Ages and ages ago I was randomly a judge for a grilled cheese contest at a home show here in Salt Lake (SO random, right?!). While browsing around the stalls, in between stuffing my face with delicious sandwiches, I met the authors of this book. I'm pretty sure it could totally transform the way we garden.
I do love beautiful plants, but if a plant can be beautiful AND produce something tasty, I love it even more. We have a really tiny yard. I like that the authors give all sorts of options from huge gardens down to container gardening and tiny greenhouses. We manage to get quite a bit out of our little space: front yard veggie garden, little herb garden in the strip between driveway and walkway, two peach trees, a mushroom patch we just started... We used to have apple and cherry trees in the back yard, but they didn't get enough sun and the grape vines didn't get enough water to get well-established (my fault). So, I'm thinking about trying a few of the recommendations in this book to add a few easy-to-care-for edibles to the back yard. Maybe some sunflowers and squashes for along the back fence. And Clay and I have been seriously considering a dwarf kumquat tree!
Do you plant lots of pretty, but inedible stuff, or mostly the eating kinds of plants? I had an art teacher when I was young and she had the most magical yard. Her home was situated in the trees and there was no grassy lawn, but every inch was cultivated in some way. She had mossy glens with shade-loving blooms, mini-fields of forget-me-nots, water plants, trellises with climbing flowers... Maybe someday when I'm retired I'll take up "pretty gardening."
PS Speaking of incredible, edible landscapes, have you seen these awesome photographs by Carl Warner? Too fun! That's one of his pictures at top, and here are a couple more: