Lined by a colorful border of rose standards, zinnias, rubecia, coreopsis and strawberries, the kitchen garden of HGTV Dream Home 2009 provides a bounty of herbs and vegetables year-round while supporting sustainable gardening practices. Some plants, including echinacea, sage, lavender and milkweed, are planted specifically to provide food for beneficial insects.
The handcrafted garden beds are elevated 18 inches above the ground to prevent gophers from destroying the plants. Each bed is lined with a waterproof barrier of Visquine to protect the wood frames, and filled with a light and fluffy planting mixture of soil and compost. The bed located closest to the kitchen is planted with popular cooking herbs.
A Pop of Pink
Searching for something to fill the flower vase? Flowering herbs make lovely arrangements. Echinacea, with its vibrant pink blooms, attracts beneficial insects and can also be dried for use in home-brewed tea.
The blooming herb calendula, which wards off moths and caterpillars, is planted in a raised bed with loose-leaf lettuce varieties including Red Sails, romaine and Simpson. The flowers can be cut for arrangements or used in salads.
The Naming Game
Beds are filled with herbs; chard, spinach and kale; lettuce; and broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Plantings are identified with decorative handwritten markers.
Eye-Catching and Edible
Chard, spinach and kale put on quite a color show in the kitchen garden. Chard leaves are ornamental and edible.
A Tart Treat
Myer lemons ripen in November and do not rot if left on the tree. A Meyer lemon tree is planted just outside the entrance to the kitchen. "Almost everyone in California grows a lemon tree, wherever they can, as close to the kitchen as they can," master gardener Linda King says.