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Archives for March 23, 2014

Tips for getting a jump on the gardening season

Winter shows no signs of letting up in many parts of the country, and many gardeners will try to defy the odds, throw care to the wind and accelerate the beginning of the planting season with reckless abandon.

Fortunately, the downside of such a gamble is minimal. Perhaps a few flats of mushy annuals will need to be replanted. But if you’d like to improve your odds of beating Mother Nature at her own game, try a few of these tricks to jump-start your gardening season.

Apply a thick layer of organic mulch around the base of all plants. It keep the roots warmer, and helps to maintain the soil temperatures at a more even level, which can reduce the chances of the ground freezing or heaving.

Mulch will do nothing for any winter damage that occurs above ground. But as long as what’s underground is still alive, there is a good chance of partial or full recovery above.

On certain plants, such as spinach and strawberries, you can cover the entire plant in a layer of straw mulch to add an additional barrier of protection for the roots and foliage. The mulch is light enough so that it won’t smother the plants, and will allow enough light in for plants to function.

Physical barriers are another effective way to retain and capture a few extra degrees of heat while keeping killing frost off young plants. These protective covers can be the difference between survival or not, particularly for tender new plants that are placed in the ground before the last risk of frost has passed.

One common choice is known as a floating row cover. It is typically made of fabric that is strong enough to withstand the weather, but light enough to lay directly upon the plants — creating the appearance that the fabric is floating, hence its name.

Or you can support row-cover material with metal wire, conduit or PVC pipes stuck into the garden beds. The material is placed over the frame supports a few inches to a foot above the plants. It is then pulled tightly and secured around all the edges with bricks, soil or whatever you may have that is convenient and sturdy enough to hold it in place.

Row-cover material made for such purpose is designed to allow light, water and air in but provide a protective barrier from frost and pests. When the sides are secured around the bed completely, several extra degrees of warmth can be retained and could make the difference in survival for marginally hardy plants.

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Article source: http://seattletimes.com/html/homesrealestate/2023163633_hregardenxml.html?prmid=4917

Master Gardeners bring gardening, health tips to Agricenter International

photos by William DeShazer/The Commercial AppealTrish Powell (left) of Southaven talks with Selby Horton, a volunteer with the Memphis Botanic Garden, during the Memphis Area Master Gardeners Spring Fling at the red barn at Agricenter International. The event continues from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.

Photo by William DeShazer, The Commercial Appeal

photos by William DeShazer/The Commercial Appeal
Trish Powell (left) of Southaven talks with Selby Horton, a volunteer with the Memphis Botanic Garden, during the Memphis Area Master Gardeners Spring Fling at the red barn at Agricenter International. The event continues from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.

Garden show provides ideas for growing

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© 2014 Memphis Commercial Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Article source: http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2014/mar/21/master-gardeners-bring-gardening-health-tips-to/

Tips for keeping walls, woodwork clean

Walls can get dirty before you know it — from a splatter of spaghetti dinner to the crayon artistry of a roaming toddler to fingers simply reaching for a light switch.

It’s easy to pass by walls and woodwork every day without a second glance, but spring-cleaning season is a great time to give them the attention they deserve.

Like many housekeeping tasks, regular cleaning can help avoid bigger cleanup work later on.

“It doesn’t have to be as difficult of a job as it sounds,” said Amy Panos, senior editor at Better Homes and Gardens. “The easier you can make it on yourself, the more likely you are to do it.”

DIRT AND SCUFFS

Walls tend to get dirtiest around light switches and door knobs.

“Even if a hand looks clean, it still has a little dirt and oils that over time build up and eventually make that area of the wall dirty,” Panos said.

Walls also get marked up from accidental kicks or the brush of a bag near the baseboards. Parents know how toddlers’ hands often find their way to walls, either with filthy fingers or with crayons or markers.

