The Beautiful Edible Garden: Design A Stylish Outdoor Space Using Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs
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The Beautiful Edible Garden: Design A Stylish Outdoor Space Using Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs

3.37 of 5 stars 3.37  ·  rating details  ·  84 ratings  ·  30 reviews
From the founders of landscape design firm Star Apple Edible & Fine Gardening in the San Francisco Bay Area comes a stylish, beautifully-photographed guide to artfully incorporating organic vegetables, fruits, and herbs into an attractive modern garden design.

We’ve all seen the vegetable garden overflowing with corn, tomatoes, and zucchini that looks good for a short t...more
Paperback, 220 pages
Published February 26th 2013 by Ten Speed Press (first published February 5th 2013)
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You want to grow some food, but you don’t want your yard to look like a farm. Or maybe your Home Owner’s Association has rules on that and will freak if they can tell you planted some produce producing plants. Or maybe you have a difficult neighbor who has a tendency to report everything you do to the city inspectors. If you are looking for a way to mix in the edible plants with flowering things The Beautiful Edible Garden: Design a Stylish Outdoor Space Using Vegetables, Fruits and Herbs might...more
This is not for novice gardeners. The projects are rather involved too (& could be costly). I liked it & the photos are gorgeous. My only concern is that there was not enough clarity - for me - between the plants/parts of the yard that are and are not edible. I would be hesitant about engaging in some of these projects if I had young kids in my home. Anyone living in such a yard with a mixture of edible & potentially poisonous plants would absolutely have to be extremely well trained...more
As an edible gardening enthusiast I was delighted by the inspiration and beautiful photography featured in The Beautiful Edible Garden, but, as a gardener who likes to have all her reference material at hand, I was also somewhat disappointed. Other for books I have read in the genre had prepared me to feel moved and delighted,and to look out at my yard with a brand new set of visions for planting things I possibly hadn't considered edible before. This is not that book.
The Beautiful Edible Garden...more
This was a beautifully photographed book, especially the floral arrangements. It had some good information in it, but I felt like it was written more for the west coast or more warm climate regions. I would have loved to have seen the zone listings for the various plants recommended in the book. If you want to be inspired by what can be, this would be a nice book to look at.
I was totally captivated by the beautiful cover and gorgeous pictures in this book. The authors' goal in this book is to help redefine the plant palette to utilize edible and ornamental plants throughout your garden in a way that is both beautiful and productive. They begin by discussing the four main principles of creating a beautiful, productive garden: Balance, Arrangement, Year-Round Beauty and Harvest, and Unified Style. Then they break the garden down to the Front Yard and the Backyard and...more
May 14, 2014 D rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: folks interested in sustainable landscaping
as i've written this review, i've pulled the book up from 3 stars to 3.5–4.

this is a solid, attractive, easily accessible reference for the home gardener looking to create a sustainable, edible landscape. the book would be helpful to folks of all levels of gardening experiences, with all sizes of yards, in all growing zones, though undoubtedly those with some gardening knowledge, access to moderate space, in and moderate zones will find the most options.

as a beginner gardener, i found all of th...more
REALLY loved this book.

From the gorgeous photos to the practical advice about edible landscaping.

I liked that I recognized some of my fave gardens from Sunset magazine (they're in the west and generally, in my zone).

I LOVED how it was a landscaping book that focused on landscaping, not mini farming. There are lots of beautiful plants (with lots of photos in the book to show you) that can be grown for both food and show all over our yard. Living in an HOA restricted and very visible plot, I loved...more

The Beautiful Edible Garden by Lesle Bennett and Stefani Bittner is a beautiful book. It starts out with basic design principles and expands them as they relate to planning an edible garden including factors such as harvest frequency and inter-cropping. There are idea palettes for different garden styles including, Mediterranean, Woodland, Urban Modern and more. The authors outline five basic steps for creating a beautiful edible garden. Step one covers ha...more
Jill Daw
I wasn't 100% sure what to expect from this book when I first received it; I have read a few books about garden planning that left a little to be desired so while I had high hopes, I didn't have any grand expectations. I was very pleasantly surprised. This is an excellent book not only about incorporating edibles into your landscape but about gardening in general. It is very readable and incorporates a lot of very helpful photographs that support the text very well. I believe this text would be...more
This book seemed well-researched and based on the landscaping experience of the authors and other contributors. The photography was well done and pertinent to the text. Overall, I think this is the best book I have read about ornamental edible landscaping due to its thoroughness on the topic, included references, and balance of text and images.
I found that while I was reading "The Beautiful Edible Garden," I was constantly putting the book down to make notes of ideas that jumped into my mind for my own garden. The beautiful photography shines throughout the book and this collaboration by Bennett and Bittner really does inspire you to make a more beautiful, edible garden.

