Master Gardener: Plant Kale in Edible Landscapes | Way of life


Once upon a time, not so long ago, that was exactly what you were doing. People planted what they could where they could, and then it got too old fashioned as hedges and green lawns took over front yards all over America while vegetable gardens hid in the back or not from the everything.

Edible landscapes.

We have heard it before. Books have been written about it, articles have been written about it, and it’s all over the internet. Some people are even pretty good at growing their plants through the cracks of brick or rock walkways. It’s often called “suburban gardening” or “urban gardening”, harsh terms for us gardeners in the South. Many of us simply don’t. Neither do I.

I finally had my “aha” moment, and I think I’m going too.

I was shopping in Jefferson on a beautiful Sunday (nobody fainting, yeah, I said I was shopping. I know, I know I hate shopping but I really was), and my friend and I did one of my favorite things: stalking plants in other people’s yards. Just window shopping, we didn’t touch anything, but I approached. I kept my window open and my seat belt on so I wouldn’t be tempted.

I enjoy looking at other people’s finely manicured gardens, probably because mine isn’t. I have great ideas and love to see the beauty of other people who have lovingly worked and designed the landscaping. I have to work with love because I’m too cheap to pay for it, and I like to work in my garden, so we drive around looking at other people’s gardens. We even stopped at a house that had a sign in their yard that said “Yard of the Month” and called out to the couple sitting on the porch, “I don’t care what the sign says, I love your yard.” as we waved. They answered, I think. At least they were smiling.

In the next street.

And there it was. The simplest and most beautiful flower bed. Beautiful and tidy. All dark green plants lined up and evenly spaced with the backdrop of a huge white house in well mulched soft soil.

The seat belt came off.

I had to know what it was and what flower it would offer.

I took a picture as I headed home to knock on the door and ask questions, but then stopped dead in my tracks.

It was kale. Right in their front yard.

I had my revelation, and it clicked. The seatbelt was back and I started planning my own little edible landscape. All because of the kale in someone’s garden.

Good job kale; good work.

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— The Smith County Master Gardener Program is a volunteer organization affiliated with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.


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