I Need Edible Landscaping Ideas

by Angela aka Farmer Jane on July 5, 2012 · 8 comments

I’m fresh out of ideas! Usually that’s a sign of mental and physical burnout for me. It’s too early in the season to be burned out.

I need ideas for the front area. So far the following have been planted:

  • Paulownia trees
  • 6 crab apples
  • 5 apple trees (different varieties)
  • 2 Blackberry bushes

Next year the prepared garden beds in this area will be planted with golden currants and indigo.

Do you see where the stairs are to the front entrance? We want to install a 15′ x 50′ deck and pergola. Yes the house is that big. LOL

On the pergola we want to plant perennial vine fruit. We’re not sure what kind yet.

To the right is a photo I snatched online of the kind of decking I want. It would cost us WAY too much money to put a 15′x50′ deck on, but if we used pallets in really good shape, we can install a deck for a fraction of the cost. It looks awesome too!

Do you see the area with the built in porch in my top photo? That will be an enclosed screened area. The door on the left is where our commercial kitchen will be.

So now that there is a mental picture of what’s going on here, what the heck do I do with the pond area? I want to terrace it and have it all be edible perennials, but what?

Maybe the bottom row of the pond area would be lavender.

Second row French purple artichokes

Third level some sort of strong ever blooming perennial yellow flowers?

In the center where the pond will be filled in, we’ll be putting a bird bath. I do know we’ll also be putting grass in.

I’m on the fence when it comes to having rhododendron shrubs under the pine trees since they are poisonous to animals.

Plastic Purge #2:

Letting go of things that are used up is an important part of plastic purging. In the small bathroom (occupied by the men in the house) I found lots of empty shampoo bottles. In my bathroom drawer was items I seldom use…if ever. A good rule for anything not used in six months or more is to just get rid of it or give it away to someone who can use it.

Each day I’ll be doing not only a plastic purge, but also a useless item toss. I can’t begin to tell you how much “stuff” we have that has accumulated in our house. It feels good to get rid of it.

At this point, we have less than one bag of garbage a week. We paid for garbage collection over the next three months, but after that, we will have no more garbage to get rid of. How amazing is that? No plastic! No garbage! We will have hit our goal to have no garbage whatsoever to throw away and will save $300 per year on garbage collection. These next few months we are getting rid of everything we consider garbage and recycling anything that can be recycled. We are having a lot of fun doing it too!

This next photo is disturbing! In our room was a set of vertical plastic blinds. We need to get rid of them because of the off-gassing taking place. In the photo below you can see a “haze” on the window that is faintly vertical. Do you see it? That is off-gassing of plastic leaving its mark! The vertical lines can be best seen on the back white garage behind the courtyard wall. The other general haze is from the polyester curtains. Those too I’m removing tomorrow for plastic purge #3!

In the future, we will get rid of the plastic outdoor chairs and change from plastic animal feed bins to galvanized metal bins. ;)

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Melonie K. July 6, 2012 at 1:20 am

WOW – look at you all go! I’m really impressed by all the plastic you’re purging… by how much you’re purging, not how much plastic you had. ;) You’re making me look around and start planning things to purge next. :D


Angela aka Farmer Jane July 6, 2012 at 6:12 am

Thanks Melonie,

We still have a long way to go, but I feel that every little bit is one step closer. I’m wondering now what to do about getting a food processor. Believe it or not, we don’t own one. We did want to get one, but I don’t know if they come in non-plastic?! I guess after going this long without one, we can live without it. I was, however, looking forward to getting one.

Thank god stand mixers are not plastic. Well, the heavy duty ones anyway, so we can still purchase one of those.

Almost all our furniture and mattresses are synthetic, and I think that will be the most costly to replace.


Melonie K. July 8, 2012 at 7:38 pm

I’d love to know what you find out about the food processor. I finally invested in a stand mixer and have been wondering about food processors myself. At this stage I’m still trying to figure out if I “need” one or if I just “want” one too, so that is keeping me from just running to the store and grabbing whatever is available, at least. LOL
I meant to mention the other day, re: edible landscaping, if you have already incorporated herbs into that plan. It seems like something you all would already have in the plan, but it was the first thing that popped into my head since it seems a lot of them would do well in your climate. You could use a lot of things for both culinary and medicinal purposes. It seems like something that is probably already on your radar though – so ignore me if it’s redundant. haha
Our edible landscaping plans are still pretty generic at this point since we know we’ll be moving this fall, but still don’t have orders for *where*, only that it’ll be one of two very different places. I have our basic “wants” listed, but can’t choose varieties until we know which assignment it’ll be.


Angela aka Farmer Jane July 9, 2012 at 9:30 am

Hi Melonie,

Here is a metal hand crank food processor without any electricity LOL:


I bet even the small parts of plastic in the handle could be replaced if we wanted to.

Herbs and a medicinal garden are really an important part of our edible landscaping. It’s choosing which plants and herbs to grace the front of the house. ;)

I do have an elderberry tree I’d like to plant in front, and actually I’m thinking of rooting clippings of the other elderberries I have. They grow so fast, have gorgeous flowers and berries that I think it’s a winner. Well, it’s a beginning at least.


Pat July 10, 2012 at 12:45 pm


I just ran across your site and I really like your quest to get rid of plastic! But I wanted to let you know about my site Edible Landscape Design — maybe you could get some ideas there, or I’d be happy to help you. I couldn’t find through looking at your About page where you live (or maybe I missed it?) but we used to live in southern CA and totally get the challenges of gardening in the high desert.

(oh! I noticed you have Albuquerque in your tags … is that where you live? My husband’s cousin lives there and loves it. :D )

Anyway, let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you.


Angela aka Farmer Jane July 10, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Hi Pat,

I’ll definitely be looking through your site and I would love to keep in touch about edible landscaping. I browsed through your site quickly, but I’ll come back again when I have more time later.

We live in Los Lunas, NM about 30 south of Albuquerque. We love it here.

Getting rid of plastic is definitely a challenge. We just sold our couches which are made of polyester and lots of plastic foam, and my 15 year old son says, “Mom? are we poor?” after I broke the news that the couches will be gone tomorrow.

It looks like we’re poor, but living a life without plastic brings a new set of rewards and richness to our lives. Well made, high quality items will always trump plastic, regardless of the designer.


Ryan November 1, 2012 at 11:18 am

I was searching the web and came across your web page. I think what you are doing is a wonderful thing especially all the landscaping you are doing that can sustain you with plenty of great fruits and vegetables. With the way things are happening in the world, i honestly think its going to come down to being able to sustain yourself by having to do your own gardening and raising your own livestock. We will be heading back to the way it was before we had all this technology. Anyway i wanted to say good luck and i wish there were alot more people starting to think of doing the same as you. The other thing i read was you wanted a food processor. I do have an all stainless and chrome plated vintage hand processor which i have 4 differant cones which are also chrome plated stainless metal. Each one is made to chop,slice or shred differant vegetables and cheese. One of the cones actually cuts your patatoes into french fries or patato chips,waffle style. You can also use the hand processor grinding nuts,and making baby food to pickles and cabbage for kraut. It is vintage but it as shiny and sharp as the day it was made. If you still needed one just let me know. Good Luck.


Angela aka Farmer Jane November 1, 2012 at 11:22 am

Hi Ryan,

I would be interested in a manual food processor, so if you’d like, you can go to the Contact page on our site, and leave your information for me to get into contact with you.



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