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Turn your yard into a garden of eatin'
A fruiting tree or shrub allows you to enjoy your garden in the kitchen, too
0226Nuts
A fig tree, upper right, is incorporated into an edible landscape in a garden designed by landscape designer Lindsey Mann.

ATHENS — There is no accounting for some people’s taste. But when it comes to putting unique plants in your garden, some simply have more taste than others.

Although, that’s probably because they’re growing things like cherries, kiwis, apples and figs.

Yum!

Lindsey Mann, owner of Sustenance Design in Atlanta, says any homeowner can incorporate some good taste into their garden by selecting a blueberry bush instead of an evergreen shrub, or a fruiting pear instead of a Bradford pear.

“You want to have a conceptual plan, and you want to have a plant list,” said Mann,  who recently led a workshop on integrating fruit and nut plants in the home landscape during the annual Georgia Organics conference in Athens. “You write a plant list based on the things you desire.”

Her co-presenter, Robert Hamilton, said he thinks anyone can grow most anything — it just depends on how much work you’re willing to put into it.

Hamilton is an East Atlanta resident who has converted his yard into a veritable orchard of nuts and fruiting plants.

“The fruit world is quite large and diverse, but I’m under the impression that anything can grow, depending on how much work you put into it,” he said.

If you’re looking to turn a corner of your yard into an edible garden, or if you’re looking to completely overhaul your space into a natural smorgasbord, Mann suggested drawing up a site plan and coming up with an idea for what you want to accomplish with your space.

She also noted that not all edible and fruit-bearing plants are sold locally, even though a variety of plants can easily grow in North Georgia.

“You can do all the research and find the best varieties, and find the closest nursery ships from Washington,” she said.

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