After seeing the magnificent garden in “It’s Complicated,” I was inspired to design a functional as well as beautiful garden. Something that would enhance our yard. We decided to expand our garden from 14.5′ x 10′ to 14.5′ x 24′ and designed a French style garden with cedar paths separating the planting beds.
We built a cedar fence with a tall lattice screen for climbing fruits and vegetables. The layout worked well with the beds running east to west and the lattice screen on the north end of the garden so the sun is not blocked. Always plant the small plants on the south side of the garden and the tall plants on the northern side.
There are four interior beds about 3′ x 5′ wide surrounded by 18″ wide cedar mulch paths. Around the perimeter of the fence, the beds are 18 to 48″ wide. The beds on the left are in the new part of the garden and I decided to plant them even though it is a little early. It has been unseasonable warm. The other two beds have spinach and onions so I sprinkled some seeds around them and planted chives that should last if there is a cold snap.
The cedar obelisks placed on the four interior beds adds character to the garden and the tomatoes have a cedar cage to contain them. Those metal cages never hold up and end up getting tossed at the end of the season. These are screwed together and should last for a long time. You can order them online or have them made like I did. The ones online are nailed with aluminum nails and glued with a water based glue.
On the lattice screen, I planted raspberries with pole beans for the nitrogen,three lavender plants in front of the raspberries, a pepper on each side of the lattice gate, and spread cucumber seeds. I planted one zucchini plant on the left side of the gate.
On the right side along the picket fence, I spread some squash and bean seeds to climb the fence and planted two cilantro plants. I will plant more vegetables in front of the squash in a few weeks. Still selecting the companion plants.
In between the cilantro, I potted an olive tree. One of my dear friends found a local grower and ordered two for us. She bought four trees and we are going to learn how to make olive oil together. We should have our first olives next year!
The front bed is shaded by the fence rail. With the shade protecting the plants from the summer heat, I decided to plant lettuce and some long day onion seeds and kept the winter carrots to harvest in the next few weeks.
On the left side, we are planting flowers and blueberry bushes. My daughter really wants foxgloves. I am still searching for organic rabbit-eye blueberry bushes and may order them online soon.
We also added 2 cedar boxes to compost all the leaves, grass clippings, fruits, and vegetables. This way we will not be spending $8 for one bag of compost. This year I bought over twenty! I am sure I will still buy a bag or two for topdressing since Farmer D has amazing compost and my plants flourish when I sprinkle some around the bases in mid summer.
I am thrilled at how the plan turned out. Gardens can be functional as well as beautiful. Below is a detailed plan of all the planting beds.
If you have a weekend, you can do it yourself. Gardening is easy as long as you have the right soil. Read my prep work post for some tricks. You can start with an herb garden and see how you like it. Farmer D and Williams Sonoma will make a custom sized cedar box for you. You do not need much space.
I love that more people are getting back into gardening. My kids love to eat the food and my husband loves to tell them we are eating “Garden to Table.”
I hope these ideas help you with your ORGANIC garden design.