It’s funny how, when you ask gardening enthusiasts what they like to grow in their gardens or greenhouses, they tend to be split right down the middle into two camps…either they say they are flower growers, or vegetable growers, Quite often you hear “I take care of the flowers and my husband takes care of the Veg” type comment (or vice versa). Perhaps the reason some people prefer growing flowers to Veg is because Veg generally isn’t perceived to be particularly pretty…
TV shows of recent years have gone from just showing you how to cook fresh foods but also how to grow it as well, and remember, growing your own Veg also means YOU control what goes into the Veg by way of chemicals and pesticides etc. Not only that, but you help the environment by cutting down on food miles needing your food to reach the plate plus, doctors say that 20 minutes of gentle gardening a day is highly beneficial to most people! What have you go to lose?
The problem is, how to incorporate a Veg plot into your garden, particularly if you have a small garden or, if you have kids. The answer for many is to use pots and raised containers like wooden trugs (deep wooden containers on legs which make them great for the disabled and elderly alike to get stuck in!) Pots have many advantages…it’s also easier to control pests, you can move pots around your garden to perhaps shelter temporarily from strong winds or, without the risk of sounding comical…strong sunshine. The only real disadvantage of pots is that they probably will need more watering, especially if the posts are made from Terracotta as these tend to dry out quicker. Also ensure pots have drain holes at the bottom and put small blocks underneath pots to allow water to drain away freely.
For those that do have space, a Veg plot can be very ornate. Look at the magnificent gardens of TV Chef Raymond Blanc who is renowned for his wholesome food grown from his own premises, but visitors are also wowed by the presentation of his superbly kept gardens. If you think Veg is ugly…why not try some more ornate varieties…striped tomatoes, purple carrots or pink celery?
Of course, having a Kitchen Garden not only means you can have fresh wholesome food whenever you like, but it also saves you money. Try adding up the costs of all the Veg you eat all year round, and make sure it is ALL year round because Veg growers can simply freeze produce that isn’t needed straight away and can pop back out of the freezer when it’s needed later. Of course, you can’t beat growing and harvesting your own Brussel Sprouts for Christmas Day!
Below is an image from a project we started in February in Sevenoaks, Kent. The kitchen garden below will have a greenhouse at the centre of the garden and various beds ready to grow fresh homegrown produce. To see more images from this garden landscaping project, please go to the ‘Garden Landscaping Project in Sevenoaks Kent‘ article.