These fingerprints and other blemishes are best tackled right away. “The sooner you can get to a mark that is noticeable, the easier it will be” to clean, said Sharon Grech, a color and design expert for Benjamin Moore.

People are wary of cleaning or washing painted surfaces because they fear the process will remove the paint. But Grech said the technology has improved over the last decade, and paints now are more stain-resistant and durable for cleaning.

Still, it’s important to use the right products.

To remove everyday marks, Grech suggested using a clean cellulose sponge with a little warm water.

“Just give it a good rub,” she said. “Wait for it to dry and see if it’s clean.”

If the dirt is still evident, repeat the process using a dab of dish detergent and wipe the area dry with a clean sponge, rag or paper towel.

“Warm water does miracles with a sponge,” Grech said. “You want to avoid using regular household cleaners that have ammonia and other products in them” because they can change the sheen of the paint.

Panos likes the ease of a foam eraser pad, like Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, though be sure to test it first in an inconspicuous area to make sure it won’t remove the color or finish. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is approved by the manufacturer for use on most paints, including flat and semi-gloss paint.

“They’re quite incredible,” Panos said. “They take care of a lot.”

Don’t forget doorways and trim, often coated in easy-to-wipe paints but in light colors like white and cream that make marks especially visible. Cleaning those areas can instantly make the room seem brighter.

“It really glistens,” Grech said. “It’s like putting on a nice lip gloss.”

DUST AND COBWEBS

While most people know to take care of an unsightly mark, many overlook cleaning the whole wall, Panos said. Once you have a fresh coat of paint, lightly dust the walls about every three months.

“You don’t need to get a bucket and soap and sponge and completely wash down the walls,” she said. “Make it easy on yourself by getting a tool with an extension pole so that you can stand on the ground and take care of the job in just a few minutes rather than having to drag out a ladder.”

Clean the ceiling first, with a dust-attracting microfiber mop on the extension pole for smooth ceilings, or a slightly damp paint roller on the pole for a popcorn ceiling, she said. The walls can be cleaned from top to bottom with the mop (dry or slightly damp), and the baseboards hand-cleaned with a microfiber cloth.

“Keeping the environment as dust-free as possible is helpful for a good interior air quality,” Panos said.

Grech recommends regular cleaning where dusts collects, such as on baseboards, and on window ledges, where it can mix with moisture and turn into a mess.

While cleaning the walls won’t prolong the paint job, she said, it will help keep them looking their best.

“You want to clean the areas that are getting a little bit more abused to keep it fresh,” she said.

Article source: http://www.nwitimes.com/niche/shore/home-and-garden/tips-for-keeping-walls-woodwork-clean/article_77cc62a5-5681-59bf-a297-a9f0d03d88de.html

Top historic gardens to visit in the Berkshires

OLD GARDENS that survive their owners are quite rare in this country, but the Berkshires — a wealthy summer colony for so long that it’s been called “the inland Newport” — has one of the nation’s most significant collections, mostly clustered around Stockbridge. If you’re heading west, I think you can do no better than The Mount and Naumkeag, products of creative geniuses with very different visions.

Between 1901 and 1911, Edith Wharton modeled THE MOUNT (413-551-5100, edithwharton.org) on the classical European gardens and architecture she wrote about in her influential design books, while landscape architect Fletcher Steele molded NAUMKEAG (413-298-3239, thetrustees.org/naumkeag) into one of America’s first modernist landscapes between 1926 and 1955. Happily, both are in great shape and facing positive futures thanks to careful stewardship.

Continue reading below

Of course, Wharton also wrote novels, penning Ethan Frome and The House of Mirth in her bedroom overlooking the garden in Lenox. Her friend and fellow novelist Henry James called The Mount “a delicate French chateau reflected in a Massachusetts pond.” If you like tons of pretty flowers, as I do, the French Garden at the sunny end of the Lime Walk is a knockout, with thousands of period and modern blooms throughout the season, which begins May 3. The walled, shady Italian Garden at the other end of the Lime Walk is a more staid design statement, with hundreds of white flowered begonias, astilbes, and hostas planted in patterns. 

