The following is an excerpt from my article in the Spring / Summer 2010 issue of Delish magazine. Delish is a free-to-the-reader online publication for women with an cutting edge format. It is not just a website or blog, it is an online magazine that allows you to flip page by page just as you would a hard copy. The writers and editors live all over the world and in many cases were brought together by the internet. While I’ve never met any of the lovely ladies, I so much enjoyed working with them for this first issue that I wrote two more for the upcoming fall issue. To look through Delish, click on the thumbnail:
Finding Your Inner Farmer: A Guide To Getting Your Own Green Thumb
I adore beautiful plants. My garden is chock-full of them, looking like little gems, all gleaming aubergine and cherry and tangerine at different times of the year. So when I happened by a photo of a beautiful backyard potager boasting ornamental vegetables, fruit trees and herbs all intermixed with gorgeous dahlia blooms, coneflowers and wisteria vines, it was love at first sight. My image of an ordered country vegetable plot tended to by an overall-clad farmer was immediately replaced by one of a chic urbanite showing off her bounty of freshly-picked produce.
With a little research (browsing through local garden centres and seed catalogs), I quickly realized that rainbow chard and beetroot don’t only look good together on the dinner plate. I dug up the perennial beds surrounding my back patio and replaced half of the showy blooms with gorgeous veggie plants like Dragon Tongue beans and Pizza My Heart peppers. That summer, the patio looked just as beautiful as the previous year, required no extra tending to, and as a bonus, gave me a gourmet produce section right in my backyard.
It’s been a few years now since edibles have joined my small urban garden. The whole things is incredibly addicting. While the garden is still filled with flowers and ornamental trees, I’ve found it’s more rewarding to plant a trellis with Purple Peacock pole beans than a flowing vine. Hanging baskets overflow with Tumbling Tom tomatoes and yellow alpine strawberry plants can be seen in many a nook and cranny. I take great pleasure when a neighbour asks, “Is that a cabbage?” with both awe and delight at the interesting, leafy, red globe nestled in the front border of a garden that still looks unabashedly ornamental.