Lots of people love the idea of growing their own fruit and vegetables, even if only on a small scale. But no one wants is a messy-looking garden that’s like an old allotment!
So how do you go about creating a gorgeous garden that looks good all year and is food-producing?
In this Successful Garden Design Show episode, Rachel interviews guest expert, a broadcaster and the best selling author of “Year-Round Vegetable Gardener”, Niki Jabbour.
Vegetable Gardens – Designer Ideas
In this episode of Garden Design Show, Rachel will tell you all about how you can incorporate fruits and vegetables into your garden using stunning tips and tricks, regardless of what size your garden is.
They will also discuss Niki’s new book called “Groundbreaking Food Gardens”. They look at ideas for growing edibles in small space gardens. Also featured is the food-producing modern courtyard Rachel designed that is in Niki’s book!
This is what’s in Groundbreaking Food Gardens
One of the garden ideas discussed from the book is Amy Stewart’s (‘The Drunken Botanist”) collaboration with Susan Morrison – their Cocktail Garden shows just how fun plants can be and you can grow things you like to drink! You will be surprised what berries and edible flowers you can add to your salads that came straight from your fruit and vegetable garden.
Don’t forget the wildlife to help you grow vegetables…
Pollinators and wildlife can make an enormous difference in the number of vegetables your garden will produce. The natural side of the garden and the flowers that attract the pollinators and how you can keep them. Identify good bugs that will help you grow your fruit and vegetable garden or herb garden.
You will also see Rachel’s design on the fruit and vegetable producing garden, which looks very modern and no one would think that it’s food-producing.
Rachel’s Food-Producing Garden Plan
The book also features a concrete and steel garden, a good way to use recycled materials and concrete is ideal for some plants.
Vegetables Can Make Great Architectural Planting…
Sweetcorn is one of Rachel’s favourites for this. The large leaves and upright stems make it great to mix in at the back of a flower border for height and interest.
Adding purple leaf lettuces into your planting borders also looks good. You don’t need to harvest a whole lettuce, just picking off the leaves you need keeps the border looking better for longer and you get more lettuce!
Don’t forget the walls and patio space when it comes to growing vegetables. There are plenty of planting pockets available these days that enable you to utilise every bit of space.
If you’re going to go vertical, do make doubly sure the wall you attach them to is strong enough. When filled with plants, soil and watered, they will be quite a weight! Try to use plants that trail a bit, like strawberries and tomatoes so that the plant covers the pockets.
The go-to expert on verticle vegetable growing is author Shawna Coronado (it’s her garden in the pic above).
You can grow a quite surprising amount of vegetables in containers. This was the front garden of my very first house. The back garden was too shady so the front grew all my herbs and a good selection of veg.
Again, use attractive foliage varieties of chard and lettuce and include edible flowers like Nasturtiums if you want a bit more colour.
A good trick is to use containers that are similar colour or shape – it helps with the visual continuity, which garden designers use all the time.
The only thing you need to bear in mind with container gardening is keeping everything well-watered.
Advice For New Vegetable Gardeners…
Before they wrap things up, Rachel asks Niki on what her advice is for people who are starting to build their own gardens and suggestions on vegetables and herbs you can mix in your garden plants.
Niki recommends that you start small so that growing vegetables doesn’t become a chore. If you’re successful (and if you buy Niki’s book, you certainly will be!) then you can always increase the area and grow more the following year.
Osmocote controlled release plant food 750g£5.99 Buy Now
Natural soil conditioner – 16 litres£19.99 Buy Now
Wisteria × formosa Caroline 2 lt pot (60cm cane)£34.99 Buy Now
Wisteria floribunda f. Multijuga 5 lt pot (1.5m tall)£99.99 Buy Now
Elegance Runner Bean FrameBuy Now
cauliflower Romanesco approx 500 seeds£2.29 Buy Now
turnip Tokyo Cross approx 500 seeds£2.40 Buy Now
artichoke Vert Globe approx 40 seeds£2.29 Buy Now
Check out more vegetable garden products here.
Whatever you are thinking of doing with your garden, do plan it first! Planning/design makes all the difference. If you’d like more information on what to do…
Attend one of Rachel’s FREE Fast Track Garden Design online classes…
Register on this page: https://www.successfulgardendesign.com/free-classes/
Find out more about Niki Jabbour
Her book, ‘Groundbreaking Food Gardens’ is published by Storey and available in all good bookstores. It’s also available online at Amazon.
The Design Show will be back later in the year – so what Would You Like to See Covered in Future Shows?
Rachel will be taking a break from filming for the summer to catch up on work and life! She’ll be back later in the year, so do leave a comment and let Rachel know what topics you’d like her to delve into in future episodes in the comment boxes below? Meanwhile, if you need help with your garden, check our Rachel’s Online Garden Courses that will help you to create a perfect garden on your own.
You can also subscribe to the Garden Design Show on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/garden-design-show/id790250905?mt=2