We thought it would most definitely be useful to give you all a little insight into the world of “Edible Landscaping” and what it actually means. And luckily we have Garden Chefs to explain just that to us! Sometimes called “Foodscaping”, this phenomenon is bound to get you on the green train by using your garden to not only loo pretty, but to feed yourself too! Read on to find out more.
What is edible landscaping?
Edible landscaping is way of designing your garden so that it is not only beautiful, but also becomes productive. Beyond just producing vegetables and salad greens, the gardens we design provide culinary and medicinal herbs, fruit from vines and trees, habitat for lizards, frogs, birds and insects and an intrinsic connection to our natural surroundings. They are places of relaxation and wonder, where we can admire incredible wildlife from butterflies to birds, and of course; the delicious tastes and enchanting fragrances.
What are the various benefits of designing your garden this way?
The benefits are that your garden produces food! When we design a garden to grow food organically, many positive changes follow on from this process. We aim to design gardens that are self-regulating, in that they take care of the majority of their needs themselves i.e. shade provision, nutrient availability, mulching, pest control and the creation of microclimates. When designed in such a way, gardens will generally be lower maintenance, biotic life and soil health increases, species diversity increases, we increase the habitats available to frogs, lizards, insects and birds and move toward a system that mimics the balance inherent in nature.
Apart from planting the right the plants, what are some other things that you can do in your garden or add to your garden to make it more self sustaining/lessen your carbon footprint?
There are a whole host of elements that can be added to a garden design / sustainable household to create a system that is wholly sustainable. Returning your kitchen and garden waste as nutrient-laden compost can help to keep your garden healthy through the seasons. We do this through a bokashi system (abiotic decomposition – food fermentation), the ever-popular worm farm and one or two compost heaps. These items help you to return fertility to your garden and reduce the amount of waste your household produces.
Other garden features that can help contribute to sustainability include switching over to a water-wise irrigation system such as drip line irrigation, feeding off a water tank that captures water off of your roof, introducing wildlife to your garden by adding habitats for insects, lizards, predatory wasps and frogs, local birds, owls and how about a beehive?
Honestly though, one of the simplest and most effective ways of improving soil health is through a process of mulching. Mulch is described as an inorganic or organic soil cover that acts as a blanket on top of the soil, reducing evaporation, providing a home to soil biota and moderating the temperature around plant roots. Organic mulches (such as leaves, compost, bark chips, nuts shells etc.) break down over time and add nutrients to the soil as they do this.
So we hope you understand a little better what edible landscaping before we dive headfirst into showing you how you can plan, plant and maintain your own garden.