Edible landscaping is becoming a popular alternative to the typical ornamental landscape, because many trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants with edible parts can serve the same function as ornamentals, and look just as good. For years I’ve planted herbs such as parsley, chives, basil and lemon thyme along the front of the flower beds, if only to have quick access to them from the kitchen.
This year a friend gave me a huge box of Walla Walla onion sets. I shared them with some members of my garden club, but still I had a mountain of sets that I couldn’t find room for in the veggie garden. My only option was to plant them in the flower beds. A number of them went into a very sunny area where I usually plant a mixed bunch of sunflowers and the others went willy-nilly into the flower beds. The young foliage blended nicely with the ornamentals and perhaps even helped repel some pests.
Since these particular onions get to be quite large, overwhelming some of the bedding plants, I gradually pulled the young ones out over spring and early summer and we enjoyed them in stir fry, salads and on the grill, leaving only those in front of the sunflowers to mature.
Yesterday I harvested the last of the crop…nearly 25 pounds…as the tops were dying back and the skins had begun to dry. Eddie is planning to make several batches of his fabulous French Onion Soup this week, which we will freeze to enjoy next winter.
Now I’m thinking about what other edibles I can incorporate into the flower beds next year. Rhubarb would be pretty, wouldn’t it?