Pretty and Productive

By Cohoon, Sharon | Sunset, May 2002 | Go to article overview

Pretty and Productive


Cohoon, Sharon, Sunset


Before & After

Paths, pots, and structures work wonders in this small vegetable garden

* A few simple changes can make a huge difference in a garden's flow and appearance. Rita Sprinkel's vegetable garden in Newport Beach, California, is located in a sunny, south-- facing side yard. Backed by a tall hedge that blocked out the wind, this plot yielded bumper crops of potatoes, tomatoes, and zucchini.

Still, Sprinkel wanted to increase production. And since she couldn't resist taking visitors back to her vegetable garden to admire her crops, she also wished the space were prettier. So she asked Lew Whitney of Roger's Gardens in Corona del Mar for help.

Better beds

Whitney's solution was to give the space more structure, by dividing the single bed into five smaller ones and separating them with 2-foot-wide gravel paths. To make up for some of the ground lost to the paths, he cut away 18 inches from the adjacent walkway and sacrificed some lawn in order to expand the bed by 4 or 5 feet. For visual interest and to maximize production, be brought in some vertical plant supports. Whitney placed a row of containers at the front of each bed and planted them with herbs, alpine strawberries, and edible flowers. …

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