Do you entertain in your edible garden?


May 1, 2011

I follow Ivette Soler (author of The Edible Front Yard) over on Facebook (her page is called Front Yard Food) and she asks the question, "would you entertain in your edible garden?"

I say: why wouldn't you?

If you're sputtering right now, chances are that your yard's "edible garden" looks more like the stereotypical bunch of rectangular raised beds full of weeds than anything else.

Don't feel bad; that's about where my backyard is right now. (Click here to follow my journal as I convert my yard to edible landscaping ...)

But I think the question has merit, because that's what we want, isn't it? A graceful, elegant garden that is also edible.

At least, that's where I'm headed.

So how do we get there?

The first place to start is where you are. Go outside and take a look at your edible garden (or if you don't have one yet, where you'd like your edible landscaping to be).

What would you change to make it a place you'd like to entertain? Does it need a patio? Seating for guests? A layout that's easier to maintain? More light? Less sun?

Get specific. What would make your yard work for you and your family?

Sometimes as our tastes change or our family matures, what used to make a yard inviting now makes it somewhere you'd rather avoid.

If you're allergic to that huge tree, cut it down. If your children are grown, the swing set taking up most of your yard could go. If no one in the family actually likes the sprawling bush that Grandma planted before she died, why keep it?

Send it to a good home with someone who wants it, and use the space to make your garden what you want it to be.

Here are some ideas that might help with your planning:

An open-air kitchen/grill area next to a kitchen herb garden

Stone benches around a patio, backed by planters full of your favorite vegetables

A pergola stretching the length of your yard, covered with grapevines, climbing roses, or fruit trees that you've trained up and over.

Make your edible garden a place you can enjoy.

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Speaking of pergolas, I ran across a simple, elegant set of pergola plans that you can assemble yourself. Click here to take a look!

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