms of sun and drainage. Your design should account for the different needs of each plant, as a half-dead garden is less than appealing (and a waste of time and money).
Edibles you didn’t consider
Flowers can also be seen as edibles, if they are farmed organically. Roses, marigolds and violets are beautiful flowers for your garden, and also in vases, but can also be added to salads, ice creams and made into delicious recipes. A mixture of traditional produce and edible flowers can make for an amazing and well-sculpted garden.
How is an edible garden good for the environment?
Because the cost of energy and transportation to the island is so high, growing and importing food here comes at a high cost. If you are creating your own edible landscape, you could be feeding your family (and maybe others) by using only your energy and resources. You aren’t using these resources on something purely ornamental, but something that has definite benefits for everyone involved.
Be careful not to plant so much that your family can’t eat it all. If you do have an overabundance, you can always consider selling your goods at a farmer’s market or street-side, or donating it to a friend, neighbor or someone in need.