Beautiful edible plants


FigFlickrStarrynight1 Via Treehugger, "beautiful edible landscape plants".  So whadaya think of them?  What beautiful edibles are YOU growing?

On this topic, I've begged some guests posts on this subject and lots of others from Renee Shepherd of Renee's Garden.  (Over dinner when she was in D.C.  Lovely woman!)  AND I'm lunching today with Ros Creasy, author of Edible Landscaping, and I'm hoping she'll enlighten us, too.

Photo credit.


  1. I’ve seen herbs used very well in landscaping. Find one of those varieties of basil with that gets big and bushy. Or for a more permanent shrub, rosemary and large-leafed sage plants are really pretty.

  2. Sangria or Twilight peppers! Nasturtiums. Sweet violets. White or rose-colored eggplants.

  3. Aw wow, I wanna meet Ros!

    Some pretty edibles I’m growing that aren’t typically considered edibles are himalayan honeysuckle (leycesteria formosa) and fuchsia (not sure which one). Both produce edible berries.

    Huckleberry and darrow’s blueberry are evergreen and also produce good fruit.

    Okra plants are absolutely striking, if you’re into that. Which I am.

    Lastly, there’s a basil out there that grows like a boxwood. In fact I believe the name is “Boxwood”. Neat idea for edging the summer vegetable garden.

  4. A friend of mine has a glorious hedge of lavender – my favorite edible for hedging and shaping. Ros Creasy was at the LA Garden Show last weekend and she was fabulous!!

  5. My gardening philosophy lately is native, edible or both so it gets interesting in my yard. Blueberries, cranberries, swamp roses, elderberries, chokeberries, tons of herbs. I mix my veggies in and around the ornamentals so there is lettuce on either side of the daylilies, cranberries in the pitcher plant bog, beets sharing containers with snapdragons. Some of these might not work out in the long run, but I’m having fun. 😀

  6. Swiss chard with its bright red veins and stems and nasturiums! I don’t think you can go wrong with nasturiums. Beautiful flowers, pretty foliage and a cinch to grow from seed.

  7. I, too, believe in landscaping with edibles. Most things in my yard ( save the irises, callas, and roses) serve two purposes – beauty & either attract birds/butterflies or be edible. To that end I’ve filled my tiny suburban yard with as many as I could fit in – apricot, cherry, peach, plum & Asian pear trees provide both fruit & shade. A row of blueberries covers the ‘good neighbor’ fence on one side of my house & a newly-planted star guava will eventually shade my dining room window & give us food ( both the flower petals & the fruit). When my veggie garden gets growing it’ll hide the other fence. Out front, I’ve planted a Thompson grape & Meyer Lemon, & I plan to acquire a kumquat & lime soon. There’s also a huge purple-leafed sage that I adore, and volunteer chamomile my daughter & I enjoy as tea.

    Sometime soon, I hope to convince my husband to ditch the front lawn for a mix of artichokes & herbs for tea or cooking. Maybe even replace the bug-eaten fruitless mulberry with another Stella cherry.

    I even planted a manzanita last winter, simply for it’s amazing beauty – and was very pleased to find that the berries are quite good in sauces & jellies !

  8. Beet greens and Purple Opal Basil. Also purple hyacinth bean though there is some controversy over whether the pods are edible. There’s a purple sweet potato vine that is just gorgeous, too.

  9. Ok, I’ll admit I’m a little spoiled in that I live in zone 7b so I can grow the best of both worlds – standard garden edibles and tropicals (with protection). My shrub borders have things like Rosemary and Blueberries and I use a long row of raspberries like a hedge between me and the neighbor. Cardoon and Globe Artichoke appear here and there as accent plants along with Pineapple Guava. Bronze Fennel, Dill, Swiss Chard and Red Cabbage spice things up especially in the cool part of the year (cabbages look like giant roses to me). In large pots on the patio I have a vast assortment of Citrus, Guavas, Cardamom as well as Pepino Melon and Lulo (egg plant relatives from South America). I’m big on buying strange fruit from the large Asian Market down the street and then after tasting, harvesting and sowing the seeds. So far I have succeeded with Mamey Sapote, Guava, Tamarillo, Turmeric and Galangal roots. This is just the stuff in the flowerbeds, the list for what is actually in the veggie garden is endless.