Michael Flower

The Blue Steps at Naumkeag in Stockbridge feature fountains and white paper birch trees.

Wharton was noted as an arbiter of taste in garden and home design before she was recognized as a novelist. She once wrote that The Mount was a better garden than The House of Mirth was a novel. In 1911, Wharton fled to Europe for good after the collapse of her unhappy marriage and a disastrous affair with a journalist. The abandoned garden suffered without its passionate creator. Yet it was the growing public appreciation for Wharton’s novels that brought the garden back to life almost a century after her departure, with old photos aiding in the reconstruction. Just when the garden restoration was finished in 2007, financial problems put the property’s future in jeopardy again. But a successful, ongoing fund-raising campaign seems to have made things right. The Mount has more comfortable finances, looks stunning, and attracted almost 40,000 visitors last year, many of them fans of the British soap opera Downton Abbey, which has engendered warm, fuzzy feelings about the upper classes at the turn of the 20th century. (Downton writer Julian Fellowes cites Wharton as an influence.)

Continue reading below

Like The Mount, Naumkeag in Stockbridge is composed of numerous smaller gardens, but its international fame rests on a single image, the Art Deco Blue Steps, which are rivaled only by Isabella Stewart Gardner’s nasturtium-draped courtyard as an icon of American garden design. A grove of white paper birch trees on a steep hillside frames a series of four demi-lune blue fountains with horizontal sweeping white railings. A million-dollar gift from an anonymous donor helped sponsor the replanting, repainting, and repair of the Blue Steps and several other garden features last year. Fund-raising and other restorations continue, so more iconic garden rooms will be wearing a fresh face when Naumkeag opens for the season May 26.

But Naumkeag’s garden did not need to be re-created like The Mount’s, because it was never lost. Unlike most of Fletcher Steele’s over 500 other mid-century gardens that have vanished like snowflakes, Naumkeag has always been well cared for, thanks to its previous owner, Mabel Choate. For 30 years, she engaged the pioneering modernist to develop an 8-acre sequence of landscaped garden rooms, and upon her death in 1958 she endowed and bequeathed the resulting masterpiece to the Trustees of Reservations, which also received 30 years of Steele’s documentation for it.

***

S. Shepphard

Pretty plantings can be found at Stockbridge’s Mission House, worth a stop if you’re visiting Naumkeag nearby.

MY NUMBER THREE must-see garden, after Naumkeag and The Mount, is the august BERKSHIRE BOTANICAL GARDEN (413-298-3926, berkshirebotanical.org) in Stockbridge. It opens for the season on May 1 and is very user-friendly, thanks to education programs run by Elisabeth Cary. But in addition to her chicken coops and vegetable plots for children, the garden has truly inspiring mixed borders. There’s even a Martha Stewart Garden, complete with a little building and wattle fencing woven from willows. It’s impossible for true gardeners to leave without some ideas they want to try at home.

The Trustees of Reservations are the owners and preservers of several other Berkshire period gardens, including another designed by Fletcher Steele. The MISSION HOUSE (413-298-3239, thetrustees.org/missionhouse) in Stockbridge was built near the present location of Naumkeag around 1742 for a minister sent to convert the local Mohican Native Americans. It was moved to its current spot by Mabel Choate, who also restored it and contributed period furniture. She then hired Steele to create his idea of an 18th-century New England farmscape on the surrounding half acre in 1927 before donating it to the Trustees. Steele added a barn-like building, cobbler-shop replica, grape arbor, and pretty front-yard garden. It’s easy to drop by after viewing Naumkeag around the corner, and you are free to walk the grounds any time, though you need a ticket to tour the house interior.

