In a productive garden, function generally wins over style, but the two don't have to be mutually exclusive. Here, we present three gardens packed with delicious vegetables or herbs that each, in its own way, looks great.
Even the paving in this natural-looking productive garden (image 1), is softened by a variety of sensory-pleasing plantings; chamomile, when walked on, releases a scent.
Designer Butcher says:
"This small kitchen garden was created for enthusiastic gardeners. The emphasis is on medicinal and culinary herbs for regular harvesting, but the space is for relaxing, too. The clients also wanted something organic and with a low carbon footprint."
"As the design developed it became clear that we were working towards a blend of fruit, vegetables and herbs, and that they should be the dominant elements."
"I take inspiration from many things — such as literature, art and travel. The input and character of my clients are essential ingredients in my work, too."
Chamomile (image 2); Rosemary santolina, also known as cotton lavender (image 3)
Parsley (image 1); Apple mint (image 2); Sweet woodruff (image 3); Thyme (image 4); Sage (image 5)
This geometric garden includes the sort of well-equipped detailing that a hard-working space needs. The raised beds of vegetables are easy to reach and maintain.
Designer Guinness says:
"This garden was originally dominated by an overgrown Leylandii hedge. Once this was removed, the space really opened up and a backdrop of native plants was revealed, which help to soften my design."
"The space works hard, which is typical of my approach. The owner is a grilling enthusiast, so I created a space for entertaining, with a barbecue grill and built-in sink, and a small greenhouse."
"My influences often come from the architects I work with, and new or interesting ideas I see on my travels."
Runner beans (image 1); Onions (image 2); Carrots (image 3); Red chard (image 4)
Perfect for al fresco dining, this garden combines an abundance of fresh, edible plants with a kitchen and dining area.
Designer Martin says:
"This show garden — filled with herbs, vines and salads, and with its own kitchen — was designed to encourage the use of fresh produce and outdoor living."
"To create a relaxing atmosphere, I used a subtle color scheme for both hard and soft materials. The pool, complete with carp, is calming too, and positioned at the same level as the cantilevered table."
"The garden is typical of my approach to design, which is to create sharp and smart spaces that are user-friendly and easy to maintain."
Fennel (image 1); Chives (image 2); Basil (image 3); Golden wild marjoram (image 4)
Excerpted from Garden Design
©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009