March 25, 2017


Spring is almost here, and lawns and gardens are beginning to awaken all over. You may be wondering, however, which garden plants are right for you? Consider the following questions to choose plants that will benefit your landscape.

1. What is the purpose of your garden?
The answer to this question will determine much about which plants you choose for your garden. Do you wish your garden to produce delicious, organic food, or do you simply want a lovely ornamental garden of interesting flowering plants? Many people now incorporate both of these features using a technique called edible landscaping. Rather than planting rows of vegetables, food producing plants are incorporated into garden beds alongside ornamental and flowering plants.

2. How much sunlight does your garden receive?
Different plants require different amounts of sunlight to survive. So, is your yard sunny or shady? Most landscapes are comprised of a combination of both. Consider how much sunlight each area receives before placing your garden plants. Those identified as sun-loving plants will need 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day; shade or partial sun plants can survive on 5 hours per day or less.

Sunny edible plants include:

  • Tomatoes
  • Herbs
  • Peppers
  • Corn

Shade tolerant edibles include:

  • Potatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Rhubarb
  • Garlic
  • Spinach

3. Do you want a low-maintenance garden?
Many people love to come home to a well-landscaped yard and relish biting into home grown vegetables. However, today’s hectic and busy schedules leave little time for nurturing plants. If you want a beautiful edible landscape in a hurry, try these suggestions.

Choose perennial edibles. Perennial plants come back every year. This saves you the time of purchasing new plants or growing from seed.

There are only three common perennial vegetables. These are:

  • Rhubarb
  • Asparagus
  • Artichoke

However, there are many other edible plants that will compliment an ornamental landscape.

  • Top Hat blueberries are a dwarf variety that grows only 2 feet in diameter. Plant these among or in place of more traditional shrubbery.
  • Dwarf fruit trees are small enough for any yard and usually produce full sized fruit. You can find dwarf varieties of apples, pears, figs, pomegranates, and more. These trees will be laced with lovely flowers each spring.
  • Strawberries make a wonderful ground cover and can be planted between existing plants
  • Passionflower is a native vine that produces an edible fruit in the fall. It resembles the clematis and will bring a tropical feel to any trellis.
  • Grapes are easy to grow and the long-lived vines can handle cold weather. Grapes do well on a sturdy fence in full sun.

If you live in or around Ann Arbor Michigan, feel free to contact us about any of your landscaping needs.