It used to be that vegetable gardens were for vegetables and flower gardens were for flowers.
Mixing edible and ornamental plants is a growing trend in landscape design. Emily Tepe introduces readers to the concept in The Edible Landscape: Creating a Beautiful and Bountiful Garden With Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers.
Tepe, a fruit researcher and artist, combines her talents to help readers create gardens that are both attractive and practical. She notes the mutual benefits of edible and ornamental plants: The edibles add color, texture and form to a landscape, while the ornamentals attract beneficial insects, provide winter interest and supply the plant diversity that helps keep insects and diseases in check.
Thankfully for Ohio readers, she focuses largely on plants that can be grown in the cooler Northern states.
While the book doesn’t claim to be a complete gardening guide, it does have basic information on such topics as seed-starting, light requirements and crop rotation. Tepe also offers several layouts for edible-landscape gardens and provides lists of her favorite plants for various purposes.
The Edible Landscape is published by Voyageur Press and sells for $24.99 in softcover.
— Mary Beth Breckenridge