Do you want a garden that looks good enough to eat? There’s a book to help. In his new book, Extraordinary Ornamental Edibles, Mike Lascelle, a nursery manager in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, lists 100 perennials, trees, shrubs and vines that both look and taste good.
He argues that planting and tending vegetables every year requires more effort than maintaining a backyard full of well-established hardy perennials that are also ebible. From akebia vine, with its scented flowers and tasty purple-skinned seed pods, to shade-loving Japanese zingiber, Lascelle identifies many options for Canadian gardeners that offer aesthetic and edible appeal. Each entry includes information on the plant’s ideal exposure, water needs, pollination requirements, and harvesting and food preparation suggestions.
He also provides details about microclimates, pests, ecological concerns, organic gardening tips, container growing, space-saving espaliers, propagation, grafting, pruning and design — such as selecting edible groundcovers and choosing plants for fall colour. And there are culinary suggestions and recipes for everything from herbal teas to tempura.
Extraordinary Ornamental Edibles by Mike Lascelle ($24.95) is published by Douglas & McIntyre.