An integrated landscape

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It's time to rethink the suburban landscape paradigm: a house surrounded by symmetrical evergreen foundation plants; a huge manicured lawn punctuated by occasional flower beds; a vegetable garden relegated to a corner of the backyard.

As an organic gardener, you're uniquely positioned to create integrated landscapes in which edibles and ornamentals share garden space. Why? You don't have to worry about pesticides sprayed on lawns and flowers contaminating your food plants. Why not use blueberry bushes as foundation plants? They're attractive and low maintenance, and the foliage turns a beautiful crimson in fall. Best of all, you can step out your door to a harvest of juicy berries. Rainbow Swiss chard, which has striking orange, pink, red, and yellow stems, is a natural in flower beds and offers a nutritious harvest, too.

It's okay to know the rules of traditional garden design, but it's just as important to know that you can break them!

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