Edible Landscaping: Save Money and Have a Great Looking Yard

by Miranda Marquit · 4 comments

One of the great things you can do to save on your grocery bill, and enjoy a great-looking yard, is to choose landscaping that is edible. You don’t need a big garden space; simply plant your garden around the yard, wherever it makes sense. If you are planning out your yard, there are plenty of attractive plants that you can eat. (Technically, you can also eat dandelion leaves in your salad. But no one likes to have dandelions in their yard.)

You will have to choose the plants you use carefully, though, since not all plants will grow in your area. Here are some ideas for plants that can enhance the beauty of your yard, and provide you with food to eat:

For Privacy

One way to save money on fencing, especially if you plan to stay put for a while, is to plant privacy bushes. They provide you with privacy, and are usually difficult to get through. Some edible plants that provide privacy include:

  • Raspberries (my favorite)
  • Blackberries
  • Goji berries
  • Highbush blueberries
  • Pomegranates
  • Roses (rose hips are edible)


If you like flowers, plant some that will provide you something (leaves, usually) for a salad, or seeds to eat for later. Some flowering herbs can even be quite pretty:

  • Sunflower
  • Lavender
  • Pansy
  • Chives
  • Hibiscus
  • Borage
  • Rosemary


Everyone likes the shade provided by trees. However, these also require patience, since you will have to wait three years or more for some trees to bear fruit. Additionally, it can take a long time for a tree to grow tall enough to provide shade. But, eventually, you will save money. Better yet, if you are looking to buy, look for a home with mature fruit and nut trees.

  • Apple
  • Cherry
  • Crabapple (use these to make jelly)
  • Plum
  • Peach
  • Apricot
  • Pine (for pine nuts)
  • Filbert/Hazelnut
  • English walnut

If you live in a warmer climate, you can grow lemon, lime and orange trees fairly easily, as well as pecan trees, olive trees (you won’t believe how gross olives are fresh from the tree) and avocado trees. We live in a climate that isn’t ideal for citrus trees, but we have an orange tree in the house. My dad grows avocado trees in his home.


There are some plants that look beautiful, even while providing you sustenance. The following are some plants that can do double duty as ornamental shrubs and dinner.

  • Eggplant
  • Pepper
  • Artichoke
  • Okra
  • Prickly pear (a cactus)
  • Lignonberries
  • Passion fruit
  • Lettuce

Beautiful Vines

You can also add beauty to your yard with the help of vining plants. These fruits and vegetables are known for their graceful appearance:

  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Grapes (You can grow these even in the mountains; I have neighbors who grow grapes. They’re pretty small, though.)
  • Kiwis

Ground Cover

No landscaping is complete without some ground cover. Here are some plants that look nice as ground cover, and that you can eat later:

  • Alpine strawberries (my favorite)
  • Lowbush blueberries
  • Chamomile
  • Creeping thyme

You can probably think of other plants that look attractive and provide you with something to eat. And, of course, if you have extra, you can always dry/dehydrate it or can/bottle it.

Bonus Tip:

Another way to save on your monthly Internet and TV costs is to find a current ATT U-Verse coupon code or at least a promotion to knock down your home service bill.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Wiseguy April 26, 2011 at 9:03 am

Thanks for the post! I had no idea there were so many planting options. For example, I love kiwis but never realized I could grow them myself — and the vine looks wonderful, as well! I’ll have to try growing several of these.

Denise April 27, 2011 at 8:47 am

Must add this awful caveat. Check with your local zoning regulations about edible plants in your FRONT yard. In our city you may not have anything easily recognizable as a vegetable in public view planted in the ground. (Guess pots would be OK if you wanted to stretch the point.) Was actually told by city inspector that my beautiful tomato plants had to go.

Miranda April 27, 2011 at 8:51 am

Great point, Denise. Thanks for bringing it up! Sometimes obvious items have to be relegated to the back yard 🙁

MyNJGarden.com August 22, 2012 at 9:05 am

I find your shrubs list very odd when it comes to edible landscaping… Lettuce? You may want to let your readers know that some of what you posted are annual vegetables that will have to be replanted in the landscape year after year. Perennial shrubs with edible fruit make lovely landscaping plants, even for the front yard, because most passers by don’t even realize What they are! Bush cherries (like nanking), blueberry bushes, beach plums, elderberries, cranberries, currants, rosemary, oregano and even roses are ornamental as well as edible and don’t need to be replanted every year as long as you are in an appropriate planting zone.

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