The Trustees’ newest Berkshire property is the 120-acre ASHINTULLY GARDENS (413-298-3239, thetrustees.org/ashintully) at the southern end of the Tyringham Valley. At the foot of the hill is a modern garden built around a steep rushing mountain stream by contemporary composer John McLennan as a creative parallel to his musical work. But the best thing is the hike up the wooded trail to the ruin of McLennan’s 35-room childhood summer home — once the largest mansion in the Berkshires. Called the Marble Palace by locals, it caught fire one day in 1952. All that’s left is a stone foundation the size of a municipal courthouse and four 30-foot-tall white columns framing an unspoiled view. It’s now the ultimate garden folly. If I were going to pop a marriage proposal, I’d do it here. For a gentler grade, take the overgrown roadbed back down. It is lined with mossy cobblestone retaining walls that add to the romantic sense of a lost world. The property opens for the season on June 4; it’s free to visit the gardens and trails.

If you find yourself in the Berkshires in early spring, visit the wildflowers of BARTHOLOMEW’S COBBLE (413-229-8600, thetrustees.org/bartscobble), a rare geological outcropping of marble and quartzite in Sheffield. Most wildflowers will be in bloom mid-April through May. A Trustees property, the Cobble also has a natural history museum that’s open year-round and natural history tours that you reserve in advance.

A great Trustees property to stay at during a Berkshires ramble is the GUEST HOUSE AT FIELD FARM (413-458-3135, thetrustees.org/field-farm) in Williamstown. A favorite with fans of the International style and reopening on April 4, it is furnished with very fine studio furniture, as well as American art and sculpture from the postwar period, when it was home to collectors Lawrence and Eleanor Bloedel. Each guest room is like a little museum gallery with write-ups on the furnishings. (Ours included a chair with seating woven from recycled World War II parachutes.) The surrounding garden (and 4 miles of hiking trails) is open free to the public. Do check out the Folly, a remarkable guest cottage designed by Ulrich Franzen in 1965.

As modern sculpture has gotten more insistently monumental, the rolling lawns and woodland walks of many Berkshire estate gardens have become outdoor galleries. We saw great examples displayed at The Mount and at CHESTERWOOD (413-298-3579, chesterwood.org), summer home of Daniel Chester French, who sculpted the Concord Minute Man and put Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial. Now that’s monumental sculpture. Chesterwood in Stockbridge contains French’s house, studio, and a turn-of-the-last-century garden designed by French himself, with perennial borders, a fountain, marble exedra, and a long vista walk leading to woodland paths. Owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, it opens for the season May 24.

***

If you need a palate cleanser after such rich fare, visit the HANCOCK SHAKER VILLAGE (413-443-0188, hancockshakervillage.org) on the outskirts of Pittsfield. A utopian religious community from 1791 to 1960, it is now operated as an outdoor living history museum and opens April 12 to showcase the animals recently born on the farm. The Shakers were dedicated to utility and simplicity, everything the Gilded Age wasn’t. Though they are most remembered for their furniture, they were primarily farmers. Their many innovations include putting seeds in paper packets for sale. They also sold medicinal herbs for every ill, and their production fields are lovingly reproduced here. This beautiful farmscape has a calming and uplifting effect on all who find the time to stay awhile.

Carol Stocker writes regularly about gardens. Send comments to magazine@globe.com.

Article source: http://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2014/03/22/top-historic-gardens-visit-berkshires/tBezFdXKnUGO0lOnsU6Y3H/story.html

Budding garden designers urged to pitch their ideas

TV’s Sarah Travers is calling budding local garden designers to pitch in and enter UTV’s The Magazine Show Garden Challenge for this year’s Garden Show Ireland event which takes place at Antrim Castle Gardens from May 9-11.

The Magazine Show Garden Challenge asks existing and budding garden designers to design a small garden which is fun, useful and easy to maintain.

Three lucky finalists will be featured on UTV’s Friday night show, The Magazine, as they prepare to be part of Northern Ireland’s premier gardening event where the finished gardens will be judged by the Garden Show Ireland judging panel.

