Nine Ways (and more) to add Taste to Your Exterior Design

Our personal design stories must involve nature of some sort. Outside design gives us the perfect opportunity to implement any of the “grounding” elements we require to satisfy this need. And what better way than with a garden? Incorporating taste into our design plan this week reminds us that this sense is absolutely imperative to our well-being. When we dig through all the layers and get right down to it, taste brings us joy and pleasure in its purest form.

A mindful garden provides opportunities for quiet.

A mindful garden provides opportunities for quiet.

Add fragrant and tasty herbs to your walkways.

Add fragrant and tasty herbs to your walkways.

I have come to realize that I need to feel connected with the earth in some way when it comes to daily living. I come from a long family history of farming and cooking. Knowing that touching upon this aspect of myself is a non-negotiable design element (even though I live in the suburbs) means adding some version of “farming” into my exterior design.

Bring color to your kitchen with bowls of fruit.

Bring color to your kitchen with bowls of fruit.

Adding an element of taste to your home design can be as simple as a single pot in a windowsill filled with herbs, or as large as an orchard of fruit trees. This is where you decide how much labor you want to provide in the maintenance and upkeep.  I have learned from going through the mindful Design From Within process myself that part of my landscape specifically requires berries, vegetables and herbs. Sometimes my lack of a green thumb, vacation plans, or plain old busy schedule prevents me from caring for these fruits as I know I should.  In this case, I’ve designed the path of least resistance for myself - I let the wild blackberries and raspberries grow along my back fence (low maintenance). I only plant disease-resistant varieties of certain vegetables, I ask my neighbor to help themselves to produce when I’m away, and I feed my compost pile with plants I just can’t maintain if they “get away from me”.  

Landscaping with harvestable fruits and veggies adds beauty and taste to your backyard.

Landscaping with harvestable fruits and veggies adds beauty and taste to your backyard.

This endeavor is not about being a perfect gardener - it’s about creating that necessary time you need with the earth while providing opportunities for fresh flavor.  It is the ultimate sense of accomplishment that comes from planting a seed in the dirt, harvesting the resulting fruit, and turning it into something that tastes amazing. 

Fresh black-raspberry galette from my wild berries.

Fresh black-raspberry galette from my wild berries.

Some design ideas for an edible landscape:

  • A bowl of fresh fruit on the table (beautiful, edible, healthy,changes on the regular)

  • Patio pots of flowers mixed with herbs or vegetables

  • Add a small raised garden bed to experiment with your green thumb (raised beds are easier to maintain and manage.  I highly recommend Lasagna Gardening by Patricia Lanza.)

  • Use blueberry bushes mixed in with your foundation plantings around your house

  • Incorporate squash or tomato plants in with your flower beds

  • Grow fragrant herbs in a sunny window

  • Grow climbing peas or beans on a trellis next to your patio

  • Plant fruit trees as part of your landscape

  • Drink your coffee outside (dine al fresco) at the very least!

No matter how small the effort, try adding in some taste to your decor.  See how by incorporating that one seemingly unrelated design element really makes a difference in your enjoyment of life.  

Use potted herbs and veggies for small spaces.

Use potted herbs and veggies for small spaces.