'The Incredible, Edible Landscape'

BY NINA PARKER/HOMEMAKERS GARDEN CLUB Published:

The Franklin County Homemakers Garden Club met at the Franklin County Extension Office in March to learn about “The Incredible, Edible Landscape.” Karen Hill Crabtree with the La Jardinière Garden Club gave the lesson. Members learned how to incorporate edible flowers and vegetables into landscaped areas. 

Landscaping with plants which are both attractive and food producing is gaining in popularity.  When designing your edible landscape, you must consider the total potential yield and its sustainability, fruit set, pest resistance and fruit quality.  Some of the edible plants and flowers are carnations, chrysanthemums, daisies, dandelions, daylilies, scented geraniums, nasturtiums, blossoms from runner beans and zucchini as well as herb flowers that include chives, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, cilantro and sage.  

Be sure you know your plant well before you eat because some parts of plants are not edible. For example, the stalk of the rhubarb is edible, but the leaf around the stalk is not.  Not all flowers are edible.  Some delicious looking flowers are poisonous and can lead to serious illness or even death.

Pansies are a good example because there are more than 60 commercial varieties of pansies with only three that are safe to eat.  Flowers should only be chosen from edible plants that are listed in a reliable source and should be eaten only in the amounts specified in recipes.  Individuals prone to allergies may have an allergic reaction to some flowers.  

You can also incorporate regular vegetables within your landscape area such as cabbage, broccoli, peppers and tomatoes.  Or, if you don’t want to put edible plants in your landscaping, try putting them in pots.  Just remember that potted plants will need additional watering.

For more information concerning edible flowers and edible landscaping you can contact the Franklin County Extension Service.  

If you are interested in joining a garden club, members of the Franklin County Homemakers would love to have you. The next meeting is April 27 at 10 a.m. at the Franklin County Extension Office. The lesson will be about “Container Gardens.”

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