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Landscaping With Intention:  A Guide to Edible Landscapes

Did you know it’s possible to eat your front yard? No, I’m not talking about the grass. 

Technically, I guess you could eat the grass — but would you want to? Probably not. Instead, you’d much rather enjoy the sweet, juicy taste of a strawberry, or the satisfying crunch of a celery stick — both of which come from plants that can be incorporated into your landscaping! 

In recent years, edible landscapes have become a popular outdoor project for homeowners looking to eat healthier and cheaper, boost their curb appeal, and do their part to cut back on the amount of energy the world puts into food processing. If you’d like to try out your green thumb and experiment with this highly rewarding green building technique, read on for all of the information you need to get started!

What Is an Edible Landscape?

As the name suggests, an edible landscape uses food-producing plants as design features in your home’s yard. Various fruits, vegetables, nuts, and herbs are grown on naturally beautiful plants — all of which can be used to decorate your home’s exterior in a truly unique way. They bring a new component of intentionality to landscaping, where your plants are no longer just for aesthetics, but for consumption. 


Conceptually, edible landscapes are similar to gardens where you grow your own food on your own land. However, gardens are generally located in one specialized area of your yard. Edible landscapes, on the other hand, are meant to be weaved throughout the entirety of your landscaping. 

The History of Edible Landscapes

Wondering where this idea came from? The history behind it may intrigue you! 

During World War II, Americans were urged to plant “victory gardens” at both private residences and community parks. These fruit, vegetables, and/or herb gardens were not only to supplement food rations, but also to boost morale during the war, as the gardens offered a feeling of empowerment in a world where most felt they had little control. 


Today we’re well past the World War II era, but there are still many people who are interested in being close to the source of their food. As food has become more processed and its production has become more mechanized, people are beginning to realize how unhealthy and unsustainable those practices are. 

Thus, victory gardens are making a comeback as edible landscapes — and a big one at that! In the past few years, edible landscapes have soared in popularity among homeowners. If you’d like to be the next one to give them a try, we’ve outlined some edible landscaping ideas for you below. 

Edible Landscaping Ideas

There are many plants that can bring both beauty to your home and nourishment to your body. If you’re looking for ideas to get started on your edible landscaping project, check out a few of the edible produce, herb, and flower plants we’ve listed below. Keep in mind that these are by no means the only options out there. Feel free to do more research on your own and experiment with plants and flavors that you enjoy most!

Edible Landscaping Ideas — Herbs

Not only do herbs make great additions to the delicious dishes you cook, but also to the beautiful residence you drive home to every day! Some of our favorite herbs for edible landscaping are: 

  • Mint — A fast-growing plant that’s perfect for colorful and aromatic ground coverage

  • Rosemary — A spiny, blue-flowered plant that adds borders and structure to your yard

  • Thyme — A low-growing herb that makes for great ground coverage

Edible Landscaping Ideas — Produce

Fruits and vegetables are staples to our diet, but some of their plants can provide unique dimension and color to your landscaping as well! Here are some that we’ve found to really make a yard pop:

  • Artichokes — A uniquely shaped vegetable that creates distinctive landscaping borders

  • Strawberries — A bush with attractive flowers and bright berries for a pop of color

  • Squash — A plant with snaking vines that grow well along trellises

  • Chard — A plant with bright red, pink, or orange stalks that add tasteful vibrance

Edible Landscaping Ideas — Flowers

Yes, even some of your favorite flowers are edible! Here are some of our favorites for including in your edible landscape: 

  • Chamomile — Known for their variety of health benefits, its flower heads are most commonly for brewing teas

  • Roses — Create a romantic bouquet, or mince a couple petals and infuse them in honey

  • Pansies — Sprinkle on your salads for a more artisanal dining experience

  • Nasturtiums — These are great plants for window boxes and your salad

Spending 99¢ on a packet of seeds, investing in a couple of gardening tools, and putting some love into your landscaping can really make all the difference! If you’re looking for a creative and rewarding way to boost your curb appeal, fill your pantry, and give back to your planet, consider edible landscaping. And if you’re interested in learning more unique green building tips and tricks, contact our experts at Meadowlark Design+Build. We’ll help you construct a healthy, resource-efficient home from the ground up.


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