Landscaping With Edibles

Edible Plants for Your Backyard

Planning to do some landscape work in your yard? Think about going with edible plants. An edible landscape will reduce your grocery bill, allow you to enjoy foods at peak freshness, and help you to weather financial hardships

Here are some great edibles to work into your landscape design:

Ground Covers

Thyme
Thyme. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

A good ground cover adds visual interest, fills in space between other plantings and helps to keep weeds out. These edible ground covers do all of that:

  • Chamomile
  • Vining cranberries
  • Creeping thyme
  • Strawberries
  • Lowbush blueberries

Trees

Peach Tree
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Whether you're looking for a big shade tree or a small ornamental to tuck into your landscape for color, there's a good edible for that. All of these trees will produce beautiful flowers early in the season, a large crop of fruit later in the year and will finish with a gorgeous leaf show.

  • Almond
  • Apple
  • Apricot
  • Avocado
  • Chestnut
  • Cherry
  • Crabapple
  • English Walnut
  • Fig
  • Filbert (also known as hazelnut)
  • Gingko
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Mulberry
  • Nectarine
  • Olive
  • Orange
  • Pawpaw
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Pecan
  • Persimmon
  • Pine
  • Plum
  • Quince

Flowers

Hibiscus growing next to a fence with pineapple shaped cutouts, Dunmore Town, Harbour Island, The Bahamas, West Indies, Central America
Hibiscus. Ellen Rooney / robertharding / Getty Images

Flowers add color and drama to a garden. These edible varieties do all of that—and you get to eat them, too:

  • Borage
  • Calendula
  • Chives
  • Daylilies
  • Hibiscus
  • Lavender
  • Nasturtium
  • Pansy
  • Roses (the hips)
  • Sunflowers (the seeds)
  • Violas

Ornamental Shrubs/Plants

Prickly Pear Cactus
Prickly Pear Cactus. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Ornamental shrubs and plants bring structure and order to a garden. If you choose one of these edible varieties, they'll also help put dinner on the table:

  • Artichoke
  • Eggplant
  • Huckleberries
  • Lettuce
  • Lignonberries
  • Okra
  • Passionfruit
  • Peanuts
  • Peppers
  • Prickly Pear cactus

Privacy Plantings

Blackberries
Blackberries. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

There's nothing like a garden with tall privacy plantings. It gives you a place to escape from the world and a bit of shade for reading. Choose one of these edible privacy plantings, and you can even nibble while you enjoy your alone time:

  • Blackberries
  • Bush apricots
  • Bush cherries
  • Chokecherries
  • Elderberries
  • Goji berries
  • Gooseberries
  • Highbush blueberries
  • Honeyberries
  • Jostaberries
  • Mulberries
  • Pomegranates
  • Raspberries
  • Roses (the hips)
  • Saskatoons

Vining Plants

Grapevine in garden
diephosi / Getty Images

Vines give a garden a sense of history and romance. And it's even better if those vines provide delectables to munch on when you go by:

  • Beans
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi
  • Squash
  • Peas