MySecretGarden

U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sprucing Up a Vegetable Garden -3

Layout of a vegetable garden, type, shape and size of raised beds, type of mulch around them, support for climbing plants, containers for growing vegetables, ways to make vegetable gardens not only practical but also attractive and other aspects of vegetable gardening - this is what "Sprucing Up a Vegetable Garden" is about.
These three pictures prove that wooden boxes for growing vegetables can be attractive elements not only in a garden itself but on a deck too.


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Wooden half-barrels, as in the next picture, make good vegetable planters. Miniature (compact, midget, dwarf) varieties of many types of vegetables are available nowdays (see a list of them here). Good information about growing veggies in containers can be found here .

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Thick bamboo stakes are used to make a TeePee in this garden. Sprucing Up a Vegetable Garden-2 has more pictures with different types of supports for climbing plants .
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Below, there are vegetable gardens in Alaska belonging to the members of the Homer Garden Club. My hat is off to you, the northenmost gardeners in the U.S.!
I've never seen potatoes growing on a terraced slope:
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I noticed Nasturtiums as companion plants interplanted with vegetables in many gardens in Homer. I use nasturtiums in my vegetable garden too. Mine spread wildly, and need to be pinched to prevent them from taking over the whole garden. I might switch to more compact varieties of nasturtiums.
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I use yellow, orange and red nasturtium flowers in salads and for decorating plates.
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I always watch what is used as mulch in a garden especially around raised beds. Gravel? Wood (bark nuggets, chips)? Any mulch will help to prevent soil erosion and moisture loss, supress weeds, cool or warm the soil and encourage the worm population. What is your favorite material? Do you always put it 3 inches (7 1/2 cm) deep as they recommend?
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In one of the gardens shown here, they use small river rocks and crushed rock. I like such a look. Gravel and rock seem to be more practical on slopes since they are not washed away as easily as wood mulch. I also like hay/straw as mulch, although they decompost fast and need to be replenished often. Saying that, I should admit that I stopped using it after one of my neighbors expressed a concern about straw attracting mice. It's true, rodents love this material as well as slugs which we have here, in the Pacific Northwest, in abundance. But, it was not them who turned me away from straw mulch but garden snakes. I have them in my garden anyway, but I don't like to step on them after they have found a refuge under hay or straw.
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Some pros and cons of different types of mulches can be found here.
In the next picture - supporting raised beds with boards which are not made into frames. It should be convenient for changing the size and configurations of the beds.
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Wooden boards for practicality, plates for decoration - nice, nice, nice:

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If in Homer, Alaska, a moose is often a garden visitor, in Washington state, a deer should be kept from the gardens. A fence is the most reliable way to do it:
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It is expected for a vegetable garden belonging to a designer to be ... well, artistic!
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Jody's husband made these raised beds based on her own design.
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Below is the most decorative peas' support which I've ever seen:
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The following two pictures are from Peggy's garden. She, by the way, also has an exquisite flower garden deserving to be featured in a separate post.
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I love the mosaic urn in the middle of the bed. It can be seen in the picture in the very first "Sprucing Up a Vegetable Garden". "
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I hope these pictures from the gardens generously opened to the public by their owners can help you make some decisions regarding your own gardens. There are numerous articles on the Internet about vegetable gardening. But sometimes seeing real gardens of ordinary people help us a great deal, don't you think so?

***Copyright 2011 TatyanaS

33 comments:

  1. Great veggie gardens Tatyana. I have a small raised bed garden and I used a very fine peat moss as a mulch. It looks good and keeps down the weeds.

    Eileen

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  2. Those pics make me want to get my butt in gear with my veggie garden this year.

    I made a trip out to the Raleigh art museum last weekend, and I saw yet another use for nasturtiums. One artist used the leaves to develop photographs onto, it was pretty darm neat :)

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  3. Eileen, thanks! I'll be following your reports from the show!
    Kyna, thank you! I want to see those photographs on nasturtium leaves!

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  4. These photos are so inspirational! Thanks for putting it together. I love that terraced slope potato idea (and I can't imagine a veggie garden without nasturtiums).

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  5. What an amazing selection of wonderfully creative ideas! I'm going to be returning to this post again (& again!) to glean inspiration for my own little raised bed & container veggie garden!

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  6. A very informative post. It was fun to see gardens from different parts of the country.

    Lots of gardeners here in California stay away from rock and gravel mulches because they heat up too much in our hot summers. It was fun to see such mulches put to good use in other climates.

