Think Edible Landscaping
Edible landscaping is one of the hottest trends today for anyone with enough space to grow a container of herbs. We don’t picture rows of corn growing in our front yards, but there are many ways to put edible elements into an existing landscape. Herbs are among the easiest and most cost-beneficial plants to introduce into your garden landscape. How often do we need parsley or cilantro only to find it didn’t last in our refrigerator? Imagine being able to take a step outside and bring in a fragrant, fresh handful of chives, mint, basil, parsley, cilantro or rosemary.
- Most herbs are easy to plant and small enough to try a variety. They grow well in San Diego throughout the year.
- Many herbs make great companion plants, and their edible flowers are attractive in arrangements and important to pollinators like bees. Good choices are basil, fennel and dill flowers with English or variegated thyme flower branches spilling over the edge of your vase. Fennel is a host and nectar/food source for monarch butterflies.
- Perennial (evergreen) herbs commonly have strong, woody stems and can be very low in water use. ‘Goodwin Creek’ lavender has great fragrance. ‘Tuscan Blue’ rosemary can be grown as a screening hedge up to 4 feet tall.
- Creeping thyme and mint make great groundcover, as do low-growing prostrate rosemary and oregano.
- Favorite annuals such as basils of all colors, parsley, cilantro, dill and chives are ideal for growing in containers, rockeries or walled areas.
- Perhaps not many things make a lovelier impromptu gift than a bunch of flowering herbs fresh from your garden in a pretty vase or even a jelly jar.
- Dried herbs for cooking and in sachets for scenting keep us thinking of our beautiful gardens all year long.
See if you can find edible landscaping details at gardens you tour on La Jolla Historical Society’s 15th annual Secret Garden Tour of La Jolla, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 18. The event features six gardens, enhanced with artists, musicians and table displays by top designers. Tickets are $50 for the self-guided tour and $150 for the platinum tour, which includes brunch at Estancia Hotel & Spa, shuttle transportation to the gardens and a bonus garden. A Garden Boutique will be open to all at Wisteria Cottage, 780 Prospect St., La Jolla. For tickets and information, call 858-459-5335 or visit lajollahistory.org.
Laura Starr, Master Gardener