I recently shared my adventures through the San Diego Botanical Gardens, but this post is all about edibles. Most of us live in climates where we’re thinking now about pulling out the tomatoes and growing cold-hardy crops. But let’s ignore the howl of the wind through the windows and drool over these pictures, dreaming together of what we can’t grow in our backyards.


Panache Fig

Figs are incredibly versatile edible trees, in part because they are one of the oldest trees with fossil records showing their existence thousands and thousands of years ago. You can likely find one from a good nursery to fit your climate. This lovely fig with gorgeous strips is a Panache Fig, which ripens best in warm, inland climates.


Banana grove with limbs bent over with fruit

In climates with milder cold seasons, it’s possible to grow some tropicals like leafy banana plants. I see them around Portland, often bundled up with straw to make it through really cold spells. But I’ve never seen a banana tree bent over from ripening fruit.


Avocado tree

Avocados… I love them, but feel guilty buying them since they travel long distances to get to my market. This massive tree was just dripping with fruit. I was a good girl and didn’t pick a single one :)


Huge kumquat tree

Some of these edibles, especially citrus, you can grow in colder climates, if you plant them in containers that you bring inside during the cold months. I have a gorgeous kumquat “house plant” that I get some fruit from here and there, but it doesn’t compare to this large kumquat tree – at least 10′ high.


Pink Lemonade Lemon

Again, lemon trees can still produce fruit as a house plant. My little Meyer Lemon has given me some nice ones over the years. But I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing this Pink Lemonade Lemon, with cool variegated skin.


Macadamian Nut Tree

Macadamian trees were dropping fruit left and right. Like a walnut, it looks like the edible part is the hard nut inside these green fruits.


Pomegranate tree bent gracefully with fruit

And pomegranates! They produce stunning, golden foliage in autumn, so people in the Pacific Northwest often grow them just for the show. But I’ve never seen them develop actual fruit in my area.

Of course we’re happy to be home – I take that as a sign we’re living in the right place – but I can see why folks love growing gardens in San Diego. Do you have some favorite edibles you drool over, but can’t grow in your climate? Tell me about in the comments below!

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Written by Renee Wilkinson