Read my full review over at my blog,

really informative, easy to read, lots of pictures, and really helpful. I got some great ideas I'd like to put in effect in my yard and some new plants to add to my list
While this book makes me want to move to CA it does not help me plan an edible garden anyplace else. It relies heavily on citrus that you plant in-yard and other wonderful sounding fruits that I just do not think would work in most of the country.
I think this a great book for someone who really cares about the aesthetics of their garden and wants a clear plan of action to follow. Basic design principals are covered and a five-step plan is outlined and then applied to different types of spaces. Beautiful pictures and copious suggestions for integrating ornamental and edible plants. I was slightly (only very slightly) frustrated by the inclusion of many plants that are not hardy in my area (zone 4), as it is written from a CA perspective....more
Steph Myers
Beautiful photos. This is primarily a design book and pretty thin on technique. The principles presented are simple and easy for the layperson to apply. The photos show that including edibles can make a garden every bit as gorgeous as perennials alone. Even though the authors try to create a book that can be used by any gardeners, I think it will be most beneficial to coastal and mild climate gardeners. Many of the edible plants presented are annuals in Colorado unless potted and brought indoors...more
This is a beautifully crafted book. The photos are wonderful and plentiful, which made me all the more excited to grow and design. The book is very informative as well--though the growing suggestions are focused on the realities of growing in what I assume is the author's native climate zone. Drier climate zones, like the one I'm currently in, will need to adjust the instructions significantly. Overall, I was very pleased with the book.
This book does lack some technique for beginners HOWEVER it's not called "Edible Garden 101" or "How to Create a Basic Edible Garden". This book is successfully addresses the esthetics of edible gardens. It is photograph and inspiration heavy.

I loved this book and it is one of the few on this topic that I have read from the library and purchased because I can't renew it forever.
Gardening seems so simple and so complex all at the same time, which means reading about it is both inspiring and daunting. There are so many plants, so many things to know and consider! I can't imagine that any gardener could surround himself in such an environment and not marvel at the beauty, wonder and ingenuity of creation.
I picked up 2 tips from this book. One involves the uses for grey water when thinking of food safety. The other was a reminder to put stepping stones in your garden beds to keep from compacting the soil.
Otherwise, it was a pretty random read with some repetition, and incorrect word use. ( Wheel BARREL?)
This is a beautifully done book. The authors own a vegetable gardening business in California, so it would definitely be more applicable to you if you lived in that area. But, the design principles are universal and apply to all gardeners. Good gardening eye candy!
While not strictly for beginning gardeners, this offers great information that can be applied to any garden. I found the sections on under planting, shade-tolerance, herb wreaths, container planting, and composting achievable and practical.
My library probably shouldn't have bought this book. It's gorgeous, but the climate/soil/etc. in Denver is just too different from the Bay Area, where the authors live.
More emphasis here on style than on edible- the writers are landscape architects, so perhaps this was to be expected. A very pretty book, well worth the read.
Slightly aggravating to have so many plants included that I just can't grow in my planting zone (all those citrus trees!) but still a lovely book.
Velma Haag
This book was perhaps more for warmer climates than the midwest, but I did enjoy the concepts. Nifty ideas for landscaping the garden as well.
Aug 15, 2013 Kim rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: diy
Lovely little book with beautiful photos, unfortunately it was more appropriate for Southern California than western New York.
Got some great ideas from this book including using herbs as ground covers. Beautiful photos. Can't wait til spring!
Ms. Hopkins Hopkins
Good information and well written but I was looking for more concrete garden plans
A good balance of design aesthetics and good garden health. Gorgeous photos!!!
Oct 10, 2013 Sanju added it
Nice book. Enjoyed it.
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Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner are co-founders of Star Apple Edible + Fine Gardening, a San Francisco Bay Area landscape design firm focusing on aesthetic edible gardening. At Star Apple, they bring together ecologically sound landscape principles and small-scale urban agriculture, working with both ornamental and edible plants to create integrated landscapes. Visit www.StarAppleEdibleGardens....more
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