If you love to cook, there's nothing more rewarding than creating a recipe with herbs, fruits, and vegetables that you grew in your own garden. Many homeowners take the time to landscape their yards into beautiful designs, planting new flowers and putting in decorative fences, why not make these enhancements useful and healthy as well? Casseroles full of your own vegetables or cobbler made from a backyard blackberry bush add that personal touch full of the love you put into caring for the plants themselves. Gardening is also a wholesome activity you can share with your children, an opportunity to play in the dirt in a way that produces something wonderful.
The best thing about a backyard garden is that they can be beautiful as well as useful. Many edible plants grow in vivid colors and interesting shapes before and after they are harvested that will create flower beds unique from all others on your block. With thoughtful design, your kitchen garden can be even lovelier than yards that contain nothing but flowers and trees. Here are 5 tips to ensuring your garden is both convenient and beautiful.
1) A Grand Entrance
Whether you're dedicating a small area or your entire yard to edible gardening, a grand entrance is a wonderful way to introduce the space. Decorative arbors covered in flowering and fruiting vines are a great way to open up your garden. While berries are tempting, many berry vines have thorns and are therefore better suited for a back fence or trellises than an entrance. Instead, consider something unusual and delicious like passion fruit or kiwi vines or edible flowers like jasmine which will make delightful accents in recipes later.
2) Grow Lovely Edibles
Lots of vegetables grow incredibly colorful produce and leaves. You can create a painter's dream in a vast array of bright colors and interesting shapes. Artfully arranged, they are both lovely and delicious when harvested. Cabbage, for instance, is often seen in bright, leafy purples or reds. Sweet potatoes and radishes come in beautiful colors. Asparagus is a thick grass in white, green and purple while cauliflower comes in white, purple, and bright yellow. Then, of course, there are all the colors of produce from tomatoes to peppers when your garden begins to ripen.
3) Convenient Placement
When arranging your garden, remember not to place things behind each other. You will enjoy the experience more when tending, watering, and harvesting is easy to do. This means the layout should focus on either a long avenue of plants or several accessible rows. Planting vertically and with pots on shelves is a great way to make the most of your dedicated space and ensure the time you spend gardening is efficient and enjoyable.
4) Raised Flower Beds
You don't have to kneel on the ground to garden. In fact, you don't need the ground at all. Planters allow you to place your garden anywhere you like without the need to dig. You can set them on the ground, arrange them in tiers on shelves, and even move them around your yard on a whim if you enjoy redesigning your landscape on a regular basis or want to chase the sunlight.
5) Hanging Pots and Baskets
One of the most attractive ways to grow anything is with hanging pots or baskets. Fragrant, decorative, and able to grow anywhere there's sun, baskets bring a height dynamic to your garden dangling leafy tendrils create an exotic effect from even the most mundane plants. Small fruiting plants like strawberries are wonderful for baskets, as are many fragrant herbs.
Growing fresh vegetables, fruit, and herbs is an incredibly rewarding project with returns far greater than a simple flower bed. If you have the gift of a green thumb, a garden of raised beds, planters, and berries on trellises can create a beautiful yard that can also contribute to delicious meals for years. Whether you simply want produce or want to teach gardening to your children, growing cucumbers and kiwis a wonderful hobby that makes a truly beautiful yard.