A beautifully landscaped front yard is a wonder to behold– flowers in complementary colors, trees and shrubs in staggered heights and textures, gorgeous ground coves, and appealing borders… ahh, is anyone calling a landscaper for me?
However, conventional landscaping methods aren’t usually the healthiest for the earth. Between the overuse of pesticides, mulch that doesn’t do anything for your soil, and lack of biodiversity, I often think that a yard probably would have been better off left alone when it’s been ‘scaped in the mainstream fashion.
Conventional landscaping also does very little for your food supply. Plants aren’t chosen for feeding your family- rather, they are picked to look pretty and to be maintained in a nice, orderly fashion. Many are purely ornamentals.
Of course, I should’t complain, because right now, our yard is anything but landscaped! My husband has been plugging away at several home projects (last year it was stabilizing the porch, this year it’s redoing our garage) and the flower beds have had to suffer during the demolition.
But. This year. This year will be different! Angela England’s has launched a fabulous new book: Gardening Like a Ninja: A Guide to Sneaking Delicious Edibles into Your Landscape. Between that and my husband’s Master Gardener knowledge, we’ve got resources to draw on to make our beds beautiful again- and edible.
Angela’s book is a timely arrival for those folks affected by pesky HOA rules or no-front-lawn garden debates. Yes, you read that right– can you believe it? There’s actually people getting in legal trouble because of growing vegetables in their front lawn. (Read here, here, and here for examples of such ludicrous news stories.)
However, even if you aren’t facing charges for vegetable gardening, many of us wish that we could either 1) make our gardens more beautiful, or 2) make our landscaping more usable. Angela gives practical direction to accomplish both of these goals.
The first section of Gardening Like a Ninja is dedicated to an introduction to edible landscaping. Angela covers design basics and gardening how-to for beginners. The second section gives readers some great edible landscape plan inspiration. The third provides informative growing guides for specific plants that lend beauty and food to your property.
While I was reading, I kept having “ah-ha!” moments. Lettuce as a border? Why didn’t I think of that? Cucumbers growing up a beautiful trellis, mixed with flowers- why not? Angela’s vision for an edible yard is fresh, appealing, and surprisingly simple.
I’m particularly looking forward to using Angela’s book as a practical guide when we start planting our brand new beds. Our main goals are an attractive property that is abundant with food, and I’m confident that this book can help us do that.
What’s more, Angela just released a course to accompany the gardening book, teaching you how to build an edible landscape from the ground up. Check out the book and course bundle combination here.