The vegetable garden is the Cinderella of the gardening world. No longer left behind to do all the work while her flowery stepsisters become belles of the ball, this formerly unadorned, straight-rowed patch is finally taking center stage.
Here are a few simple design principles that will get your vegetable garden ready for her debut.
Using Structure in a Vegetable Garden
Because vegetables tend to have a blousy form a little bit of structure makes a kitchen garden more appealing. Plant in a series of framed beds arranged in a geometric pattern or a single large framed bed divided into quadrants. This symmetry will balance the cottagey nature of vegetables.
Frame your vegetable beds with “walls” built from shrubs, a fence or even a row of containers. This will help define the space.
Give your Vegetable Garden a Focal Point
An element that stands out and draws the eye will boost visual interest in the garden. Your focal point can be something as simple as a large container planted with a vine on a trellis or a brightly painted bench.
Malabar spinach growing on a teepee commands attention.
Plant Colorful Vegetables and Flowers
The primary palette in a vegetable garden is various shades of green, but there are ways to broaden the spectrum. Choose vegetables that are colorful such as ‘Bright Lights Swiss’ chard or ‘Red Sails’ lettuce. Many ornamentals have the same growing requirements as vegetables so why not plant them together? Flowering annuals are fantastic for upping the color factor and bringing pollinators to the garden.
Give Your Vegetable Garden Personality
The vegetable garden is BEGGING for personal touches. Look for ways to incorporate things that make you happy.
Sculpture is an easy way to give a garden personality with the added benefit of being a focal point.
Use Pattern and Texture to Make a Green Palette Interesting
Because the dominant color in a vegetable garden is green, patterns and contrasting textures play a big role. Choose lettuce with speckled leaves, place fine-foliaged plants next to those with a thicker leaf.