Greengirls Helen Yarmoska, Nicole Hvidsten, Martha Buns, Connie Nelson, Kim Palmer and Mary Jane Smetanka are dishin' the dirt from the back-yard garden and beyond. Whether you're a greenthumb or greenhorn, they're eager to learn from your mishaps, mistakes - and most importantly, your sweet successes - all growing season long.
This year, I've developed a new gardening ritual. When I water the containers on my deck, I always tear off a few leaves and eat them. Sometimes lettuce, sometimes chard, sometimes herbs. Occasionally, if I'm in the mood for something peppery, I'll nibble a few nasturtium leaves.
I can't help myself. They always taste so amazingly fresh and flavorful, plucked right off the plant. It's the ultimate appetizer!
Not all my containers have edible plants in them. But I'm mixing edibles and ornamentals more and more. I love the way rainbow chard sets off red and yellow flowers. Leaf lettuce makes a gorgeous border around purple and lavender flowers. And orange mint spreads beautifully, filling bare spots around other plants.
I know I'm not alone. Edible landscaping is a gtowing garden trend, one we featured in Home & Garden last May (http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/homegarden/93421844.html)
Mixing edibles with ornamentals feels fresh and new, after years of relegating them to separate plots and pots. But edible landscape pioneer and author Rosalind Creasy has been advocating this approach for decades. You can find great tips on her website (www.rosalindcreasy.com/edible-landscaping-basics/).
How about you? Are you growing more edibles these days? And are you mixing them in with plants that you grow only for their looks? What combinations do you like?
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