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The Edible Landscape by Emily Tepe

Book Review: The Edible Landscape

Last month I received a copy of Emily Tepe’s new book, The Edible Landscape, and since I don’t write reviews without reading the thing cover to cover (and I’m a slow reader), I’m just getting around to it now.

The promise of the book, from the cover and my expectations at least, is an instructional guide to creating an edible landscape with fruits, vegetables and flowers. As I read through it, I realized there is very little in the way of instruction. I also realized that isn’t necessarily bad.

The Edible Landscape by Emily Tepe
The Edible Landscape by Emily Tepe

Tepe’s approach, rather, is to give you a visually stimulating meandering walk through a garden. She poetically proposes ideas that stir the imagination. Not concrete details, but concepts to explore. Every page has at least one picture to inspire. Granted, most of the photos are labeled as stock photography, but they still deliver the message.

Having written a book of my own, it can understand how challenging it is to provide specific details about growing edibles for a wide swath of climates, hardiness zones and conditions. Publishers often demand that authors produce vague information to cover all regions, and the result in the end isn’t very helpful to any one climate.

Tepe counters this in the final pages of the book with concrete growing advice and plant recommendations for visually interesting partnerships for an edible landscape. She also includes a chart of plants most suitable for growing in northern gardens. While this doesn’t help this So Cal gardener, I appreciated the specificity.

I usually subscribe to the notion that if you can’t say anything nice, don’t write a book review (especially when my own book hits the shelves in a couple months), but with Tepe’s book, it’s all about expectation. Don’t read this book expecting step by step instructions on how to create your edible landscape. Use it instead as an image folder of beautiful ideas to inspire and you will enjoy it.

If you would like to win a copy of this book, post a comment below with your favorite edible landscaping combination. One winner will be chosen on Wednesday, February 20th.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Molly

    so, who won?

  2. Molly

    I haven’t yet incorporated too many *combos* as i have just stumbled upon this concept. however, the one that interests me the most that i would like to try is asparagus with strawberries. the strawberries act as a ground cover for the asparagus and I’ve heard they thrive together nicely. As I live in the north (Michigan), this book sounds like a really nice read, considering most books about gardening seem to be location specific- and the north doesn’t seem to be a hot topic;)

  3. Karin

    I love the ”Three Sisters”, corn, squash and beans…never fails and gorgeous with the tall corn, beans growing on the stalks and squash covering the ground below.

  4. Kylie S

    Garlic and Roses… The garlic deters aphids..

  5. Liz Camp

    I love to grow herbs around my tiled patio at the back of my garden. Whether it is basil in pots or prostrate rosemary at the edge of the flower beds, I love to let them lean/creep over into the patio space so that guests at my patio table brush past the plants and release their delicious aromas into the air.

  6. Michelle Weiner

    Hi Christy-
    I favor planting herbs such as rosemary, lavender and sage with scented geraniums with roses and citrus. This combo is beautiful and smells luscious.

    In the front yard I mix chards, artichokes and California natives, because the chard and artichokes need little to no added water, and so I can avoid over-watering near natives and the possibility of causing root rot.

  7. Leanne Whitaker

    my two favorite edible garden combos are: cabbage and rainbow chard, and asparagus and artichokes.

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