How to Create an Edible Garden

113_1378Every Mother’s Day, I ask for the same thing; to spend the day together in the garden. That, and for someone else to cook dinner, lol. This year was no exception.

My family always agrees politely and they do their best to help me fulfill my vision. As our girls have grown through the years, so have their contributions on this very special day. Bella, garden 2006

This year, we decided to spend the day refreshing our somewhat neglected herb garden. The girls have always nibbled on the herbs in our landscape. So, our goal  this Mother’s Day was to create a proper “Edible Garden,” complete with herbs, vegetables and edible flowers.

Our plan began with a plan. I measured the area Mother's Day sketch, Edible Garden (4)and drew it to scale on graph paper a week or so, before we got started. This is our main walkway from the front to the back yard. The soil has been amended for many years and it receives full sun. Our layout really helped us know:

  • which existing plants to keep or move.
  • the plant placement; taller items in the back, shorter in front.
  • create a plant list to included everyone’s favorite edibles.
  • the number of plants needed

Mother's Day 2016 (7)Making a plan saves a lot of time & effort on planting day. It is also a very effective way to use a rainy day. Recently, we have had so many. I also purchased the plants ahead of time, so we could spend more time in the garden, instead of the store. I was inspired to pick up some nice, large rocks & outdoor paint, so we could create plant markers. This way, passers-by could easily identify the plants they might like to smell or nibble.

My husband and I started by laying out the new plants in their soon-to-be home according to the drawing, adjusting as necessary. When we were happy with the plant placement, we dug holes that were larger than the nursery pots the plants came in. The loosened soil around the plants will make it easier for the roots to spread, as they acclimate to their new home.

Our new Edible Garden features many of the herbs & vegetables we normally use in our weekly recipes & would otherwise purchase. Thus, this garden will save us money, while also providing aromatherapy, education and just plain fun.

Mother's Day 2016 (8)In addition, we planted bronze fennel, parsley & dill, which are host plants for Black Swallowtail Butterflies. We will be extra careful if/when harvesting to watch for eggs or caterpillars. Or, we may just choose to donate these plants to the butterflies. It is so much fun to watch them grow, pupate and fly away.

Mother's Day 2016 (14)The girls had so much fun painting and they got pretty creative with the plant names, as you can see.

It is amazing how much they have grown. Even after all these years, we are still finding new ways to enjoy spending time together in the garden. And that, is the best gift of all!

We will go through this gate hundreds of times this summer and each time we do, we will brush the leaves of this beautiful, aromatic garden, nibbling it’s offerings and looking for signs of our Black Swallowtail Butterflies. Mother's Day 2016 Team Family

I want to say a great big & heartfelt “thank you” to my family for a summer’s worth of Mother’s Day memories that we can all enjoy, together.

We hope our story inspires you to add your favorite edibles to your garden.

Happy Gardening!

 

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