Edible Gardening

Increasingly, we’re using our landscape for productive, edible gardening! Incorporating vegetable plants and herbs is a great way to grow your own!

This year, I’m using heirloom lettuces as ground covers in planters. You will find their beautiful, unusual foliage unlike any ornamental!

Check out these recommendations:

  • Gentilina is a Italian lettuce, with light green ruffled leafy heads.
  • Mignonette Bronze is an heirloom lettuce that dates back to the 1800s. Its bronze/green colour adds a punch of colour to planters!
  • Cowlick is one of my personal favourites – because of its name, but also for its spiky leaf habit. It is from the Czech Republic.
  • Sunfire has a narrow, branching oakleaf shape. Medium green leaves have red and green veining underneath a red surface blush.
  • From the Italian Alps, Rossa Di Trento is a broad, savoyed cutting lettuce with exquisite wine red margins
  • Another heirloom lettuce is called Ears of the Devil. It has large tapered leaves that are beautifully burgundy and bronze-coloured.

Many of these fabulous heirloom seeds are from a living gene bank called The Seed and Plant Sanctuary for Canada. They are a charitable organization dedicated to the health and vitality of the earth through the preservation and promotion of heritage seeds. The Sanctuary is committed to maintaining, evaluating and keeping records for all the edible, medicinal and useful crops that can be grown in Canada.

The lettuces I have recommended become very different when they flower and go to seed. Leaves change shape, stalks shoot skyward, flowers contrast with foliage, and seedheads pop into reality! This all adds an exciting dimension to your garden design!