One of the great creative joys of helping people build food gardens, is the opportunity to design the garden from start to finish! So when a couple on the North Shore contacted us with their wish to have a food garden, we started by coming up with several designs.
The first focusses on a central lozenge-shaped bed, with a perennial herb garden in the middle. The paths will be made of 1" river rock for a casual, organic feel, and several existing fences provide both shelter from the weather and in-built growing frames for tomatoes, beans, peas and squashes.
The shade-loving plants will go on the south side (on the right, in the diagram), while the sun-loving plants will be gathered on the north, away from the shading fence.
It's a small, compact garden, but there's room for lots of food! Not shown in the drawing is all the additional small plants - lettuces, parsley, onions, garlic and so on - that can be interplanted amongst the tomatoes and other plants. The result will be a densely planted and highly productive food garden!
The second plan is a little less formal, but equally productive - and features all the same details of fences, river rock paths and planting plan. Here, little alcoves of plants allow for an easy work flow: just park yourself in one spot and a good part of the garden is in easy reach - before you move on to the next spot.
The bed on the north (left) side can be twice as wide as the one on the south (left), because the little yard opens into a larger space on the north - so the bed can be worked from both sides. This plan puts more plants in the fullest sun areas.