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LILY_SPARK's Photo LILY_SPARK SparkPoints: (89,174)
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4/6/13 10:14 A

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Those are really helpful tips, thank you!

We'd be making her something on the ranch, close to te house. I tried convincing her to use the flower beds (which are near the house and small) but she insists on those at least having hostas and various lilies, maybe columbine (mums, later).

I know it's very frustrating for her but she really can't 'do' too much vending over or heavily using her arms (not because of the arms but the CHEST).

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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (66,042)
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4/5/13 10:59 P

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Living in the suburbs, even with renting garden plots from the park district, we aren't able to grow enough food to feed our family completely, though we do plant quite a bit and freeze and can our produce as well. And of course, the place in the yard that gets the most sun happens to be the front of the house. So even though I'd like to take advantage of that area, I do need to try and limit it to decorative vegetable plants if possible - sweet potatoes that can double as decorative ground cover, and others that I can plant among the perennials and bushes. And perennial veggies that do double duty would be ideal, like asparagus once I get the whole area prepared. I've also grown basil in among my deck planters.
Our soil does have quite a bit of lime, so I'd have to constantly be amending it in order to grow blueberry bushes, though I'd like to give it a try. When planting bushes or trees in landscape, I've tried to limit it to plants that will give something back, either to me or the wildlife in my yard, rather than just be decorative, since space limits the amounts I can plant.

Not sure what type of place your mother is moving to or how much room she will have for beds. Raised beds are very decorative, and do make it easier to weed, plant, and pick than beds at ground level. Helps to cut down on weeds and grass roots invading the beds, and you can sit on the edges instead of having to stoop down. Many veggies can be grown in planters as well, either by themselves or planted among decorative plants, again making it easier to tend to. Both planters and raised beds also help if there hasn't been much rain, as the surrounding soil doesn't act like a sponge and draw the water away from your garden like in a regular bed.


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LILY_SPARK's Photo LILY_SPARK SparkPoints: (89,174)
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4/5/13 4:52 P

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We're getting ready to have to move to something like this for my elderly (ill) mother. She adores gardening (I grew up on a working ranch, which means I abhor gardening but desire the produce, so you do it!) and can't do 'real' gardening anymore.

I'm not saying other versions aren't REAL but unless you're using mules or tillers or tractors, it's a different beast! I'm not familiar with the more hobby-style gardening but I'm going to have to figure something out for her.

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ANOTHERMOMOF2's Photo ANOTHERMOMOF2 Posts: 4,404
4/2/13 2:29 P

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Thanks for the link.

Karen

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GABBY308's Photo GABBY308 Posts: 7,903
4/2/13 1:55 P

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I just found this in my inbox today. Haven't read the whole article yet but what visuals! Beautiful pictures of how well flowers and veggies go together: I love the one on "add color" with the purple and green adirondack chairs amidst overflowing containers.

www.gardeners.com/Edible-Landscaping
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986,default,pg.html


Edited by: GABBY308 at: 4/2/2013 (13:59)





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SHADED_GROVE Posts: 1
3/30/13 12:08 A

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I've had a patch of asparagus in the front yard for a few years as well as a few fruit trees, this year after having some major excavation work last year due to sewer and water line replacement I'll be having about 1/2 ornamental veggies and grains and 1/2 flowers in the front yard.

Some showy veg that can be snuck into just about any front yard are...

amaranth grain
rainbow chard
Red Basil
Artichoke
red Russian kale
sunchokes

Good luck and go for it. veggies are SO much better when they are garden fresh!
Shan


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SUMITH2008's Photo SUMITH2008 Posts: 5,063
3/28/13 4:06 P

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If its iron oxide which is naturally occurring then no i am not worried about it.

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KOKOEK9's Photo KOKOEK9 Posts: 7,161
3/28/13 3:25 P

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thanks

Mike


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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 31,004
3/28/13 3:03 P

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No, which is why I am very careful about what mulches I use. I have been planting veggies and fruit in my flower beds for years.

