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Grow an Edible Landscape

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

For many years, people have kept their vegetable and flower gardens separated. Today's gardeners are rethinking that rule and mixing herbs, vegetables, and fruits into their landscapes.

Here are four ways to turn your yard into your own personal farmer's market:

1. Plant herbs by your front or back door.
Nothing says summer like the taste of fresh herbs. And when you plant them near your doorway, you can step outside to clip fresh leaves when preparing a meal.

Herbs are expensive to buy at the grocery store, but cheap to grow. Pot up containers of basil, rosemary, and oregano -- they're ideal ingredients for garden-fresh pizza or pasta sauces.

2. Plant dwarf varieties of fruits and vegetables.
If you don't have a big yard, think small plants. Patio tomatoes fit in even the smallest landscapes. Plant them in any sunny location, and use one a colorful tomato cage as a support. Then grow fresh tomatoes for salads and sandwiches all summer.

Do you like fruit? Plant some dwarf fruit trees in your backyard. They're ornamental when covered in flowers or fruit, and they won't outgrow their space. You can even plant them in containers.

Some fruit trees, such as apples, need to be planted in pairs so they can cross-pollinate. If in doubt, refer to the plant tag or consult your local Lowe's garden specialist.

3. Edge walkways with fruit.
Strawberries are hardy, colorful, and delicious. They're also beautiful as edging plants for walkways or in landscape beds. Plant them in a sunny spot, and expect them to look like attractive green mounds until early summer, when you can harvest their sweet, red, juicy fruit.

Strawberries are small enough to grow in containers or window boxes. And because they're perennials, they'll come back next year.

4. Plant vegetables or herbs among your flowers or shrubs.
Leaf lettuce and basil make good edging plants. Kale and Swiss chard are bold enough to stake a claim among taller companions. And chives are a deer- and rabbit-resistant plant perfect for small planting pockets around the yard.

If you want a yard that's decorative and delicious, edible landscaping is the way to go.