What Can Your Backyard Give Back? Part 1: Flora

Herb garden image for Perry Homes May blog.

Landscaping and outdoor maintenance are a vital part of home ownership, but while the front yard might be best used for expressing your style to the neighborhood or for projecting a certain image, the back yard isn’t as visible to passersby and therefore holds great potential for being more than merely decorative.

 

You and your family want to enjoy your yard, but you can also use it as a place to grow your own herbs, berries, and fruit. You can use these to supplement your family’s diet as well as a fun activity to do as a family. Not only can many plants grow in Utah’s climate, many of them will thrive in it.

Herb Garden

You may not have room for a full garden with every vegetable from the produce aisle growing in it, but herb gardens will give you plenty of fresh seasonings to cook with while only taking up a fraction of the space and work of a full size garden.

 

On the other hand, maybe you do have room for a bigger garden, but you’re not confident enough in your green thumb to plant one. Growing a small herb garden will be an excellent way to gain experience raising plants so that you’ll be able to make your dream garden a reality.

 

Whichever situation more closely resembles yours, the climate in Utah is perfect for growing herbs, as many of these plants prefer a more desert-like climate. Imagine the added zing your cooking will have when you upgrade from stale jars of dried herbs to a lush garden of rosemary, sage, mint, oregano, basil, thyme, cilantro, chives, and parsley?

Berry Bushes and Vines

Several species of berries thrive just as well as herbs in the Utah climate. If you love blackberries and raspberries but don’t feel rows of vines would be the best use of your yard, you can grow them along your back and side fences instead.

 

As to strawberries, you could produce up to fifteen pounds of delicious fresh fruit off a patch as small as four by eight feet on well-drained soil with plenty of sunlight. Some blueberry species also grow well in the cold Utah climate, and you could even go less traditional with elderberries, sea buckthorn, lingonberries, aronia, or goji berries.

 

Plant multiple species that ripen at different times so that your summers will be filled with a variety of wonderful flavors.

Fruit trees

Cherry trees, pear trees, plum trees, apple trees—even certain species of peach and nectarine trees; they all grow well in Utah. Just imagine all the homemade ice cream, pie, jam, cobbler, and fresh fruit smoothies you’ll be able to make when your trees are in season.
Even better, fruit trees offer form as well as function. In addition to providing delicious fruit, they’re beautiful and provide shade, which means you can use them as part of the landscaping in the front yard as well as the back.

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