This Mother’s Day, do something that will have special meaning for your vegetarian or vegan mother. There’s a strong link between vegetarianism/veganism and gardening, as is the idea of transforming one’s own yard into a sustainable source of food. If your mother is an avid gardener who loves to enjoy and share the results of her hard work, you can make this Mother’s Day a memorable one by helping her establish the edible garden of her dreams, with plants that look appealing and produce a delicious source of food for your whole family and neighbors.  

Aesthetic appeal

Creating a garden with visual as well as culinary appeal can be difficult. The objective of a vegetable garden is to produce food, augment your menu selections, and provide healthful alternatives for your entire family. But you can also help Mom create a scene of considerable natural beauty by combining plants of different colors and varying heights, which gives the effect of a harmonious natural landscape. This unique approach to landscaping, sometimes called “foodscaping,” is an enjoyable and utilitarian combination of formal landscaping and farming.

Turning your yard into an edible landscape is not only ideal for a vegetarian; it’s also representative of an environmentally responsible lifestyle. It’s become such an appealing and efficient practice that many businesses and restaurants have decided to grow herbs and plants, which provide a cost-effective way to round out their menus. Growing one’s own food is a very old tradition that reaches back into the very beginnings of the United States and the country’s agrarian origins. There’s more to it than nostalgia. It’s a practical and useful way to add visual beauty and nutritional value to your mother’s yard. And it’s a great family activity, something that even young children can help with and learn from.

An appealing design

Work with your mother to design a garden landscape using a variety of edible plants that look good as they grow together. Kale, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, artichokes, blackberries, and herbs such as rosemary, mint and basil combine to make an attractive outdoor scene that your mother will love viewing from her kitchen window for months. The fun comes from working out bright and complementary plant combinations, which you can add to with decorative rocks, logs, flagstones and other accents. Don’t forget to use plants based on the amount of sunlight your yard gets, and how much rainfall you can expect during the growing months. If you decide to go with plants that like to sprawl and spread out, consider using a container of some type, like a metal or wooden barrel half. Make sure to put small holes in the bottom and sides so that excess water can drain out.

Keeping it green

As you create your edible garden, bear in mind the ongoing need to water and feed what you’ve planted to ensure that it stays productive. You can make it easy on your mom by installing a form of drip irrigation, which she can activate with the turn of a knob. Soaker hoses make watering a garden easy; all that’s necessary is to lay it alongside your garden plants and let it drip water directly down into the root system. Drip irrigation extends watering times, saves water and time, prevents fungal buildup and can easily be adapted to any landscaping configuration.  

Mulch

Mulching will protect root systems from fluctuations in precipitation and temperature and conserve moisture by preventing evaporation. Be careful not to mulch too heavily, which can prevent important nutrients reaching the roots.

A well-designed edible garden will be a pleasing addition to your neighborhood, something your friends and neighbors (not to mention your homeowner’s association) will appreciate. Consider making it a yearly Mother’s Day activity. Next year, plan on adding some new plants and more color.

Courtesy of Pixabay.com.