The Master Gardener’s Bookshelf
The Foodscape Revolution: Finding a Better Way to Make Space for Food and Beauty in Your Garden
by Brie Arthur
Review by Susan Wilhelm, Extension Master Gardener
Interested in growing vegetables but lack space or are concerned your local homeowner association will frown on edible landscaping? If so, The Foodscape Revolution — Finding a Better Way to Make Space for Food and Beauty in Your Garden by Brie Arthur may help. The Foodscape Revolution is a “how-to” for integrating annual vegetables and flowers in traditional ornamental landscapes. The result is fresh food, a beautiful landscape and, in Ms. Arthur’s case, an award from her local homeowner’s association.
The Foodscape Revolution is divided into three parts. Part one is the heart of the book. It explains what a foodscape is and provides details on how to create one, covering everything from soil preparation and plant selection to planting and basic maintenance. Ms. Arthur gardens in Plant Hardiness Zone 7 and her plant recommendations include vegetables and herbs commonly grown in our area plus some edibles that may be new to readers.
For example, sesame (Sesamum indicum) grows 6 feet tall with white flowers resembling foxgloves that bloom throughout the heat of the summer. She also suggests edible alternatives to ornamental plants, such as Swiss chard instead of coleus, pepper plants or bush beans in place of perennial flowers, and clumps of rice (Oryza sativa) as a substitute for annual fountain grasses.
Part two has instructions for foodscaping projects including a backyard gathering spot, an edible neighborhood entryway garden, and edible pots and window boxes. Ms. Arthur also discusses alternative growing systems such as aeroponics and hydroponics in this section. Part three covers harvesting, storing and preserving and includes of some of Ms. Arthur’s favorite recipes.
Ms. Arthur’s goal is to make foodscaping a general landscape practice. Even if you are not ready for a full-blown foodscape, The Foodscape Revolution will inspire you to think differently about the open spaces in your landscape and the pots on your patio or balcony.
The Foodscape Revolution —Finding a Better Way to Make Space for Food and Beauty in Your Garden (St. Lynn’s Press, 2017) is available from national booksellers.