Calgary, known for its stunning landscapes and vibrant communities, offers a unique opportunity for homeowners and garden enthusiasts to blend aesthetics with sustenance through edible landscaping. Imagine strolling through your backyard, plucking a ripe tomato, or picking fresh herbs to complement your dinner. Edible landscaping not only adds a new dimension to your outdoor space but also contributes to a sustainable lifestyle.
In this blog, we’ll explore six major strategies for edible landscaping in Calgary, making your yard a haven of both beauty and nourishment. Whether you’re a seasoned green thumb or just getting started, these tips will help you transform your outdoor space into a delightful and bountiful oasis.
6 Major Strategies for Edible Landscaping in Calgary
The following six strategies will help you grow food and add beauty together through edible landscaping in Calgary:
Strategy #1: Zone-Based Planting
Calgary’s unique climate demands a strategic approach to edible landscaping. Use zone-based planting to maximize the success of your edible garden. Start with cold-hardy plants like raspberries and currants in the outer zones, gradually moving towards more tender species as you get closer to your home. This not only creates a visually appealing landscape but also ensures your more delicate plants receive the necessary protection from the elements.
Calgary’s climate is characterized by short, cool summers and long, cold winters. By organizing your garden into zones, you can take advantage of microclimates and provide the ideal conditions for various edible plants. The outer zones, which receive more sunlight and are exposed to colder temperatures, are perfect for hardy crops like rhubarb and strawberries. As you move inward, consider planting tomatoes, peppers, and other warm-season vegetables that benefit from the extra warmth closer to your home.
Strategy #2: Fruit Tree Espaliers
Fruit trees are an excellent addition to any Calgary landscape. However, space can be limited, especially in urban settings. Fruit tree espaliers are a solution that combines function and beauty. These trees are trained to grow flat against a wall or fence, saving space while providing an impressive display of blossoms in the spring and an abundant harvest in the summer. Apples, pears, and cherries are all suitable candidates for espaliering.
Espaliered fruit trees offer several advantages beyond their space-saving design. They’re easier to prune and maintain, and because they grow flat against a surface, they receive more sunlight, which can lead to better fruit production. Additionally, they create a stunning focal point in your garden, adding to its visual appeal.
Strategy #3: Herb Spiral Gardens
Calgary’s short growing season calls for maximizing the use of space, and herb spiral gardens do just that. By creating a spiral-shaped raised bed, you can grow a variety of herbs, each with its own microclimate based on its position in the spiral. This unique design not only makes the most of your space but also adds an eye-catching focal point to your landscape.
The herb spiral design is not only functional but also visually striking. As you ascend the spiral, you’ll find herbs with differing moisture needs, ensuring each plant thrives in its ideal conditions. This thoughtful arrangement not only enhances your garden’s productivity but also creates a visually appealing structure that can become a conversation piece for visitors.
Strategy #4: Berry Bush Borders
For a visually appealing and fruitful border around your garden, consider planting berry bushes. Blueberries, blackberries, and currants not only produce delicious berries but also offer beautiful foliage and vibrant fall colors. These bushes can be strategically placed to create natural dividers in your yard, adding texture and visual interest to your edible landscape.
Berry bushes are not just a source of fresh, flavorful fruit; they also contribute to the overall aesthetics of your garden. Their vibrant foliage provides visual interest throughout the growing season, and their fall colors add a touch of autumnal charm. Additionally, these bushes attract pollinators, benefiting the entire garden.
Strategy #5: Integrated Edible Containers
Integrating edible containers into your landscaping is an excellent way to incorporate a variety of crops without sacrificing aesthetics. Containers filled with colorful lettuces, peppers, or even strawberries can be strategically placed throughout your garden or patio. These containers not only serve as functional elements but also add a pop of color and style to your outdoor space.
Container gardening allows you to experiment with different plant varieties and arrangements, adding versatility to your edible landscape. You can easily move containers to optimize sunlight and space, and you have the freedom to create unique designs that suit your taste. Plus, container gardens are accessible and manageable, making them an excellent option for both beginners and experienced gardeners.
Strategy #6: Perennial Edibles
To reduce the labor and maintenance typically associated with gardening, incorporate perennial edibles into your landscape. Perennials like asparagus, rhubarb, and artichokes come back year after year, requiring minimal care while providing a continuous source of fresh produce. Their large, attractive leaves also contribute to the visual appeal of your garden.
Perennial edibles are a sustainable choice for your edible landscape. Once established, they require less water and attention compared to annual crops. They also provide a sense of permanence to your garden, with their foliage adding beauty and texture throughout the seasons. By incorporating these low-maintenance plants, you can enjoy a steady supply of homegrown produce with less effort.
In conclusion, edible landscaping in Calgary is not only a practical way to supplement your food supply but also a means to enhance the beauty and functionality of your outdoor space. By implementing these seven strategies, you can create a harmonious blend of food and aesthetics right in your backyard. Embrace the uniqueness of Calgary’s climate and landscape, and you’ll be rewarded with a garden that thrives and delights year after year.
Ready to transform your outdoor space into a lush and edible paradise? Contact us today to learn more about our landscaping services tailored to the unique needs of Calgary’s climate and your vision for a beautiful, bountiful garden. Let’s embark on this exciting journey of edible landscaping together.