#edible landscaping

Plants For A Future: A resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Plants For A Future (PFAF) is a charitable company, originally set up to support the work of Ken and Addy Fern on their experimental site in Cornwall, where they carried out research and provided information on edible and otherwise useful plants suitable for growing outdoors in a temperate climate. Over time they planted 1500 species of edible plants on ‘The Field’ in Cornwall, which was their base since 1989. Over ten years ago, Ken began compiling a database, which currently consists of approximately 7000 species of plants.

#resources #PFAF



new fave tree - Ficus auriculata

Daaaaaamn look at this tree. Rowr. That’s a naughty tree. So naughty. Soo sexy. Ungh. 

I think we’re all a little hot and bothered right now.

Too bad (for me at least) it’s only hardy down to USDA zone 9b. Ficus carica it is then, for this nordic gardener.

#edible landscaping #forest gardening #fruit trees

How to over-winter potted artichoke plants in zone 6

Milt asked: I live near Osage Beach, MO, USA. I have artichokes in pots for the first year.  How should I over-winter them?  Should I cut them back?  How much?  Is the garage OK?  Should I water them during winter if kept in garage or basement?

You should keep them somewhere sheltered and not too exposed to the elements (like in the garage), and cut them back. A layer of moss, leaves, or wood chips over the top of the root ball will further protect the plants.

They appreciate a period of dormancy during the winter, so the basement is not the best option as it may be too warm, and throw off their seasonal cycles.

Keep the ground moist and don’t let it dry out during the winter, but don’t soak them.

Good luck!

#edible flowers #perennial vegetables


Oregon Grape, Mahonia x media ‘Winter Sun’ surprised me with its gold starbursts. I didn’t know it was the same plant I previously identified with purple-blue berries. The berries will develop after the fragrant flowers are done blooming.

Apparently it’s also edible! Although the berries don’t have too much flesh.

#edible landscaping #forest gardening

(via flowerfood)

The Kale that Just Won't Quit

These rather mysterious brassicas (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) are believed to have originated in Africa, and made their way into North American gardens through careful preservation by the African American community. Growing between 2 and 4 metres tall, and having a beautiful purpleish hue, they are a very desirable and nutritious perennial vegetable.

They do not come true from seed, however, so Tree Collards must be propagated by cuttings. They can be harvested year-round, and are said to get better after periods of cold. Apparently, they taste like a sweeter version of kale.

There are a few sellers in the United States: Bountiful Gardens, an eBay seller, and a few scattered nurseries. I’ve been trying to find them here in Denmark to no avail (if you know have a cutting or know of a seller in Europe, let me know!). The closest I have been able to find is Ewiger Kohl (Perpetual Cabbage) from a German nursery, but that variety is low-growing, and native to Belgium.

Photo 1: Inhabitat
Photo 2: Caritas Seeds
Photo 3: Tree Collards
Photo 4: Weird Vegetables

#perennial vegetables #tree collards #edible landscaping

I got some plants in the mail today: I thought the packaging was very clever. Everything arrived in great shape, ready for Autumn planting.

These are from two private sellers in the UK that are extremely reliable: stephenroff and sfplants. The former has supplied about half of the live trees and shrubs I have purchased for the Edible Forest Garden.

I buy a lot of my plants online, from the UK in particular, because it is much cheaper than in Denmark (25% sales tax, and a $20 an hour minimum wage does not make for reasonably-priced goods, especially when one is not legally allowed to work!) Because of various agreements (EU, Schengen, etc.) I can purchase from sellers around Europe without worrying about biosecurity holding my purchases at the border.

So, for the Edible Forest Garden (Outdoors), I have new additions of:

And for the Edible/Medicinal Garden (Indoors), I have added:

  • Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis) - I’ll never have to buy Bay Leaves again!
  • Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia- for cleaning, tinctures, antibacterial/antiseptic applications, and skincare.
  • Kaffir Lime (Citrus hystrix) - the leaves and fruits are both used in a variety of Asian dishes.


Callicarpa dichotoma

Norwalk, CT

#edible landscaping

(via kihaku-gato)



So there are traditional gardens, forest gardens, etc. Most of the time, when I hear about polyculture gardening, it is referenced either as a food forest or forest garden. I have been wondering if there is another term out there that encompasses more than just forest biomes. I sort of envision a term that covers all varieties of ecosystem mimicry that is bent to favor human habitation (food, medicine, materials, etc) so that while it does include a forest garden, it could just as easily include a prairie style pasture or a human-centric ‘desert’ biome. Does such a term already exist and I am unaware of it or do I need to invent the word for my little project?

I think the broadest term is “edible landscaping,”and in a desert biome it would be an “edible xeriscape.”

The idea you are getting at falls under the umbrella term “bioregionalism.”

Forest biomes are often chosen in areas with sufficient rainfall because they are very efficient for soil building: they can even be achieved in the desert, without irrigation (I recently saw a case study in the Sonoran desert).

People working with agroforestry are in some way attempting to counter-act deforestation: forests are cleared to make grasslands and pasture at an alarming rate, so it makes sense that permaculturists often try and focus on reforestation efforts, and thus forest biomes.

I also have the impression that biomes like grassland, alpine, wetland etc. tolerate less human disturbance, and would be harder to usefully replicate (ie. their animal constituents would be less inclined to live there if humans are present, whereas a forest biome lends itself to domesticated animal husbandry and intense biodiversity). It would be more useful for people to just leave sensitive natural biomes of those types alone.


Vitis labrusca

The beautiful native North American Fox Grape: source of the Catawba, Concord, Delaware, Isabella cultivars, varieties such as Niagra, as well as Agawam, Alexander and Onaka hybrids.

Unlike European grape species, it is resistant to Phylloxera sap-sucking insects, which meant that when this vine was transported from the Americas to Europe, it brought with it this incurable pest, which crippled European vineyards. Now, many European grapes are grafted with Vitis labrusca rootstock in order to make it more disease-resistant.

#forest gardening #edible landscaping #grafting #insects #North America

(via morigrrl)



[Japanese - x]

Cornelian cherry (I think)! I have this in the edible forest garden. I can’t wait until mine is old enough to fruit.

The other edible fruit-producing dogwoods (cornus) I have are Bentham’s Cornel (Cornus capitata) and a low creeper called Canadian bunchberry (Cornus canadiensis). I am on the lookout for a Kousa Dogwood if anyone has seeds ( newtowngarden? ).

#edible landscaping #forest gardening #fruit trees

(via kihaku-gato)