Kitchens have the subliminal effect of drawing people together in a home: food and conversation are always plentiful. Coincidentally, garden spaces filled with edible fruits, vegetables, and herbs have a similar draw to people. The buzz of insects pollinating, the slow ripening of tomatoes and blueberries in the sun, and inevitable visits from the local wildlife create a meditative and inclusive atmosphere.
There are many edible plants that make excellent additions to any garden. The two images below are examples of a garden space designed with taste buds in mind.
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Below are a few dependable and rewarding edible plants for any garden in the Pacific Northwest:
Currants and Gooseberries (Ribes spp.): For beautiful early spring flowers and yummy fruit, gooseberries and currants make excellent additions to the garden. Flowers come in various shades of white, pink, and yellow. The fruit can be eaten off the bush or made into jams and jellies. Red Flowering Currant (Ribes sanguinium) is a native the the Northwest and has some of the surreal blooms in early spring and is drought tolerant once established
Golden Oregano (Origanum vulgare ‘Aureum’): Oregano is a necessity in the kitchen and this particular plant has golden foliage that brightens up the garden.
Huckleberries, Blueberries, and Lingonberries (Vaccinium spp.): With too many varieties to count, this group of berry producing shrubs make an excellent introduction into the garden. The many strains of Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) produce loads of berries and have brilliant scarlet and orange fall color. The native Evergreen Huckleberry’s (Vaccinium ovatum) glossy foliage makes an excellent alternative to boxwood hedges and produces diminutive, sweet berries.
Kiwi Vines (Actinidia spp.): The kiwi vine has robust tendrils that can quickly create a fantastic effect over garden arbors and trellises. These plants perform well in various sun exposures and produce delicious fruit. Arctic Beauty Kiwi Vine (Actinidia kolomikta) has extremely irregular variegated green and pink leaves. It’s necessary to have a male and female plant to produce kiwi fruit.
Lovage (Levisticum officinale): This native perennial loves wetlands and areas with poor drainage. Predator insects that eat aphids, scale insects, and leaf hoppers enjoy the flowers of Lovage. The stems make an excellent alternatives to celery.