‘Food gardening’ is a good American term for what the British tend to call ‘vegetable gardening’ – which is an inappropriate activity because it excludes fruit, fungii, honey, chickens, eggs, berries etc etc. But it would be better still if we could have an agreed name for what may have been principal activity in the world’s oldest garden and has certainly been carried on for a longer period than any other type of gardening: the combination of aesthetic and gastronimic objectives in enclosed and cultivated garden plots. Growing food was a major objective in Europe’s Medieval and Renaissance gardens – and may well (according to Craig Clunas) have been important in the pre-Qing classical gardens of China. In modern Europe and America food gardening is already showing signs of being the ‘next big thing’ in the design of private gardens and public parks. So we need a good name for this good activity. It is illustrated by photographs of Culross Palace Restored Medieval Garden.
I propose BEAUTIFUL FOOD GARDENING as a name for aesthetic-gastronomic horticulture but would welcome suggestions for alternatives.