Fruits and vegetables do not have to be stuck in one corner of the yard. Many of them have attractive leaves, flowers and fruit. They can be incorporated right into the landscape.
Fruit trees can be substituted for flowering trees in the landscape. Fruiting peaches and pears have exactly the same flowers as flowering peaches and pears. Apples, cherries and plums are very similar to their flowering cousins except that the flowers only come in white and the leaves only in green. Fruit trees have a similar size and shape to many flowering trees commonly used in landscapes.
Pineapple Guava (Feijoa sellowianna) is an attractive evergreen shrub. It grows eight feet tall and ten feet wide. The leaves are silvery white underneath and the flowers are red. The flowers and fruit are both edible. It can be used as a large shrub or hedge in a landscape.
Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis) is a tall, slender evergreen shrub which makes an excellent accent shrub or screen. The bay leaves are used as a flavoring.
Blueberries also have many attractive features. The berries are colorful in the summer. The leaves turn a beautiful red in the fall. The twigs of Earliblue have a light coral color through the winter.
Gooseberries and currants have similar fruit on a five feet tall bush. Currants are thornless so they are easier to pick. Gooseberries have thorns so they are good security plants. No one will stand in a gooseberry bush to try to pry open a window.
Grapes or Kiwi Fruit can be trained as a vine, either up a trellis, along a fence or over the top of an arbor. The fruit is colorful as well as edible.
Some edible plants can be used as groundcovers. Strawberries make an excellent groundcover. The day neutral varieties such as Tri-Star bloom continuously from mid-spring to fall and have fruit from June through September. Lingonberry has small berries that make good preserves. Lemon Thyme has a green leaf with a yellow edge. It is very fragrant and can be used as a flavoring in cooking. Many other herbs have attractive flowers, leaves and fragrances. See my webpage Herbs for the Kitchen and Landscape.
There are some drawbacks to including edible plants in the landscape. Fruit can be messy, especially if planted next to a sidewalk, deck or driveway. Fallen apples and pears will have to be picked up before mowing. Also, some pesticides cannot be used on or near edible plants so it does not work to plant edibles with roses or rhodies.
Common and Scientific Names of Trees, Shrubs, Vines & Perennials
Spring Perennial Color
Summer Perennial Color
Fall Perennial Color
Winter and All Year Perennial Color
All Perennials in Alphabetical Order
Spring Shrub Color
Summer Shrub Color
Fall Shrub Color
Winter Shrub Color
All Year Shrubs
All Shrubs in Alphabetical Order
Spring Tree Color
Summer Tree Color
Fall Tree Color
Winter Tree Color
All Trees in Alphabetical Order
Spring and Summer Vine Color
Fall and Winter Vine Color and All Year Vines
All Vines in Alphabetical Order
More information can be found on my webpages:
Annuals, Biennials, Perennials and Bulbs
Fruit Tree Tips
Herbs for the Kitchen and Landscape
Oregon Invasive Plants
Oregon Native Landscape Plants
Planting a Vegetable Garden
Planting in Clay Soil
Preferred Soil pH
Pruning for Shade, Flowers and Fruit
Remove Trees Roots and All
Rod's Garden Pruning
Seasonal Pruning Guide
Trees and Shrubs in the Landscape
Water Wise Gardening
Winter Plant Protection
Where Do We Go When We Die?