While attending a marriage seminar on communication, Tom and his wife Peg listened to the instructor declare, "It is essential that husbands and wives know the things that are important to each other." He asked Tom, "Can you describe your wife's favorite flower?" Tom leaned over, touched his wife's arm gently and whispered, "Pillsbury All-Purpose, isn't it?" The rest of the story is not pleasant. —Author unknown

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Eat your landscape

Rosalind Creasy’s nummy new book, Edible Landscaping: Now You Can Have Your Gorgeous Garden and Eat It Too! looks almost good enough to eat.

Ros, a friend and fellow member of the Garden Writers Association, coined the now-ubiquitous term “edible landscaping” in 1982 when she published her first book on the subject. Thirty years ago, putting swiss chard and tomatoes with the roses in a front yard was considered radical. Now even the White House is doing it.

Package her new book (currently $26.37 at Amazon) with a high-quality trowel or my favorite transplant shovel from Radius Tools ($29.99 at Amazon, and no, I don’t get anything for recommending these!) for a wonderful Christmas gift.

Many of us are adding edibles to our yards for the first time. Ros gives valuable information for experienced gardeners and for beginners. In the chapter devoted to “Designing with Vegetables” she recommends starting small with a 9-foot by 3-foot pine tomato box. A friend of hers in Pennsylvania grew three tomatoes (Ros says there’s room for 8 plants): a cherry, ‘Celebrity’ and ‘Early Girl’ that yielded 67.5 pounds in one season.

Luscious photographs show how veggies can be as gorgeous as flowers.You don’t need a lot of space; pages 172-173 show the design for Ros’ front-yard edible patio garden in California packed with sesame, edamame, basil, strawberries, peppers, and more. The patio holds nine permanent wine barrel containers and a few permanent beds with a blackberry vine, climbing rose, and annual vines and flowers. She changes the contents of other large decorative containers every year.

Common-sense design techniques pepper the book. For example, she mentions that so many large homes with large lawns have such tiny garden beds that are out of scale with their surroundings.

“When you create planting beds, whether they are edible or not, make them sizeable, and do it proudly and with the exuberance necessary to create a sense of place,” she writes.

Exuberance, indeed.

Thanks, Ros, for yours.

Ros Creasy

1 comment to Eat your landscape

  • roodoc

    Thought you might enjoy this quote: “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Proust

    You make my soul blossom…and you are a charming gardener, too!

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