KOKOEK9's Photo KOKOEK9 Posts: 7,161
3/28/13 2:45 P

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thanks, would you want to eat food that may have that in it

Mike


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SUMITH2008's Photo SUMITH2008 Posts: 5,063
3/28/13 2:40 P

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Actually the Dyed mulch is no harm as far as i know the inks are either soy based or vegetable based. That's the Red type. The black type is a different story. I did a google look up on it awhile back so i don't think its of any concern.

Mulch dye for red mulch is mostly iron oxide. This is basically rust, and isn't toxic or damaging to plants or the environment. Black mulch is colored with carbon black. If you pick up a piece of burned charcoal and rub it in your hands, your skin will end up coated with essentially the same thing. Some companies may also use vegetable dyes, particularly for red mulch.



Edited by: SUMITH2008 at: 3/28/2013 (14:41)
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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 31,004
3/28/13 2:07 P

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I have been told that the dye slowly leaches out of dyed mulch and that at least some plants will pull some colorants up through their roots, ie. tinting white carnations. So I would be careful about planting food crops in areas with dyed mulch. Check what they use as dyes and any harmful effects it might have. If you switch back to natural colored mulch, I would also give the soil a few years for the dye to leach out of it before planting food crops in that area.

KOKOEK9's Photo KOKOEK9 Posts: 7,161
3/28/13 1:13 P

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I have one question about this, my bead is mulched with red bark chips can the die get into the food you pant there, that is my only concern

Mike


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SUMITH2008's Photo SUMITH2008 Posts: 5,063
3/28/13 11:01 A

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CBRINKLEY401 I know its very beneficial to plant veggies and flowers in the same bed. For pest control and help pollination.

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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 31,004
3/27/13 10:34 A

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Bright Lights Swiss Chard is a very pretty plant. The stems are white, yellow, orange and red and the leaves are a dark green. Just harvest the out stems of each plant & they will continue to grow all season. You can also plant berry bushes in your flower bed of as foundation plants around the house.

SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 31,004
3/27/13 10:33 A

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Bright Lights Swiss Chard is a very pretty plant. The stems are white, yellow, orange and red and the leaves are a dark green. Just harvest the out stems of each plant & they will continue to grow all season. You can also plant berry bushes in your flower bed of as foundation plants around the house.

GABBY308's Photo GABBY308 Posts: 7,903
3/26/13 5:45 P

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I'm in zone 5 also and last year I planted a ruby okra that was beautiful. It had red stems and gorgeous flowers ( I never did eat the okra ack!). I also like eggplant in with the flowers because it also has beautiful violet flowers and the small speckled eggplant are pretty in their own right. There is also an oriental eggplant that has purple stems whiich stand out, but I forgot which one it was. It may have been Fairytale. I also put a twig bean pole in amongst the flowers and let Scarlet runner beans grow up and thru. They're really pretty. Last year I even stuck in a couple of the orange cherry tomatoes.






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KOKOEK9's Photo KOKOEK9 Posts: 7,161
3/26/13 5:27 P

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Hi I have planted tomatos and peppers, I would think anything you like would work

Mike


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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (66,042)
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3/26/13 4:57 P

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I just wondered if anyone planted any of their food crops in decorative flower beds. I know that rhubarb can be decorative, as can asparagus, sweet potatoes (vines are great for groundcover). Oregano and thyme also look great in walkways and cascading over stone walls. Dill has lacy leaves which also would be attractive among flowers. Basil tends to be fairly compact so it wouldn't look out of place, though you'd want to cut off any flower stalks. Are there any other plants which would do double duty like this?

I was thinking of maybe trying to grow a few bunches of corn as decorative plants which would add height, like you would ornamental grasses. I grow the Burpee Ruby Red, which has red on the stalks and leaves as well as the kernels themselves, and tastes great (we grow it every year in the garden plots).

What other plants might work? I'm in zone 5 in the midwest USA, but I'm sure you could do this most anywhere


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