The winning garden will be announced on May 9 at the Garden Show and will become the centre piece for filming for The Magazine which airs that evening. Plus, the winning designer will receive a prize of £2,500.

Sarah said: “Garden Show Ireland is a stunning show and we are thrilled to be involved and I cannot wait to see the designs as they progress over the coming weeks.“

Taking place in a brand new venue for 2014, an expanded new look Garden Show Ireland will include appearances by Channel 4‘s River Cottage team, Alys Fowler from BBC Gardeners’ World and Ireland’s world-renowned plantswoman Helen Dillon.

With thousands of specialist plants, great garden shopping, garden designers and show gardens, a craft village, a free design pavilion, artisan food stalls, live music, garden gourmet, garden challenges, a dedicated kids zone and more, the event promises to be the ultimate garden show experience for gardeners of all ages and experiences.

Claire Faulkner, Director of Garden Show Ireland, added: “This new design competition is a great way of recognising the wealth of talent that exists in the world of garden design. Our desire is to help bring those talents to everyone with a garden, large or small. It is wonderful to have such tremendous support from UTV to make that happen.”

The 2014 Garden Show Ireland will run from May 9-11 at Antrim Castle Gardens and is open daily from 10am to 6pm with parking adjacent.

Adults are £10 (concession £8) and the event is free for children under 16. There is a reduced rate for online booking and for more information visit www.gardenshowireland.com

Article source: http://www.ballymenatimes.com/news/local-news/budding-garden-designers-urged-to-pitch-their-ideas-1-5953228

Big Turnout for Home and Garden Show, One Day Left

DAYTON — It may be chilly, but it is time to think Spring. If you are struggling with motivation to get started or just do not have any ideas, the Home and Garden Show is a one-stop-shop for you.

“Definitely getting some ideas of what to do this Summer,” said David Cowan.

He and his wife Tina, like so many, went to the show to browse with some projects in mind.

“Mostly the garden stuff, then thinking about remodeling in the bathroom,” said Cowan.

The displays are plentiful and unique. They include a door that easily transforms your garage into a screened-in porch, then there are mattresses, sheds, windows, riding mowers (including a hot pink Jessica Simpson model), and lots of stuff for you garden.

“This year we want to focus on the front yard so we’re looking for landscapers, maybe just general ideas. Something to inspire us,” said Jason Lambert.

“Because we’ve had such a tough Winter, people are really excited about all the plants that are here, and all the landscaping experts,” said Doug Hart, the floor manager for the Kitchen and Bath show. This is the first time it has been included as part of the home show.

“We have a 170 vendors at the Home and Garden show and the kitchen and bath show this year. If you’re planning any kind of project around your home, I think you’ll find what you’re looking for right here. There are a lot of experts here,” Hart said.

Speaking of experts, we did some cooking with the Chefs at Kroger who served up a yummy pasta dish.
    
With so much green everywhere, people – including the Cowans – are just waiting on it to really feel like Spring.

“I was hoping to get a little earlier start than this, but the weather’s held it all back so I plan on doing a lot in the yard this year,” said David Cowan.

The Home and Garden Show continues Sunday 10 AM – 5 PM at the Dayton Convention Center Downtown.Big Turnout for Home and Garden Show, One Day Left

Article source: http://www.abc22now.com/shared/news/top-stories/stories/wkef_vid_19254.shtml

Katie Scarvey: Remodeled kitchen was worth the wait

ALISBURY — We’d already lived in Salisbury for about five years when my husband spotted the house in Fulton Heights that is our current home. The two-story brick house wasn’t perfect, but it felt welcoming to both of us and seemed worthy of spending time and money on. The huge oak tree rising through an opening in the deck sealed the deal.

