Alas, I have a notoriously brown thumb. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate a beautifully tended garden. In fact, hanging out with my sister-in-law, Denise (who is a gardener by trade) is one of my favorite pastimes — I could roam her extensive gardens all day long (and have! See photo, left).
So when I stumbled across a recent Houzz blog devoted to gardens, I was immediately drawn in. The topic du jour was the blended garden (ornamental plants mixed with edible varieties) — what author  Margie Grace has dubbed the “cottage-potage garden, where fruits, herbs and veggies mix freely with ornamental species.”

What’s great about this article is that not only are there some very clever ideas, but the accompanying images are as sumptuous as the plants photographed. I even leaned a few new gardening terms: espalier (plants that are trained to grow flat against a wall, trellis or other framework); “fruit salad trees” (multiple varieties grafted onto a single espaliered plant), and parterre (an ornamental garden in which the beds and paths are arranged to form a pattern).
And with so many species in bloom now in Central Oregon, the timing couldn’t be better. If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration for your garden, you’ll find it here — in spades.