Edible Gardening - an Integrated approach

August 24, 2013

I really like the idea of having an edible flower garden

sometimes mixing edibles with ornamental

is referred to as an "Integrated Garden"


but even older then that is the Medieval or Monastic Physic Garden

where every plant has a purpose

be it culinary or medicinal


of course Monastic Physic Gardens had a great number

of plants that could kill you

like Monkshoods, Mandrake and Foxgloves

which meant you needed to not only

know your plants but also do a very good

job of keeping your culinary plants segregated

from the medicinal ones


Fennel is a bold feathered foliage plant great for mid to back of a cottage garden It that can be used in salads and cooking, while the seed is great for curries


Rosemary comes in pink, blue or lilac coloured flowers

as well as tall, standard and prostrate forms

giving it the opportunity to be placed well in a garden bed



Three suggestions I make for an integrated garden: 


1. edible plants should be accessible

or you will never bother to use them

My bronze fennel is at the back of the garden, 

but I access it over a small fence from the back of the yard

Oregano and Marjoram's are used as garden

edgers close by for flower picking and eating


2. Label Your Herbs:

If you are new to plant growing if in doubt 

label your plants well

clear and eligible so

that it can't be mistaken when picking


3. Safety with Children:

Make sure your family, especially children are supervised when picking edibles in an integrated garden. 

Children can make the mistake of eating any plant if they think that

they are safe - yet another reason for good clear labeling 

and good supervision !

Teach your children the identifiers of the herb - smell, texture, shape

as well as the need to bring plants to be identified before eating

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