Over the years, we have slowly made improvements. Outside, my husband has attended to landscaping and added a patio. We changed up the exterior painting scheme, making the house more visually interesting. Inside we’ve painted and replaced ugly modern light fixtures. We added central air but kept the old steam heat radiators that are cozy in spite of their clanking and hissing.

We loved the feel of the kitchen that overlooks our back yard, but except for a wonderful skylight, its particular features held little charm. Although it offered lots of windows and counters and storage space, it was very dated. The white tile countertops with cobalt blue accents — circa 1980s? — were in bad shape. The cabinets were cheaply constructed and inexpertly installed. One eventually crashed to the floor, destroying a stack of vintage dinner plates I’d collected over the years. Perhaps it was God’s judgment on my hoarding tendencies.

The floor was also tile, large white squares, and not dog-friendly. Despite my best efforts, it never looked clean for long.

I finally got my husband to agree that if we were going to stick around we had to address the kitchen. And if we were going to renovate, I argued, we needed to redo the bathroom adjacent to the kitchen, taking a bit of the large kitchen space and expanding an inadequate bathroom so he might actually be able to take a deep breath when he showered and not worry about bumping the tiny shower enclosure.

It was a big project. We would basically be gutting the existing kitchen and bathroom. We decided to replace the tile flooring in the kitchen with hardwood and replace the cheap cabinets with custom-made. Our appliances were living on borrowed time, so they’d have to go as well.

I began consulting friends for ideas. The best thing this fact-finding mission uncovered was that because we live in a historic district we are eligible to receive a significant percentage of our renovation costs back as a tax credit over five years (see sidebar). When my husband began prying up the kitchen tile in anticipation of the project, I knew we couldn’t turn back.

We came up with a general plan for the kitchen, zeroing in on things we could agree on. While I coveted cherry cabinets in a natural finish, we settled on less expensive maple and found a cabinetmaker to make them for less than we would have paid for cabinets at a big-box store. A thoughtful designer I consulted suggested adding a peninsula so we could have seating. We weren’t able to go with her company to turn the design into reality because their estimate wasn’t compatible with our budget, but I’m grateful for her vision.

Through a recommendation we found a local contractor, Chad White, who understood that we did not have unlimited funds. I had no idea then that Chad would become my new best friend, the guy who for six weeks would devote himself to my happiness – i.e., to keeping the project moving along. He took care of almost everything: permits, inspections, dumpster, porta-potty. He bought paint while it was on sale to save me money and fussed at laborers who needed to be fussed at. While I had debated using a contractor at all, hiring one was definitely the right decision. Chad’s expertise was well worth the money.

Choosing the kitchen elements we wanted was fun but stressful. I researched lots of countertop options, from butcher block to concrete, but we came back finally to the ubiquitous granite. With Chad texting me incessantly to make a decision, I finally settled on the economical but beautiful Brownie.

We didn’t want to overdo the granite, so for the island our cabinetmaker found us a reasonably priced butcher block surface. While it takes a bit of effort to maintain (think sandpaper and mineral oil) it’s still fairly practical and adds a warmth granite doesn’t have. We replaced an old porcelain sink with unremarkable but highly practical stainless steel. We chose can lights, with soft amber pendant lighting over the island and peninsula, to illuminate the kitchen.

Going without a kitchen and downstairs bathroom for more than a month was an ordeal, but my husband and I realized that the snippy words that began to invade our conversations during this period would pass.

There were hiccups along the way. Unanticipated delays. Things costing more than anticipated. But we also lucked out here and there. When I went back to buy a double oven we coveted, the price had been reduced by hundreds of dollars on the very last one in stock, and the salesperson cheerfully offered me another big reduction.

Our kitchen retains some of its original flavor. The original windows remain (though they still need some attention). We kept our old-school radiators but gave them a nice power cleaning and repainted them. We kept a section of exposed brick that we’ve always loved.

Some of the small things about our new kitchen make me inordinately happy, like new doorknobs that replaced old ones that never worked right. Every time I don’t have to stop and jiggle the doorknob when I walk out on the deck I want to text Chad a happy face emoticon.

