Serving up veggies in all of our products!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Inspirational Gardens: Edible Landscaping

We love eating fresh and healthy and what better way to do that than to eat locally grown? How about as local as your backyard or even your living room? We love the idea of edible landscaping, planting fruit and vegetable trees and plants in any space where a purely decorative plant would typically be used. Here are a few favorites we've come across:

Living Apple Tree Fence
Kendall Jackson Winery in Sonoma County, CA has a fabulous English garden. Among the highlights is a remarkable fence composed of several dozen living apple trees. The trees were trained/trellised/manipulated so that their trunks grew perfectly straight up and their branches straight out (parellell to the ground) while in a single plane. Now, after at least a decade, this living, breathing fence is a bold and clever statement, amazingly and intriguingly functional, and makes for incredibly easy harvesting. (The apples grow in a tidy row along the straightened branches). What a conversation piece. And talk about sustainable!

(photo from University of Missouri: find directions on how to construct your own apple tree fence on their site:

Another memorable part of their garden was the wine sensory-themed gardens. Here, the aromas commonly found in specific wines are grouped together for an interactive wine tasting + garden tour experience. Gardens can be beautiful, and tasty!

(from Kendall Jackson's website:

Four Cherry Trees in One
A professor of mine in college had a cherry tree in his backyard from the Pomology department (study of fruit trees). This was no ordinary cherry tree; it produced four completely different types of cherries all on one tree. The types of cherries were selected so that one made fruit early in the season, another made fruit late in the season, another type made cherries that were great for making pies and jam, etc. Instead of have an overabundance of one kind of cherry packed into 2 weeks time, his tree yielded various kinds of cherries spread over the course of more than 2 months!

How did the students create this special tree? They used a hundred-year old technique called grafting where a branch of one tree or vine is attached to (and becomes part of) another species of tree or vine. Think of it as an organ donation for plants. Like organ donation in humans, the donor and recipient must have a similar genetic make up for the procedure to be successful; grafting a branch from one cherry tree with another cherry tree would have a higher success rate than grafting a branch of a cherry tree onto a banana tree.

If you have room in your backyard for a single tree, why not plant one that makes not one but many varieties of fruit for you and your family to eat?

The White House Organic Garden
The White House Organic Garden is a prime example of edible landscaping that we love. What hasn't already been said about the fantastic example the First Lady is setting for families across the country.

(photo from the The Baltimore Sun)

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