Cultivating edible gardens is a popular practice among homeowners who want to use their softscape as both a beautiful backdrop to their home, and as a place of production. Practical homeowners in the Ulster County, NY, area can have purposeful softscapes where form meets function and edible plants are positioned in stunning arrangements. When selecting edible landscaping plants from our plant nursery, consider what you find visually appealing and what you would realistically use. Opt for plants that meet these criteria to ensure that homeowners will make the most of your softscapes. Here are a few attractive edible plants that may suit their preferences:
Fig trees have large glossy leaves, bear succulent fruit and, as a result, offer a distinctly tropical look and feel to any softscape. Homeowners don’t have to be fans of eating figs but of admiring the look, although these versatile fruits are excellent additions to salads, desserts, marinades, and preserves.
There are few fruits that match eggplants in visual appeal and exotic flair. They can be found in traditional varieties that are deep purple and elongated, as well as other varieties like the Middle Eastern “Turkish Orange.” Four-footed pests tend to avoid eggplants owing to the plant’s thorny exterior. Consider planting them amongst plenty of scented flowers, however, to discourage infestation by flea beetles. These delicious fruits are often roasted to produce a soft, rich, smoky treat.
Munching on flowers from the garden may seem unnatural, but in fact, many flowers make excellent additions to salads! These flowers will also contribute the most color and vibrancy to any vegetable garden, merging beauty and productivity. Consider suggesting a salad sprinkled with nasturtium flowers on a hot summer’s day or add the spicy, radish-like flavor of their leaves to any dish that needs a kick.
It’s no simple feat to find a shrub with more visual impact than one shrouded in small white spring flowers and deep purple berries in summer. As summer fades into fall, the same shrub will provide your landscape with a radiant array of red and orange foliage. One of the main benefits of planting fruits, nuts, and berries is that many of these plants retain their visual appeal for at least three seasons of the year. Ensure that you opt for varieties that thrive in your area, such as Vaccinium corymbosum, also known as the Northern highbush blueberry. These can be animal magnets and may require some netting for protection. Luring wildlife into the garden can bring a symphony of birdsong and a sense of life to the landscape.
Herbs are useful for adding plenty of texture and greenery to your softscape. Perennial herbs are most convenient to work with because annual herbs tend to release stronger scents that are appealing to pests. These annual herbs, like parsley and basil, also have succulent leaves that are pest targets. Hardier, woody herbs like oregano and rosemary stalks tend to require less maintenance and damage control.