Landscape Plan: Fruit Garden for the Upper Midwest

Create a beautiful destination sitting area for your yard, and enjoy the fruits of cold-hardy cultivars.

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Imagine having a cornucopia of fruits right outside your back door, plus a beautiful seating area where you can enjoy the color, fragrance and lusciousness! With this garden of edibles you'll have numerous varieties available within easy reach. Large and small trees provide shade and some enclosure. Perennials offer a splash of color.

The 10' x 12' patio provides a place to relax and a spot for a strawberry jar. A large container with a citrus tree for the warm season is placed just off the patio as an accent. Replace the container with a shrub for seasonal color or decorate with evergreen boughs if you can't overwinter the citrus outside.

From the patio a path of stepping stones leads through an arbor bearing a fruiting vine. A pathway on the other side of the arbor allows easy access to the fruiting shrubs. The 4-foot-high trellis supporting an espaliered dwarf fruit tree and 5- to 6-foot-high trellis with a fruiting vine help provide privacy for the patio. For additional plant suggestions, consult your local extension service or nursery.

This sunny garden conveniently locates the plants for optimum convenience of care and harvest. Feel free to personalize the garden with your choice of fruits and vegetables: The container by the patio is perfect for a robust tomato plant! This layout would also work well if sited adjacent to the back of the house; just square the front corners. If you decide to screen the patio, tuck the strawberry jar into the groundcover bed so it gets plenty of sun. An ornamental crabapple or another apple tree in the vicinity will aid pollination of the apple tree. At the suggested spacing, the junipers will knit together in about three years; if you're willing to wait longer, you can plant fewer, three feet apart.

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