With so much in the news today about the price of our food rising, the much talked about reviews & discussions on the book “The 100 Mile Diet” and with the encouragement (for so many good reasons!) to buy locally grown farm fresh food whenever possible, – I think we need to start reconsidering how we use our landscaped urban gardens. This thought is certainly not new or unique but bears being repeated as often as is possible to my way of thinking. The generations that have preceded us probably couldn’t imagine a time when almost every home wouldn’t have a vegetable garden and several fruit trees.

Thankfully, the trend to “grow your own” is taking hold once again. We have so much to gain and nothing to lose by introducing the growing of some of our produce in our own backyards ~ and the front yard too! I have always been a gardener but hadn’t been growing to eat for so many years. About two years ago, the bug to start veggie gardening again started biting me and now I’m hooked! I am secretly eyeing up which areas of our lawn can be removed so that I can enlarge the beds, to have more room to grow!

We started in this new direction by incorporating fruit in amongst the flower beds ~ four blueberry bushes, three columnar apple trees and a rhubarb plant. They all look as beautiful as any of the other trees and shrubs but will provide us with healthy and delicious food as well! We had also mixed in pepper plants, swiss chard, carrots, lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes – they were as pretty as any perennials could be. Our herb bed is filled with rosemary, oregano, chives, parsley, sage, mint (in a pot because it is so aggressive), tarragon and thyme. I keep trying cilantro and dill but without much success, ahhh..ha……a challenge!

The photo below is of a garden near us where they have a sweet little greenhouse in the front yard, a bed of herbs and an espaliered apple tree (with several varieties on one root stock) in front of the greenhouse and blueberry and raspberry bushes beside it. If I remember correctly, the vine that surrounds the windows is an evergreen honeysuckle – great for luring bees to the blossoms that need pollinating!

What could be more delightful than, on a sunny summer morning, going out to the garden to pick berries to add to your cereal bowl?! Berries that have not been sprayed with chemicals, berries that have not travelled thousands of miles, berries that have been picked when they are ripe and eaten while still warmed by the sun! PLUS, you get the ever so important excercise…..planting, weeding, pruning & picking.

Today felt so spring like that it must have stirred up my gardening genes!