Let's Take a Kitchen Garden Tour
I'm sure you've seen the car commercials where the wife looks out the window to see a brand new car with a shiny red bow on top. For those of us who love to garden, the real dream would be to step outside and see a freshly installed kitchen garden, complete with that new cedar smell.
Well, for one lucky Rooted Garden client, that dream became a reality in 2020. Caroline received this kitchen garden as a present from her husband. In return, she gifted him his own backyard putting green.
Let's take a tour of their outdoor space.
Kitchen Garden Design
This kitchen garden is positioned right along her driveway and her side door into her home, which makes popping out to the garden to cut some herbs for dinner or leafy greens for lunch a breeze. It's also next to their outdoor kitchen. You can't make that farm-to-table experience much more accessible than that!
Twin gardens beds are an easy way to embrace the beauty that's in symmetrical design and make the most of a space that's wider than it is deep or deeper than it is wide. To have a twin garden in your own space, you'll need a minimum of 13 feet of width available.
Can you imagine being able to step out your back door and engage in your favorite hobby? With the additions of the kitchen garden and the putting green in their beautiful backyard, the family now has a place to play, host friends and family, improve their skills—be they gardening or golfing—or just relax and unwind.
They now have the perfect excuses to get outside and spend more time enjoying their outdoor space, and we're guessing their yard has become a popular hangout spot for neighbors and friends.
In addition to having a fun hangout spot, the family also installed artificial turf to cut down on lawn maintenance and water bills. Basically, they ditched the needy green lawn for a putting green and some leafy greens.
Let's explore some of the key elements in this kitchen garden
Cedar Raised Garden Beds
Untreated cedar is a beautiful and durable material that matches the style of this home and, with proper care, provides decades of planting and growing. For these reasons, cedar and other natural woods are Rooted Garden’s most popular kitchen garden material.
Our Rooted Garden team finished these raised beds with trim pieces for a clean, polished look. You can find the steps to build your own raised beds with trim in our Gardenary signature style in this downloadable ebook.
Each raised garden bed is 11.5ft by 3.5ft by 2ft for a total of 80.5 square feet of gardening space. Two-foot-tall raised beds are ideal for growing large plants with deep roots and make tending easier on the gardener. (Learn more about how deep raised garden beds should be here.)
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 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. I love that the family gets to walk under these arches every time they walk into the house from the driveway.
This garden features two Nicole Arch Trellises (so named because they're modeled after the three trellises I have in my own kitchen garden).
Garden Pathways and Borders
Garden pathways allow gardeners to visit their garden without having to worry about stepping in mud or trampling on plants. They also prevent weeds and help protect the cedar raised beds during rainy weather. Rooted Garden loves using gravel pathways in our kitchen garden designs since it provides a clean area, drains quickly, and lasts forever. This garden pathway features blackstar gravel, which is one of the most popular aggregate choices.
I get asked about these brick pavers a lot when I post pictures or videos of this garden on social media. The homeowners already had the brick pavers in place as a walkway from the similarly brick-lined driveway to the back door. We love the charm and warmth they bring to the space, and they make it even easier to access the beds.
(Learn more about designing and installing your own garden pathways here.)
The brick edging (also supplied by the homeowners) and the metal edging serve 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. (Learn more about intensive planting here.)
The client loves growing her own fresh produce, and her three children enjoy helping her tend and learning more about how plants grow. This garden gives them a low-stakes place where they can leave the challenges of growing up behind and just grow alongside one another.
Cucumber plants make use of the metal garden trellis to grow vertically. The family will have their own garden-fresh cucumbers soon! Because the trellis holds the vining plants upright, the family still has room to grow herbs and pretty flowers around the edges of the garden.
Jalapeños and other hot peppers (like serrano, poblano, and the sweeter shishito peppers) love growing during Texas's sunny summers. They're attractive plants that thrive even during the hottest months of the year and produce a ton of fruits.
This garden also grows tomatoes and tons of herbs like sage, chives, thyme, parsley, and oregano.
It’s a perfect representation of how productive a garden can be when you plan out your space and plant intensively.
This garden took our team about five hours to install after our design team spent months planning, preparing, and ordering materials. I think, at the end of the day, it turned out beautifully!
I hope you enjoyed touring this backyard garden. This space is so magical, so full of good stuff to eat, and just outside the kitchen door! The perfect example of what’s possible in a space where the homeowner might not have originally thought a garden could go.
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.