Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My Edible Landscape

See, it’s like this…The Benedicts are like the cobbler’s children who have no shoes.  My husband owns a landscaping company, so our yard must be stunning, right?  Ha!  Sometimes in the summer our grass grows so tall I am certain we will receive a letter from the county telling us we must mow our lawn.  Fortunately that has never happened, but surely it will.  I have a plan, though we mustn’t tell Mr. Benedict.   I am going to turn our lawn into an edible landscape!  Hopefully then, there will be no or very little grass.  Every time I bring this up to my husband, he basically pats me on the head with a little smile and tells me he doesn’t think that will happen.  You would think that after almost 37 years of marriage, he might know that if I really want something, it WILL happen. 

I have been trying to get to the whole edible landscape thing for years.  I have made several half hearted attempts, but as I could never really convince Mr. Benedict, it stagnated.  Well, I am looking at it all with renewed passion and I think it will take this time around. 

We have many fruit trees, bushes, and vines on our property - grapefruit, orange, minneola tangelo, fig, lychee, peach, Barbados cherry, macadamia nut, passion flower, and carambola. In the past I have also tried pomegranate, papaya, sugar apple, cinnamon, banana, lemon, lime, guava, blueberries, and raspberries. The ones that failed either were damaged in freezes, were old and just gave out, or I didn't know enough about them to be successful.

One of my passion fruit vines.  Aren't the flowers fabulous?!

I also have a large area for container gardening where I grow my herbs and a few vegetables along with a few flowers.  Next week I will post three days on herbs - one day each on my plants, my favorite herb books, and my favorite herb farm.  I have been growing herbs for years and used to do much more with them like make my own potpourri to give as Christmas gifts.  I even got a food dryer so I could dry oranges to use in my potpourri.  Sadly those days are gone for now.  I used to have a large rose garden that I used for the potpourri and that too, is long gone.  The last seven or eight years have been very busy for me and anything that took a lot of time went by the way side.  Who knows, maybe with my renewed back to the earth feeling, I will replant?!

Two books that I have used for inspiration are Florida Home Grown 2: The Edible Landscape by Tom MacCubbin and The Edible Front Yard by Ivette Soler.  Both pictured below.

Tom MacCubbin's book is practically falling apart as I have referenced it so many times over the years.  It was written in 1989.  I always look at it before I go to both the Sarasota and Manatee Rare Fruit Sales.  Sarasota's is the end of Sept. and Manatee's is coming up next month on May 20th.  I love to go to both of them.  Florida Gardening magazine has been an inspiration as well.

After I visit the Manatee sale net month and plant my new additions, I'll show you my edible landscape so far.  In the meantime, wish me luck in manipulating, I mean convincing, Mr. Benedict that now is the time for an edible landscape.  Or maybe I will just do it piecemeal and he won't realize it until it's a done deal!  Now there's a plan! 

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