My Edible Yard

My nine-month project of re-planting the sloping front of the house as an edible landscape is nearly complete - yeah! The area only spans about 65 feet x 20 feet, but I've done an enormous amount of work. Rick, with his tractor, initially broke up the hard yellow clay soil and brought in bucket-loads of fabulous soil from other parts of our property. I'd estimate that 95% of what I've planted in this new area has been transplanted from other gardens. And that was the point - to consolidate so that I don't have so much to take care of. The other 5% were new treasures, accepted from fellow gardeners or too irresistible as new purchases. I am also a strong believer in the theory that the closer to the house I plant the garden, the more likely I'll keep an eye on it and harvest its bounty. I get such pleasure walking down my steps and along the footpath, gathering flowers for an arrangement and cutting fresh herbs to go immediately into my kitchen concoctions.

Below is a list of what I've planted in the front yard. In many cases I know the variety name of specific plants, so this list makes a good personal record for me as well. I've also noted names certain plants are "also known as". These days, I label everything I plant… it's too easy to forget. And since I'm eating lots of this stuff, I want to be sure I know what I'm picking! It is a surprise to me that this list of plants is so long. It just goes to prove that you can grow a lot in a small area. Admittedly, I've planted things fairly close, but I wanted it to fill in fast since that cuts down on weeding.

This garden isn't limited to edibles; I added lots of perennial flowers and ornamental shrubs to accent, adding color and variety. I love flowers! In my list below, I have placed an asterisk (*) before anything which has edible parts. For this post, I won't go into whether the fruit, flowers, leaves, and/or roots are the edible parts. In the herb list, in particular, are many intense culinary herbs, but I've also planted quite a few medicinal herbs. You'll also notice a couple of common "vegetables" - I just popped those in since I had more than I wanted to put in the official vegetable garden! Note, my photographs are not all taken at once - perennials flower at different times, and this collage shows a variety of my favorites in the new front yard garden.

* edibles

Berries & Fruit
* Blueberries (7 shrubs: including both rabbiteye and high bush varieties)
* Blackberries - thornless Arapaho
* Red Raspberries - thornless Killarney
* Strawberries - June-bearing varieties: Tennessee Beauty and Chandler
* Pear - Keiffer
* Elderberry
* Goji Berry
* Garden Huckleberries - Chichiquelite

* Mint, including regular mint, chocolate mint, spearmint
* Hyssop - Anise and Lavender
* Lavender
* Lemon Balm
* Lemon Grass
* Dill
* Chamomile
* Comfrey
* Borage
* Sage
* Oregano
* Creeping Thyme
* Rosemary
* Stevia
* Perilla (Shiso)
* Garlic
* Lamb's Quarters
* Marsh Mallow
* Beets - Bull's Blood
* Bloody Dock (aka Red Sorrel)
* Tomatoes - Matt's Wild Cherry
* Fennel
* Chives
* Garlic Chives
(my basils and parsleys are in the main veggie garden)
* Grove Pepper
Stinging Nettles
Ornamental Shrubs
* Lilacs - One old-fashioned and 2 hybrids: Tinkerbell & Dark Knight
Forsythia - Lynwood Gold
Weigela - Wine & Roses
English Laurel - Otto Luyken
* Roselle Hibiscus (for tea) - Thai Red

Flowering Perennials
Bearded Irises - 6 varieties, my favorite is yellow "Total Recall"
Flag Irises - yellow, purple, white
Wild Irises
* Wild Violets
* Pinks (aka Dianthus)
False Indigo (aka Baptisia) - yellow and blue
Yarrow - yellow
Ajuga (aka Bugleweed)
* Daylilies (4 varieties)
* Shasta Daisies
* Rudbeckia (aka Black-Eyed Susan)
Creeping Phlox - white, pinks, purples
Garden Phlox - pink
Sedum - Yellow Stonecrop
Sedum - Autumn Joy
Purple Coneflower
Showy Evening Primrose (beware - invasive!)
St. John's Wort (beware - invasive!)
Red Poppy
Wild Orange Poppy
* Chrysanthemums - many colors
* Bee Balm - lemon
Lunaria (aka Money Plant)
* Pansy - Swiss Giants
Lenten Rose (aka Hellebore)
Wild Columbine
Sage (salvia) - Hot Lips
Lily of the Valley
Lilies - deep magenta
Liatris (aka Gayfeather)

Foliage Plants
Blue Flax
Lamb's Ears
Hens & Chicks