Make your landscaping do double duty by being attractive and edible. When choosing plants, think about their requirements for sun and soil, of course, but also consider if they produce a crop. For example: Apple trees provide shade and fruit. Espalier train the trees by pruning and with supports and turn the trees into a fence.
Grapes grown along a metal or wood fence provide a natural-looking fence and fruit. The grapes will wrap tendrils around the fence for support. Plant blackberries and raspberries. They don't require a support but will ramble along the ground, forming a thicket. Trim the bushes to keep them in control. Blackberries have solid cores to the berries and are dark purple. Raspberries have hollow cores to the berries and come in red, white and gold. Nearly all have thorns.
Strawberries make an edible edging for plant gardens and borders. The plants reproduce themselves by growing runners with a baby strawberry plant at the end. The babies will root. Trim them off to keep them in bounds. Or, cut the runner after the baby has rooted and transplant to another area.
Leaf lettuce makes another edible edging, as does chard. Don't stick with the plain green varieties. Try bright lights chard with red or yellow stems and veins. Clip off the leaves to harvest and the edging will stay looking attractive.
Borders and Beds
Asparagus is a perennial which is edible in the early stages as a stalk before the leaves have sprouted. The plant has fine, feathery leaves and looks at home in a border. Artichokes grow on plants with broad, deeply serrated leaves up to 3 feet long and 1 foot wide. It grows to 4 feet wide and 3 feet high. The flowers are edible when tightly budded. If allowed to bloom the flowers are deep blue thistles. Rhubarb likes the shade and cool temperatures. The red stalks are edible but not the leaves.
Corn looks a bit like bamboo with its tall straight stalks. Plant at the back of the border where it will receive eight hours of sunlight a day. Corn is a warm season crop and requires nights with lows above 60 degrees F and highs during the day below 90 degrees F. It is a space hog eating up 3 square feet of ground to produce two cobs of corn per plant. The taste of fresh sweet corn straight from the garden is worth it.