Let's Take a Kitchen Garden Tour
Step through this beautiful garden gate with us and tour a twin garden installed by Rooted Garden in Houston, Texas, for our fantastic client Ted back in 2020.
Kitchen Garden Design
These homeowners were able to dedicate prime real estate in their backyard to this kitchen garden.
Normally, in a large space like this, we would do a four-garden classic design, but we went for extra-long twin beds in this case. The raised beds are each 20ft x 3ft x 1.5ft. We don't often go over 8 feet long for raised beds, and very rarely do we go over 15 feet for one continuous garden because the sides of the raised beds can warp. These beds have a little extra internal support to keep them strong and functional.
Twin gardens lend themselves to symmetrical beauty and make the most of a space that's wider than it is deep or deeper than it is wide. In this case, the client had a large rectangular spaces in the main lawn he wanted to take full advantage of. To have a twin garden in your own space, you'll need a minimum of 13 feet of width available.
Let's explore some of the key elements in this kitchen garden
Cedar Raised Garden Beds
Untreated cedar is a beautiful, natural material that matches the style of this home.
These beds will also last for decades because we build with 2-inch thick boards for greater durability. If you're ready to build your own raised beds, prioritize purchasing the thickest boards your budget will allow. Boards that are 1-inch thick will not give you the same durability when faced with weather and dense soil.
We finished these raised beds with trim pieces for a clean, polished look.
Garden trellises provide year-round vertical interest in a garden. They also help increase airflow, maximize the growing space, and keep vining plants healthy.
In Houston, Texas, where this garden is located, gardeners can make use of these trellises all 12 months of the year if they grow the right plants for their temperatures. These trellises regularly support vining tomatoes, pole beans, and cucumbers.
Even if not covered in lush vines, though, these arches would still look beautiful. And that's why trellises are my not-so-secret ingredient for making kitchen garden design magic.
An arch trellis is the perfect trellis option for a twin garden like this one because it connects the two growing spaces and gives these vining plants as much room to grow as they need.
Shop This Look
The Traditional Diamond Rounded Trellis features stunning diamond latticework. Each diamond supports vining plants like tomatoes, cucumbers, and pole beans.
The rounded shape of the trellis works well in traditional settings and adds a formal touch to your kitchen garden.
Garden Pathways and Borders
Garden pathways allow gardeners to visit their garden with ease and move about comfortably without worrying about mud. They also prevent weeds and help protect the cedar raised beds during rainy weather. Gravel works both functionally and aesthetically in the kitchen garden space and provides a clean area, drains quickly, and requires very little upkeep. This garden pathway features blackstar gravel with concrete stepping stones for even greater ease of movement around the space.
(Learn more about designing and installing your own garden pathways here.)
The metal edging around the garden space serves as a border to separate the garden from the rest of the backyard, keep grass at bay, and contain the gravel.
Fruits, Vegetables, and Herbs
These beds are intensively planted. Intensive planting is a way of packing in the plants in your kitchen garden with the intention of harvesting more often from a variety of different vegetables, fruits, leafy greens, and herbs. The aim is to get more production out of a small space and avoid having bare soil, which dries up quickly and invites weeds.
The client loves growing his own fresh, organic vegetables and herbs, and this garden definitely seems like a celebration of his passion and skills.
(Learn more about intensive planting here.)
Thanks to the tunnel created by the arches and the exuberant greenery of the plants growing overhead, walking down the center of this garden feels like you're stepping through a portal and entering your own peaceful, magical world.
What's Planted and Growing Here
The garden is designed so that in-season vining plants, like the tomatoes pictured below, can climb up the three trellises and still leave plenty of growing space for leafy greens like kale, spinach, and swiss chard. The height of the raised beds (18 inches) gives the roots of larger plants like tomatoes, kale, and cucumbers plenty of room to dig their roots down deep. And at 3-feet wide, these beds are narrow enough for the middle of the bed to be easily accessible for planting, tending, and harvesting, especially considering you can access the garden from all sides.
The client plants an herb border around the outside edge of each raised bed that includes chives, sage, parsley, oregano, and dill.
Here, you can see cherry tomatoes growing up the arch trellis and while chives hang over the sides.
Purple pole beans climb another arch trellis. While tomatoes on an arch trellis has become a sort of Gardenary signature, pole beans can be every bit as lush and gorgeous.
Putting herbs like sage on the edge and in the corners of each raised bed allows them to drape elegantly over the sides at the peak of their growth.
Here is some celery basking in the rainy day.
We normally encourage gardeners to plant the two sides of their garden symmetrically, but we're fine with breaking the "rules" if the results are this stunning (and the fruits, we assume, still equally delicious). Here, you can see the back side of this arch trellis hosts vining cherry tomato plants, while the front is covered in cucumbers. The top of the trellis is a lush canopy of greens where the two sides meet.
The cucumbers seem happy enough to share their large arch trellis.
I hope you enjoyed touring this special kitchen garden. Explore more Rooted Garden designs here.
If you're still waiting to set up your own kitchen garden, we'd like to invite you to work with a Gardenary-trained professional designer to have your kitchen garden expertly planned, designed, and built with confidence. Your designer will guide you through every step of the way—including selecting the best location and style for your garden—so that you end up with a beautiful and productive hardscaping piece in your outdoor space, just like this twin garden.
Our experienced designers are ready to help you today. Get started with your designer.
Let a certified Gardenary designer create a custom raised bed design for your space and growing goals. We'll provide a step-by-step plan so you can build your own magical kitchen garden space with confidence.