  10. i think “Tom Thumb” lettuces look like gorgeous green roses…as do Renee’s “Butter Babies”. I clean them carefully and present them whole in a small bowl with herbs and tiny Johnny jump-ups scattered over and in…then let the eater finally cut it up and dress…they are just too pretty to pull apart.

    “Archer’s gold” thyme forms an exquisite Persian carpet of color in the cool temps of spring and fall…yellow, bronze, russets…marvelous

    That tall, “hedge” basil is very attractive. ‘Berggarten’ sage is mostly considered ornamental, but i’ve slivered it up to use with stuffings and found it very tasty–if milder.

    “wild” arugula (selvetica) is far more attractive in the garden, i think, that the other cultivated and milder varieties. And it sports darling, sun-bright yellow flowers when it finally gets ready to go to seed…and in the heat of the summer it, too, takes on lots more heat which is a delight in some salads and pasta dishes. It is a thicker, tougher leaf, even when young, but when you know that, you simply tear or cut it up finer if you wish.

  11. Pineapple Guava is a favorite edible evergreen flowering hedge for my zone 9 gardens.
    I also use citrus as a medium size hedge and lavender and rosemary as common low border edging and hedging plants.
    Espalier figs, apples and pears are also common landscape plants in my gardens and for shade trees I usually spec Olive or Loquat trees.

    This spring I found myself planting artichoke plants in formal estate style containers for big bold foliage effect. My client has no idea that the plants are edible but soon will have a notion within a couple of weeks when the fruit starts setting .
    It is doubtful that the artichokes will be picked, which is just fine with me because the flower is absolutely fabulous !

  12. A second vote for purple basil, though my favourite plant for ticking all the boxes (beauty, function and food) is the persimmon. One of the true glories of autumn. If I couldn’t plant a persimmon, it would have to a crab apple. “Golden Hornet” is an absolute ripper!

  13. I love planting all forms of sunflowers, edible and others.

    But I second the vote for Persimons! Stunning on all fronts! But a close second would be Blueberries for good fall color, blooms and great eating (I even have a Blueberry bonsai)

    Third place would be olives, but only older trees.

  14. My gooseberry is really pretty too, I agree with Nora.
    Am dizzied by John’s list, the fellow zone 7 gardener. wow. I need to get to work planting!

  15. Okra is a hibscus relation and produces a gorgeous yellow flower besides the prehistoric looking pods come in colors besides green, ranging from red to purple. Rhubarb, the first thing up in spring, quickly makes an impression with its huge leaves. Fava bean plants have a most unusual architecture and then produce a profusion of small flowers, white with black dots that look like little butterflies clinging to the plants. I would also vote for runner beans: they will grow all along a fence, trailing flowers. Chives make beautiful little lavender pom-poms when they bloom–always a great show in the garden. Mustards and any of the brassica greens flower profusely when they bold, usually a four-petaled yellow flower that’s very tasty in a salad. The arugula flower is a bone white color. And of course squash blossoms are a thing of beauty, although they are usually well hidden under the foliage, but then are big enough to be stuffed and fried all on their own. And almost any kind of fruit tree but especially the peach tree when it is covered with intensely peach colored blossoms.

  16. If you have a water feature with plantable areas, watercress is a wonderful trailing addition. I also love rumex sanguineus (bloody sorrel) as a perennial accent plant, although i prefer to keep it contained as the roots produce lots of babies if left in the ground.

  17. Sambucus ‘Black Lace’, a black leaved form of elderberry. Okra ‘Red Burgundy’. Ornamental peppers come with black leaves, variegated (green,white and purple)leaves and even green leaved forms with very colorful fruit. Fish peppers have striped fruit. Arctic beauty kiwi. Pole bean ‘Violetto Trionfo’ has beautiful purple flowers and foot long pods that are very tasty.

  18. Eat the things people consider ornamental! Not the poisonous ones of course; but many plants that we use just for their beauty were originally grown for food.

    As I have learned more about edible landscaping I have been happier with some of my plants that Thrive no matter what I do to them. Goutweed taking over? Throw it on salad. Have too many daylilies? All parts of the plant are edible.

    Some plants are even delicacies and sought after for fine dining. Of course, the best edible plants are the ones the bunnies don’t eat.

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