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  7. Eliza, Desiree, Masha, thank you! I wish I used these ideas more often in my own garden. So far, I spend more time just going through these images and thinking: how nice...

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  8. I love the first 3 photos with the deck facing the pond and the fence-like plants support, such a beautiful setting. Also like the idea of raised beds using loose planks. Those cute designer raised beds b Joddy's hubby are not only funtional but very professional looking! Thanks for sharing the ideas.

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  9. Wow !!! I love those garden, and some have great idea for my garden.
    Nice post. Bravo.

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  10. Tatyana, I love the way you have shown that vegetable gardens can rival in beauty any garden with just ornamental plants. My raised beds are made with Trex, recycled plastic lumber that looks like stone. The paths are mulched with salt hay, which I put on thinly--just enough to cover thoroughly. It lasts for several years without breaking down. If needed, I lift it up, weed, and replace it. One bale lasts at least two years.

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  11. Lovely gardens! I wholeheartedly agree with compact nasturtium varieties. I grew some last year, and they were so much more well behaved in the herb beds. I love the pea ladder trellis. I'm thinking of putting a few together this year to sit over our raised beds. Maybe some for peas, and some for cucumbers. At least they'll store flat when we're not using them, and they can't be that difficult to make.

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  12. Those gardeners did a wonderful job of combining the practical with the beautiful.

    We use compost or old hay to mulch the vegetable garden, whichever we have.

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  13. I enjoyed the tour. What a beautiful site for a garden.
    nellie

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  14. Great ideas and beautiful pictures for examples. I'd love to do a deck garden. It would be so much easier with my Beagles who love to dig!

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  15. You really have a wonderful selection of vegetable garden designs. So many ideas.I like your deck raised beds too. Very pretty and convenient.

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  16. Raised bed gardening has become increasingly popular. Thanks for sharing the wonderful vegetable gardens and the creative layouts and materials your friends are using.

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  17. So many great ideas. Thank you for posting this. I am having trouble with straw mulch as the birds like to scratch around and end up disturbing the plant roots as well. Have a nice weekend.

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  18. Lovely pictures. I have seen people grow potatoes in sacks also, especially those who live in apartments.

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  19. I don't have a veggie garden but really wish I do and might start one this summer. I loved all the helpful photos!! I use shredded hardwood mulch. It breaks down rapidly in our heat/humidity, which enriches the soil.

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  20. What great inspiration! Lots of great ideas. I love the one built around the bird feeder (Jody's).

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  21. Beautiful pictures! I love the lush green in them. I am looking forward to time in the garden this year! Remind me of that when it's 98degrees and I'm complaining, ok? :)

    ~Wendy

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  22. Oh Tatyana! What an inspiring post! You have made me so hungry!! Wonderful photos and ideas for growing our food!

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  23. Hi Tatyana, i always prefer chipped bark and yes about two to three inches are needed to keep the weeds down..inspiring post and beautiful scenery...

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  24. Great post, Tatyana. I agree. Seeing the results of the every day gardeners is the best kind of inspiration. These examples are just wonderful.

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  25. Very inspirational, Tatyana - so many wonderful ideas for growing veggie's. I am trying to "contain" myself with herbs and tropical fruit trees, but with so many heritage varieties of vegetables now available, I might take a plunge this spring! Thank you for beautiful scenery and ideas.

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  26. You are so inspiring! A wonderful post and great pictures. Thanks for going through all of the work to see if these owners would open up their gardens for us viewing public to see!

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  27. Hi Tatyana, I love your series on sprucing up the vegetable garden, and the variety of raised beds and other garden "furniture" you display. I've definitely found some ideas. Thanks, too, for the helpful links. As far as mulch methods are concerned, I use a variety. Wood chips under the roses, grass clippings under the fruit trees, and gravel around the birdbath. I've been thinking of discontinuing the grass, though, since I read that it encourages voles, much like the snakes you describe.

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  28. oh, my.....this is fabulous! I would love to have you over to my blog & join in the garden party i host on Thusdays??? hope to see you! oxox

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  29. Love this post! So much inspiration!! Here in Austrslia it's scorching hot so my gardens wilting in the 40 deg heat. Inside couch surfing gardening blogs instead! Love your garden too.

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  30. Looks like somebody has been busy! Thanks for sharing, it's really an inspiration.

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  31. Thank you for your comments, everyone! I REALLY appreciate time you took to write a comment! Separate THANKS for telling me what type of mulch you use. I need to chose the best type for my garden.

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  32. Beautiful photos. I enjoyed when I reviewed the post.

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