Formal Kitchen Garden


I am in the process of finishing my book, which means I spend pretty much all my time either thinking or writing about growing vegetables. Today my mind kept wandering back to a lovely formal kitchen garden in Marin County that I had the opportunity to tour when I spoke at a symposium sponsored by the Garden Conservancy last summer. Located at the back of a large, tree-lined lot, the fenced kitchen garden artfully combined formal kitchen garden design with whimsical plant supports and plantings.

Boxwood parterres and decomposed granite pathways divided the garden into quadrants, with narrower beds ringing the perimeter. To help keep the familys chickens and ducks out of the beds, they installed unobtrusive chicken wire fences behind the parterres.

I loved all of the homemade trellises in this garden. The rustic tuteurs, which provided support for sweet peas and cucumbers, were constructed of grapevines scavenged from local vineyards. Weathered 1 x 1 posts looped with wire housed tomatoes and created a scaffold for beans. Roses and clematis twined through the split rail fence that enclosed the garden.

The garden featured tons of architectural plants, including tall stands of blooming fennel, spiky artichokes, Tuscan black kale, flowering onions, pruned boxwood and rosemary, and trellised vegetables.

My favorite detail was this cute little frog perched on a post!

Our new house doesnt have nearly enough sunor spaceto create a kitchen garden like this. But a girl can dream, right?

9 Responses to Formal Kitchen Garden

  1. 1

    Sheila Says:
    We need beautiful photos like this to inspire us while we sit and wait for Spring! Thanks Willi

  2. 2

    Laura Says:
    beautiful, thanks

  3. 3

    Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings Says:
    Its so lovely. I can understand why you remember it so well. Hope your book is coming along nicely.~~Dee
    Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblingss last blog ..Foliage followup for January 2011- the forecast is cold and dry 

  4. 4

    agirlonafarm Says:
    I also love those homemade trellis, much more aesthetically pleasing than plain wire. Found your blog from a recommendation from a friend. I really need to try your roasted beet recipe. Finding a good recipe for beets was on my list of things to accomplish last year!
    agirlonafarms last blog ..Day off 

  5. 5

    Willi Says:
    A Girl On A FarmIm going to put a few closer shots of the trellises, because I want to try and replicate some of them here at home. I might even try and track down some grapevine prunings from the vineyards in the Willamette Valley! Roasting beets is the best! Less mess and more flavor!

    DeeMy book is coming along! Im almost done. Phew!

  6. 6

    Scott Says:
    Im not usually a big fan of formal plantings, but those different cages and supports really do transform the spaceso charming!
    Scotts last blog ..O- The Wormwood and the Gall 

  7. 7

    Farmgirl Susan Says:
    What a wonderful garden. I love all the homemade trellises, too.

  8. 8

    annelise ford Says:
    I love this!!! Salad and kitchen gardens are a huge trend this season as well as using containers for salad gardening!! Says:

    Oh my, that garden is just gorgeous.