Social responsibility, hobbies, self-sufficiency, and stress-busting: what do all these things have in common? Gardening! Specifically, vegetable gardening.
A lot of people think that growing food has no place in landscape design. Recent trends in landscaping have proven them wrong. We live in a changing world, that is both turning faster than ever, but is also trying to slow down in more ways than we have thought possible.
So say goodbye to your manicured lawn and open your heart to some wilder and tastier plants.
A Living, Breathing, Working Garden
Kitchen plants have always been a part of landscaping whether we realize it or not: rosemary hedges, lavender, sage – these can all be seen proudly growing as part of London landscapes. In parks, or even in front of the infamous Tower of London.
Greenhouses can become a part of a stylish landscape – Victorian-style wooden hothouses are still being built and designed for the modern consumer. Places like Greenhouse Stores and other British gardening design companies are keeping true to their roots and offering not only a tool for growing some serious veg but also a statement in design and history.
An Easy Start
The easiest and prettiest plants to start with (and some ideas on how to style them) are:
- Rainbow Chard – These beautiful leaves are great in a stir fry, come in all colors of the rainbow, and grow best in shaded areas.
- Cucumbers – they grow quickly and can make some shade themselves – if you have a trellis. The ripe cucumbers will hang down like little green ornaments.
- Nasturtium – these climbing beauties are amazing flowers that can cover a lot of ground in shaded spots. But did you know they are edible, delicious, and great in salads or as a garnish? Fun fact – you can also pickle their fruit, otherwise known as a “poor man’s caper.”
- Potted Herbs – maybe it’s a cliche, but if you are creative with your “pot,” hardy herbs like rosemary, thyme, lovage, or mint can be a great accent in your garden. Plant them in oversized concrete planters, wine barrels, or even old BBQs.
- Tea Room – if you are going for a little greenhouse, make it a part of your entertainment design and put a tea table with some seating inside. You can host guests in a garden setting late into the season.
- Fruit Trees – fruit trees have come a long way when it comes to garden design – from tall orchards to miniature vanity trees – you can keep a fruit-bearing apple, pear or lemon in a pot without worrying that it will get out of control. This is a good option for patios and balconies that need the “country” look.
If you are interested in redesigning your garden for a more utilitarian purpose, here is a guide to choosing a greenhouse that will fit your garden: