Plant Your Garden with Your Plate in Mind
Experience the multiple health benefits of gardening
MILTON, Ont. — It’s the time of year when gardeners are starting to plan out the plants and flowers that will be decorating their yard, supporting a variety of wildlife — and even adorning their plates.
“It is a healthy and rewarding experience to plant your garden with your kitchen in mind,” says Denis Flanagan from Landscape Ontario. “There is an amazing diversity of vegetables and fruits available to plant in your garden. Eat them fresh, or make them part of an interesting recipe. You won’t regret it!”
Tomatoes and peppers are staples in backyard gardens, but in vogue this year are healthy, leafy greens like kale and Swiss chard as well as items like okra and heirloom veggies. Flanagan also recommends a herb garden that will bring life and fragrance to your yard as well as flavour to your favourite salads and barbecued dishes.
Parsley and chives should be staples in your herb garden, and fragrant herbs like rosemary, rue and lavender are gaining popularity.
“It’s incredibly easy to grow and harvest herbs,” says Flanagan. “With the increasing popularity of backyard barbecues and cooking outdoors, it is almost a must to ensure you have a herb garden nearby, whether directly in your garden, in a container or in a hanging basket nearby.”
The trend towards urban fruit and vegetable gardening is about more than tasty dishes coming off the grill or out of your kitchen. It’s about an increasing concern for our health.
“We are all aware of the health benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables, but it is more than just that,” says Flanagan. “A good diet is just one part of a healthy lifestyle. Getting out into the garden is exercise that has multiple benefits. It is good for your yard, and it is good for your body!”
Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association, one of the most vibrant associations of its kind, is comprised of over 2,000 member companies, ten sector groups and nine local chapters. Its trade mission is to promote the horticulture industry in Ontario, and its public mission, Green for Life, promotes the joys and benefits of plants and green spaces. Visit http://www.landscapeontario.
com for more information, and follow Landscape Ontario on Twitter @Green_for_Life and like them on Facebook.
Via Stephen Murdoch, Enterprise Canada. Photos are my own.