The dirt: Edible landscape; lavender-growing handbook

  • Updated: April 15, 2014 - 1:41 PM

the dirt

Use of edible plants

in landscape

It used to be that vegetable gardens were for vegetables and flower gardens were for flowers. Not anymore.

Mixing edible and ornamental plants is a growing trend in landscape design. Emily Tepe introduces readers to the concept in “The Edible Landscape: Creating a Beautiful and Bountiful Garden With Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers” (Voyageur Press, $24.99).

Tepe, a fruit researcher and artist, combines her talents to help readers create gardens that are both attractive and practical. She notes the mutual benefits of edible and ornamental plants: The edibles add color, texture and form to a landscape, while the ornamentals attract beneficial insects, provide winter interest and supply the plant diversity that helps keep insects and diseases in check.

Tepe also offers several layouts for edible-landscape gardens and provides lists of her favorite plants for various purposes.

Book covers all things lavender

Some people grow lavender for its beauty, some for its fragrance and some for its usefulness in recipes, craft projects and household concoctions. Whatever the reason, “The Lavender Lover’s Handbook” (Timber Press, $27.95) can help.

The book, by lavender grower Sarah Berringer Bader, covers a wide range of aspects of growing and using the popular herb. Bader addresses the best places to grow lavender, both from climatic and aesthetic standpoints, and also offers guidance on planting, propagating, caring for, harvesting and drying the plant. Recipes and craft projects give the reader ways to enjoy lavender outside the garden.

The book features profiles of 100 lavender varieties, including Bader’s top 10.

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