Mediterranean Edible Landscape - Inspired by Italy
This Mediterranean style edible landscape is inspired by the homeowner’s Italian heritage and time spent in Southern Italy. Fruits, herbs and vegetables abound in the various plantings that make up the several ‘outdoor rooms’ of this relaxed, yet stylized landscape.
Raised beds made of Napa field stone are planted with a huge range of annual vegetables including many rare heirloom Italian varieties. Perennial herbs including variegated sage, thyme, oregano and tarragon tumble over the edges of the beds, softening the look of the space.
Arched metal trellising supports muscat grapes and summer crops of green beans and cherry tomatoes. Espaliered cherry, prune plum, pear and peach trees are underplanted with pollinator attracting flowers, filling in the spaces between each bed and adding color to this vibrant productive space.
Purple, orange, red and silver are key to establishing the sophisticated, warm tone, and year-round color and interest of the poolside planting. Red pomegranates are arranged formally along the poolside, with rosemary, lavender and variegated chilean guava flanking. Edible purple sage, mixed variegated lemon thyme, chamomile and saffron crocus are punctuated with orange-blooming succulents, providing a lush, culinary underplanting and groundcover.
The front yard is another formal space, anchored by six fruiting Fuyu persimmon trees. The fruit tree underplanting provides a mix of beautiful cutting flowers and edibles including alstroemeria, Hidcote lavender, phormium, and spreading germander, with a backdrop of winter-blooming Tuscan Blue rosemary.
A Specialty Gardeners' Dream
This integrated ornamental and edible landscape is really a home chef’s and speciality gardener’s dream. The original garden was destroyed in the Oakland fires of 1991 — our goal in re-planting to create a garden that is really a joy to live with. The new space includes a great collection of fruit trees, berries, annual vegetables and herbs — some of our favorites alongside more unusual edibles.
Herbs and Salad Greens
This waist high salad greens bed is one of our favorite parts of the garden. Annual plantings of lettuces, arugula and chard are the foreground to more permanent ornamental plantings including ornamental oregano, euphorbia, fuschia, hellebores and canna. A mature Meyer lemon just outside the kitchen door is always easy to access.
Annual Vegetable Garden
Further up the hillside garden, a dedicated annual vegetable garden area includes three beds — perfect for rotating plantings. Cool season crops include leafy greens such as puntarelle, collards, parsley, kale, spicy mustard greens and trellised fava beans. The beauty and productivity of the space is enhanced by surrounding plantings of culinary herbs like sage, thyme and rosemary, alongside pollinator attracting ornamentals such as euphorbia, salvia and pink and orange toned succulents.
Blueberries, citrus and and a mature apricot tree are further anchors for the overall edible landscape.
Urban Modern - Stylish, Clean Aesthetic Edible Landscape
This modern urban style edible landscape in Palo Alto shows food production in combination with a clean, modern aesthetic.
The property is small — just 3000 square feet in total. So, in collaboration with BA Design landscape architects, we created a space where every inch counts!
Permanent constructed elements like Corten steel planters, geometric concrete pavers, graphic riverstone and cool toned decomposed granite, hold the design by providing simple, constant counterpoints to the annual edibles that come and go through the seasons. Plantings of pineapple guava and a low hedge of blueberries are evergreen through the year.
Use living fences to squeeze production into skinny spaces. Espaliered fruit trees take the place of traditional hedging, delineating the boundary between this site and the neighbor’s lot, while producing cherries, Asian pears, apples, Pixie mandarins, blood oranges and limes.
Herbs and Salad Greens at Hand
In the side breezeway adjacent to the kitchen, several containers serve as easy access herb and salad gardens. Supported by geometric metal cabling, kiwi climbs its way up the side of the house – its red, fuzzy stems are graphic and unexpected. Redbor and winterbor kales grow through the cool season. Harvesting culinary herbs like oregano is a family affair.
Sunset Celebration - Small Space, Big Dreams Challenge
This ‘Edible Bounty’ demonstration garden was created in June 2014 for the Sunset Celebration weekend.
The 25 ft x 25 ft edible landscape was developed for Sunset’s 'Small Space, Big Dreams' challenge (along with Bay Area designers Growsgreen Landscape, Ground Cover Landscaping, Living Green and Sunset’s Garden Editors).
Potager & Orchard Kitchen Garden - Timeless American Style
This kitchen garden with surrounding orchard has a timeless American style. We transformed this underutilized space and underplanted apple, pear, and apricot trees with a beautiful mix of fruiting shrubs, berries, flowers and herbs.
The landscape includes fruits such as pineapple guava, chilean guava, pomegranate, grapes, avocado and blueberries.
Edible flowers make for beautiful arrangements and often go into the weekly harvest basket too — white and yellow chamomile, bright pink agastache, and purple flowering chives.
Sometimes the best kitchen gardens are the smallest ones! We created this modern style kitchen garden in a small Los Altos garden using galvanised metal water troughs. The metal containers play off the modern architecture of the house, while the vegetables, trailing herbs and surrounding fruit tree and flower plantings make for a beautiful, productive garden.
At one of our favorite San Francisco cottage style gardens, a raised wooden bed transforms the narrow planting bed along a small brick backyard patio into abundance. Lemon cucumbers, potatoes, artichoke, chives and salad greens are just some of the vegetables and herbs that can be grown in this small space.
Positioned on a small balcony just outside the kitchen door of another garden, this grouping of two simple terracotta containers makes for a perfect culinary herb collection and space for favorite salad greens.
Low Water Front Yard
"Low water, deer resistant, and edible — in a Mediterranean/Santa Barbara style” were the requests for this front yard edible landscape! Plantings of mixed edibles and ornamentals achieve this and more.
Five fruiting olive trees serve as evergreen anchors in what was once a bare soil slope. Discreet, deer resistant edibles such as rosemary, lavender, sweet culinary bay and thyme are combined with low water ornamentals including succulents, bulbine, and leucadendrons. The overall effect is a low maintenance, beautiful and productive garden.
This classic kitchen garden has a cheerful, cottage-garden type style. Once an abandoned corner of the garden, this narrow space now includes all kinds of vegetables and herbs including tomatoes, kale, basil, summer squash, lettuce and chard! Blueberries underplanted with strawberries line the shady side of the garden. Between the annual vegetable beds, edible and pollinator attracting flowers such as feverfew, nasturtium, pineapple sage, lavender and culinary sages create a colorful, overflowing look and increase the productivity of the overall space.
Union Plaza Park in West Oakland is a flagship urban farming project of the West Oakland based non-profit, City Slicker Farms. Developed in cooperation with the City of Oakland, this underfunded public park in West Oakland was given a new life when re-birthed as a production oriented urban farm!
We, of course, were very happy to be asked to design and install the main flagstone pathway and various planting beds in this garden. Star Apple’s plantings included an accessible mix of fruit trees, blueberries, pollinator-attracting flowers and herbs. Working with volunteers to get the garden installed was a great opportunity to be involved with our local community.
Stop by and visit the farm when you can! Managed on an ongoing basis by City Slicker Farms, the gates to the farm are always open. Saturday harvest days are pay-what-you-can and there are always opportunities to volunteer and learn in the garden. See http://www.cityslickerfarms.org for more information.