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Vegetable gardens really can become the busiest and most productive part of your backyard. However, vegetable gardens generally do become a place of function over form and aesthetics.
Most vegetable plots end up nothing more than back garden allotments. Vegetable plots can become a lattice of old wooden structures, re-used materials and collapsing raised beds.
However, with some proper planning and investment, this can be completely turned around! Vegetable gardens do not have to be uniform rectangles held together with waste materials.
By breaking down conventional norms and some imagination vegetable gardens can become a thing of beauty!
In this article I will list and describe 10 ways to make your vegetable garden look nice!
Uniform raised beds
A common problem with raised vegetable beds is they are random and boring. If raised beds are planned with uniformity they can form aesthetically pleasing lines and shapes within the landscape.
Raised beds do not always have to be positioned in grids! They can also be positioned in interesting shapes and angles with central seating areas.
For example, individual raised beds can form a hexagonal border encasing an outside kitchen area. Also, raised beds which are built using the same materials and a consistent size will always look much nicer.
One of the main contributors to vegetable gardens looking scruffy is a lack of robust surfacing. Very often lawn is simply left to grow between raised vegetable beds.
This becomes awkward to maintain, boggy and muddy during wet weather. Occasionally, vegetable gardeners will lay down landscaping membrane and spread either gravel or bark chippings.
As there is no sub-base installed these surfaces normally become uneven and full of weeds. Investing in robust and aesthetically pleasing surfacing around vegetable beds will save extra work and look amazing!
Block planting is a concept traditionally applied to flower borders and annual bedding displays. The idea is to mass plant a single species to create a visual block.
These can be planted alongside blocks of contrasting foliage for a dramatic effect! An example of this for vegetables would be planting blocks of light green salad crops next to purple crops.
This juxtaposition could also be utilised by implementing varying foliage heights and textures.
Plant for contrast
Not all vegetables are the same in form, colour and texture. When planning your vegetable garden try to plant to create as much contrast as possible.
You may wish to paint your raised beds with vegetables with different colours to create as much visual interest as possible. Perhaps you may also want to implement companion planting which can reduce pests.
Companion planting can also form exciting contrasts throughout your raised vegetable beds.
Designer raised beds
The problem with many vegetable gardens is they implement raised beds as solely functional structures
The truth is treating raised beds as a part of a garden design is a much better concept. This will enable your vegetable garden to become integrated into the your gardens design
Why not consider investing more into concrete raised beds. These can be rendered, tiled or clad in any material or texture you choose.
Mix vegetables and flowers
There seems to be many unofficial rules and norms which burden the vegetable grower.
There is actually no need not to mix vegetables with other pants. In fact, such practices can actually benefit your vegetable growing. Mixing up crops with flowers can confuse garden pests leading to less crop damage.
Flowers can also need much needed colour to vegetable gardens and encourage beneficial insects. Not to mention some flowers can be grown for their edible leaves and flowers such as nasturtiums.
Plant vegetable borders
Vegetables do not necessarily have to be planted in neatly defined vegetable beds. There is absolutely no reason why vegetables cannot be grown in conventional borders.
Vegetables can be cultivated in very much the same ways conventional plants are. Tall vegetables like corn can be grown at the back and ground covers like lettuce at the front.
Most vegetables are actually very attractive with interesting foliage and colourful flowers.
Climbing vegetables for screening
If you still wish to make your vegetable garden look nicer you could consider screening it from view.
The best way to do this is actually using crops to do the screening! Trellises and cables can be set up as growing supports around your crop growing areas.
These can then be planted with climbing vegetables such as peas, beans and squash. If you can’t afford to build new structures, consider growing tall crops such as sunflowers and corn.
Grow Attractive vegetables
Contrary to conventional thinking vegetables are not all boring or unattractive. In fact, many vegetables can look better than specimen plants within the correct context.
Rhubarb is an amazing plant with large, decorative foliage and lots of seasonal variation. Globe artichokes are one of the most beautiful plants of all in my opinion.
There architectural foliage and bright grey tones make them a real eye catcher! There are also many attractive looking vegetables you can grow including Rainbow chard, Ornamental cabbage, Squash, Runner beans and onions.
Use organic lines
The main problem with traditional vegetable gardens is they stick to square shapes and straight lines. This can make them seem rigid and boring!
This format also enhances the idea that vegetable gardens are places of work instead of places of enjoyment. Some of the best looking vegetable gardens break up this traditional norm.
There is no reason why vegetable beds can’t be curved with more organic shapes. Vegetables can also be planted in curvy drills and undulating drifts within borders.
Thank you for reading our article on 10 ways to make your vegetable garden look nice.
If you require a quotation for building a new vegetable garden please contact us. Below we will link to some other vegetable garden articles you may find useful.
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Hyde Heath, Amersham, Buckinghamshire