May 22 Workshop: Have Your Landscape and Eat It Too

May. 8, 2017
Photo of green elderberries growing on a tree. Photo by I Stock.

WOOSTER, Ohio — You can’t eat scenery, as the saying goes, but the organizer of an upcoming workshop says yes, you can.

“People have a renewed interest in growing plants that not only look nice but also can be used for food,” said Paul Snyder, program assistant in Wooster’s Secrest Arboretum, which is holding its first-ever Edible Landscaping Workshop on May 22.

Participants in the event will get close-up looks at a range of edible plants — such as common fig, black chokeberry, asparagus and corneliancherry dogwood — and will see ways to work them into attractive, well-designed landscapes.

The workshop came about because arboretum staff members have been getting more and more questions about edible landscape plants, said Snyder, who will be the event’s instructor.

The arboretum’s tours and workshops usually include details about edible plants, he said, but this is its first workshop to focus on them exclusively.

Good-looking, space-efficient ways to grow food

Snyder said he hopes participants learn that “you don’t need a large garden to be able to grow your own food,” and that they’re “inspired to plant one new thing.”

Edible landscape plants also include, for example, kale, grapes, apples, pawpaw, elderberry and serviceberry.

The workshop is from 9 a.m. to noon in the arboretum’s Jack and Deb Miller Pavilion. The arboretum is part of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), 1680 Madison Ave., in Wooster. The cost to attend is $10 for members of the Friends of Secrest Arboretum and $15 for nonmembers.

For more information on the workshop, contact Snyder at or 330-263-3761 or go to Details on joining the Friends group are at

Container Gardening Workshop afterward

The arboretum also is holding a Container Gardening Workshop on the same day. It’s from 1 to 4 p.m. in the same location. It can be taken on its own or combined with the Edible Landscaping Workshop. The cost, too, is $10 for members of the Friends group and $15 for nonmembers. Learn more at

Saturday plant sale includes edibles

In the meantime, the arboretum’s May 13 plant sale will have both edible and container plants among its wares, including apple, pawpaw, hardy fig, nasturtium, black chokeberry and persimmon. The event, which is called Plant Discovery Day, is the arboretum’s largest annual fundraising event. It’s from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day at OARDC. Admission is free and open to the public. Details and lists of the available plants — more than 300 types in all — are at

OARDC is part of The Ohio State University and its College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.



Kurt Knebusch


Paul Snyder