Kitchen Garden

Tomatoes, squash, and herbs in self-watering 5 gallon containers.

Kitchen gardening is a historically loaded subject. Also known as potagers or kailyards, kitchen gardens are a space typically adjoining a kitchen dedicated to the production of foods for the table while retaining a somewhat decorative appearance. I grow a range of vegetables, herbs, edible flowers, fruits, and microgreens year round using an outdoor container system, indoor grow room, greenhouse, cold frame, and grow lights.

This has slowly turned into a year-round project, even in the winter I have fresh herbs and salad greens available pretty much all of the time. Space-saving techniques such as trellising, vertical planting, companion planting, and rotating crops help to really increase production from a growing space of less than 200 square feet total.

The garden as living space.

This spring will bring a rudimentary irrigation scheme and rain barrel system to the containers on the deck. Other areas that are planted or “colonized” include the area just inside the fence along the sidewalk, the walkway between buildings (about 3 feet wide at best), the chicken coop rooftops, and the walls of the house itself. Every sunny spot has been filled in over the years.

Since this area is essentially also an outdoor room for our household, it tends to be somewhat decorated in a style that is pretty consistant with the rest of the house’s interior. Several art projects and sculptures “live” in the space, as well as some paintings, installations, and drawings. The garden is very visual, and holds lots of hidden things. Even though it is not “formal” in its design, the garden is intentionally structured around an esthetic idea and can still be considered “decorative”.

Herbs drying in the window.

Plantings on the windowsill.

Sun tolerant herbs along a sunny wall area.

Trellised squash for edible blossoms and butternut squash.

Sunflowers and squash growing in the narrow space between the sidewalk and the apartment.

Recycled materials make up the bulk of growing containers. Many have been spray painted.

Basement grow room for starting seedlings in spring and growing salad year round.

Chicken coop rooftop garden.

Kitchen herb grow zone under florescent lights.

Edible flowers.

Seedlings in the greenhouse.

Rain gutter strawberry planter and grapes. The grapes will be trellised on the other wall.

 

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