Design elements of a kitchen garden
October 26, 2015
How did you plan your vegetable garden? Or how you are you planning it if you are yet to set it up?
Is there a particular style you would like to use? Are you using existing materials and space? Are there certain colors or plant you want to incorporate?
A vegetable garden established from scratch has the the luxury of being free to incorporate almost any design element. The elements may evolve over time based on your own requirements. Others may be incorporated based on necessity, such as shade, or support structures. The theme of this months Garden Share Collective is Design.
The Garden Share Collective is a group of keen vegetable gardeners from around the world who write a themed post each month. Join in by linking here at the bottom of this post. It is run on the last Monday of each month. Next month’s theme is “Growth”.
You may or may not consider the elements of your vegetable garden design prior to creating it.
Our family vegetable garden was built from scratch by my partner. We didn’t talk about the design of the garden beds when we began. Mr Fresh simply built what he thought was suitable and I planted in them. The second area of vegetable garden that we set up a year ago I did spend time planning. I wanted to create a kitchen garden that was neatly arranged and structured with a pottager-style influence. You can read about the planning and set up of that garden area here.
In general we like to reuse materials and love to collect old pieces of interest in preference to using new items. Over time our garden beds had the grass removed from between to create more planting space. We added decorative items such as pots and also old gate frames and posts to create structures for the large spreading plants such as pumpkins. The frames also provide a structure to add shade as required during extreme weather.
The garden does not always look fantastic the entire year. Depending on the season and the stage of development of the plants it evolves. Right now it is in the process of being replanted for Summer as I wait for the seedlings to be large enough to add to the garden beds. When this occurs the frames will become home to the pumpkins that will climb and hang, covering the frames and creating a wall of green.
The new section of the vegetable garden was an attempt at a pottager style design with neat rows and blocks of similar plantings, evenly spaced. Nature generally has other ideas and the outcome in my garden has been a little more chaotic, although I think still beautiful and probably more along the lines of a cottage garden than a neat pottager.
These elements may be included in your garden planning for a specific purpose:
I had planted a couple of garden beds of tomatoes over the past couple of weeks. I carefully labelled them so I knew which varieties where planted in the different areas. Despite this there are at least a dozen additional tomato plants that have popped up on their own accord. Self seeded tomatoes are generally fabulous producers and the plants are resilient so despite the fact that many of these are not in locations I would have planted them I will leave them to do their own thing and reap the rewards in the coming months.
A garden that evolves over time to suit the needs of it’s owners is the very best kind.
What design elements have you incorporated into your vegetable garden?
Is it a particular style or simply planted by season based on what you like to eat?
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