The new kitchen is a wonderful place to cook. It’s a place where people want to hang out. There’s plenty of cabinet space. The peninsula is now my favorite place to work. In fact, it’s where I’m writing this feature. If we ever move, I’m pretty sure the kitchen will sell the house. (The bathroom turned out great as well, but that’s too much to get into here.)

The project isn’t quite done. We haven’t finished the tile backsplash we’re planning. But it’s incredible to finally have such a beautiful and functional kitchen after so many years of such unremarkable ones. I’m glad we finally took the plunge. I wish we’d done it during the years our children were living at home, but I believe there’s something to be said for deferred gratification.


Article source: http://www.salisburypost.com/article/20140322/SP03/140329875/1010/katie-scarvey-remodeled-kitchen-was-worth-the-wait

Edible landscaping ideas for your home – Idaho Press

Many landscape plants produce edible fruits or flowers, so planting them can significantly increase your capacity for food production in an average home yard. And some vegetables and herbs can make beautiful bedding plants when moved out of kitchen garden and into the landscape or planted in containers.

Here is a list of good edible plants for the Treasure Valley. Most are available at local garden centers or through mail-order catalogs. The parts you eat are listed in parenthesis for some of the more unusual ones.

Fruit and Nut Trees: Almonds, apricots, apple, Asian pear, cherry, chokecherry, crabapple, juniper (berries), hazelnut, nectarine, peach, pear, persimmon, plum, red mulberry and black or hardy English walnut.

Shrubs and vines: American plum, blackberry, currant, hardy kiwi, elderberry, gooseberry, hops (flowers), jostaberry, lilac, Nanking cherry, Oregon grape (berries), quince, raspberry, rose (petals and hips), saskatoon or Juneberry and wine and table grapes.

Perennial plants: Anise hyssop, artichoke, asparagus, cardoon, catnip, chamomile, chive, culinary sage, daylily (blossoms), Egyptian walking onions, horehound, horseradish (roots), Jerusalem artichoke (tubers), lavender (flowers), lemon balm, lovage, mints, oregano, rhubarb (stems only), savory, sorrel, strawberry, tarragon and thyme. 

Edible annual flowers: Anise hyssop, African marigold, borage, calendula, chive, daylily, dianthus or pinks, English daisy, hollyhock, lavender, lilac, nasturtium, pansy or Johnny jump-up, scarlet runner bean, scented geranium (leaves and flowers) and tuberous begonia.

Attractive annual vegetables and herbs: Basil, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, cilantro, cucumber, dill, eggplant, fennel, garlic, gourds, greens, ground cherry, kale, kohlrabi, leek, lettuce, okra, onion, parsley, peas, peppers, runner beans, sweet potato, Swiss chard, tomatillo and tomato.

What to consider when creating an edible landscape? The best landscapes, edible or otherwise, are the result of thoughtful planning, good design, hard work and regular maintenance.

You should only eat flowers you can correctly identify, and that you know have never been treated with pesticides. Start with a small taste in case you have an unknown allergy.

If you employ a landscape care company or do a little spraying here and there yourself, you will need to pay extra close attention to what is applied, and how, when and where it is used. Many common weeds are close relatives of our favorite garden vegetables, so keep weed killers far away from vegetables and annual flowers in particular! Also, most commonly applied lawn and tree insecticides are not legally labeled for use on or near edible plants.

• Ariel Agenbroad, M.S., is an Extension Educator in horticulture and small farms for the University of Idaho Extension in Canyon County. To learn more or share your ideas, call 459-6003, visit uidaho.edu/extension/canyon or subscribe to Ariel’s blog at growvandals.wordpress.com.

Article source: http://www.idahopress.com/community/community_columns/edible-landscaping-ideas-for-your-home/article_47e0df50-b152-11e3-92c7-001a4bcf887a.html