A cover for Mike Lascelle’s new book on edible ornamentals.

A cover for Mike Lascelle’s new book on edible ornamentals.

Gardening: Help build a better gardening book

I am really excited about this next project, which will be an in-depth look at edible ornamental plants.

Well, I’ve got some good news – I finally landed another garden book deal. I am really excited about this next project, which will be an in-depth look at edible ornamental plants, to be published by Douglas and McIntyre in the spring of 2018.

I know that seems like a long way off, but a comprehensive A-Z guide requires a lot of research and photography, particularly if you hope to produce ‘the’ ultimate reference on edible landscaping.

But before I get ahead of myself, I’ve got a few people to thank.

The one thing that really impressed the editorial board and the publisher was the diversity of edible ornamentals being produced here in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.

Many of these nurseries have put up with my odd requests to photograph these plants and it was those images of ‘persimmons and mulberries’ (Erica Enterprises Ltd.), ‘Eddie’s winter wonder’ olive and ‘hardy orange’ (Specimen Trees Ltd.), ‘tea camellia’ and ‘Japanese pepper tree’ (Piroche Plants Inc.), ‘hardy ginger’ and ‘wasabi’ (Red Barn Plants) and ‘curry leaf ‘(Heimat Farms) that really helped close the deal.

I also would like to thank Ray Mattei of Tropic to Tropic Plants in Delta for putting me in touch with all the foodies out there growing the lunatic fringe of edible plants. He opened a door of new culinary possibilities with ‘Michigan mangoes’ or ‘PawPaws’ (Asimina triloba), black jalapeno peppers and the rare hardy lemon tree (Yuzu junos).

Then there were all my friends (Wolfgang, Rose, John, Jack and Astrid, Betty and Klaus, among many others), who introduced me to unusual edibles and let me photograph them in their respective gardens.

Last but not least are the customers at Amsterdam Garden Centre, who are always bringing me some new herb or fruit to sample, including the gentleman who recently brought me a bouquet of elderberry flowers (Sambucus nigra) from his garden so I could brew some delicious cordial, which tastes just like spring in a glass.

So here comes the part where I need some help. Although I think I have a comprehensive listing of edible ornamentals, time has taught me that there is always something new out there to discover. So if you believe that you have an unusual edible plant growing in your yard, I would like to hear about.

Also, I am looking to photograph some existing edible gardens, so if you have or know of an established landscape that combines both edible and ornamental plants in a pleasing aesthetic manner, then I would love to visit it and take some shots for the book.

You can contact me by email or by visiting me at the nursery.

The inspiration for this project actually came from millennials or the next generation of gardeners who, despite a lack of growing space, manage to cultivate an amazing array of edibles and are always on the look-out for something new.

I think this trend explains the sudden growth in community gardens (the Bonson Road garden in Pitt Meadows is doubling in size) and the influx of dwarf fruit trees and edibles of any kind at most garden centres.

People just want to grow their own food and their reasons vary. Some just enjoy the pleasure derived from the gardening process, others want pesticide or GMO-free produce, and many have realized that growing your own food (even in a limited fashion) makes good economic sense.

In any case, I promise that this book will inspire you and help you to create that edible Garden of Eden.

 

– Mike Lascelle is a local nursery manager and gardening author (hebe_acer@hotmail.com).

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Howard Done and his wife were walking through the Yennadon neighbourhood of Maple Ridge, when they encountered this young buck relaxing in the grass on a vacant lot at the corner of 232nd Street and 128th Avenue. "He didn't seem to be bothered by any of the traffic, pedestrians or dogs," Done noted. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Young buck caught lounging in Yennadon

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and all others in the province have been closed to services by a public health order. (Google)
Churchgoers question closure in latest health orders

Pitt Meadows pastor notes soccer club can still rent church gymnasium

The employees of Maple Ridge Hyundai pose around their coat donation box. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge Hyundai dealership holds coat drive

Business aim to collect 100 coats for local Salvation Army in second year of charity initiative

Mary Robson, executive director of the Friends In Need Food Bank, is renting two additional facilities because of the COVID-19 provincial guidelines. (The News/files)
New COVID guidelines creates storage issues for Maple Ridge food bank

Must store non-perishables for two days before being able to hand it out to clients

There have been COVID-19 exposure events at three more schools. (Pixabay)
COVID-19 exposure events at three more schools

Maple Ridge schools exposed to the virus

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. to test emergency alert system on cell phones, TVs, radios on Wednesday

The alert is part of a twice yearly test of the national Alert Ready system

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Phillip Tallio was just 17 when he was convicted of murder in 1983 (file photo)
Miscarriage of justice before B.C. teen’s 1983 guilty plea in girl’s murder: lawyer

Tallio was 17 when he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his 22-month-old cousin

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday Nov. 23, 2020, that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
VIDEO: How do the leading COVID vaccines differ? And what does that mean for Canada?

All three of the drug companies are incorporating novel techniques in developing their vaccines

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
41 positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

7-year-old Mackenzie Hodge from Penticton sent a hand-written letter to premiere John Horgan asking if she’d be able to see her elf, Ralph under the new coronavirus restrictions. (John Horgan / Twitter)
Elf on the shelf an acceptable house guest, B.C. premier tells Penticton girl

A 7-year-old from Penticton penned a letter asking if she’d be allowed to see her elf this year

Most Read