Plants that Taste as Good as they Look

Read at : Fine Gardening

Plants that Taste as Good as they Look

From ground covers to trees, these fruit-bearing plants merit a place in your ornamental garden

by Lee Reich

The proverb “You can’t have your cake and eat it too” does not apply to gardening. Gardens are often segregated into sections for plants that look nice and plants that offer something to eat. Rarely does a plant cross the divide. But this practice often arises out of habit rather than necessity. A number of handsome trees, shrubs, and ground covers also bear luscious fruit. So contrary to that saying, you can have your cake (an ornamental plant) and eat it, too.

Not every pretty plant bearing good-tasting fruit is necessarily suitable for the home landscape. Many fruiting plants are prone to insect and disease problems, and no one wants to douse pesticides on bushes bordering a patio or on trees beneath which children play. So the ideal dual-purpose plant is resistant to pests. And any plant that wants to make the leap into the ornamental category needs to remain attractive even after its few weeks of flamboyance. Fortunately, a number of trees, shrubs, and ground-cover plants meet these criteria.

Shrubs with summer fruit



Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.