What’s new: Edible Gardening Is as Good as a Day at the Beach

And get your kids to help.

Jack Wescott helps his mom, Lori Mahoney, with her edible garden. Photo by Lori Wescott

I think that edible gardening, or incorporating edibles into your landscape, is an exciting trend we will see more and more of. Whether you use containers or actual plantings, there are so many ways to grow vegetables, herbs, and fruit-bearing trees and bushes that are interesting, practical, and aesthetically pleasing. I think the biggest reason edible landscaping is becoming so popular is because people want to know where their food is coming from, and growing it yourself is not only rewarding, but the best way to know how it was grown. I’m sure most would agree that food out of your own garden just seems to taste so much better. There are so many ways to grow edibles, even in small spaces. I have noticed that over the past couple of years, a lot more people are planting veggies in containers, or using herbs in flowering pots as part of the foreground in their landscape. I have used blueberries before in part of a planting; they are a great plant for fall color, and also will help transition a more formal garden into a native setting.

And for those of us who have kids, home orcharding and vegetable gardening are great ways to get kids excited about being outside and working in the garden. I remember planting my first veggie garden and seeing the bean sprouts starting to poke out of the ground. It was so exciting seeing how quickly they shot up with a little water and sunshine. I thought it was so cool to be able to run out to the garden to cut fresh herbs for dinner that night. And of course in the summertime, when we used to play survival outside, the vegetable garden had all the props we needed to make our very own, one-of-a-kind concoctions.

Another benefit to growing your own herbs, fruits, and veggies is the money you can save on groceries. However, the one benefit you cannot put a dollar amount on is how meditative gardening can be. Whether I have actually saved money or not by growing my own veggies, I feel that being out in my garden in the early morning is one of the most therapeutic things I can do for myself. I would say it is right up there with sitting on the beach on a warm summer night and listening to the waves crashing into the shore.