Monday, February 9, 2009

Welcome--Winter Orchard, Hazelnut Hedge, Evergreen Huckleberry

Welcome to Edible Landscape Seattle! My intention with this blog is to share my enthusiasm and knowledge for growing fruits, berries and vegetables in your backyard--edible landscaping. My plan is to post photos of the many edible landscapes that I come across in Seattle and King County. I will also include simple how-to tips to help you get started.

To get the ball rolling, here are three photos of a winter orchard in Kirkland, WA. The first photo shows a front yard orchard after pruning with over eight fruit and nut trees in the photo, including almond, hazelnut, cherry, plum and apricot. Winter is a great time for pruning your fruit trees. They are dormant and it is easier to see the shape of the tree with the leaves off. With proper pruning, you can maximize production and keep the height of the tree down to make harvesting easier. Pruning also increases air flow through the tree that helps keep mold and moisture out. For a great guide to pruning visit and search for the  "Easy Steps To Fruit Tree Pruning" DVD.

The second photo shows a detail of a hazelnut hedgerow along the road. There is no sidewalk or setback, so instead of a fence to block the road, a hedgerow of hazelnut and service berry were planted on three foot centers. Blueberry, evergreen huckleberry, josta berry, and guomi were planted as understory shrubs with strawberry and thyme groundcover. I recommend buying your edible plants at

The last photo is a close-up of an evergreen huckleberry over 6' tall. Joe is testament to its height and tasty berry, which ripens in summer. Evergreen huckleberry (Vacinnium ovatum) is one of my personal favorite plants. This native plant tolerates full sun AND full shade (grows taller in  shade) and is drought tolerant once established. By far the best feature is the abundance of berries, eaten fresh or put in pies or jams.