Since the main reason for growing vegetables is to provide food for the table the kitchen garden is often hidden from view. However it is perfectly possible to create a productive area that is also an attractive landscape feature. I came across an article by Lauren Dunec Hoang which describes eight design strategies that you can use to make your veggies as attractive as your flower borders. This comes from the Houzz website.
With a thoughtful layout and careful selection of plants, edible gardens can be destinations in the garden, not just for harvesting but also as places of beauty. Here are eight design strategies for setting up your kitchen garden — no matter how big or small it may be — into a garden that’s both bountiful and a feast for the eyes.
1. Adopt an orderly layout. From towering tomato vines to rambling blackberries, many edible plants are exuberant growers and far less well-behaved in gardens than a typical evergreen shrub. Establishing order early on is key to keeping kitchen gardens looking good and sets them up to be easier to maintain throughout the season.Whether you choose a formal layout of symmetrically arranged raised beds or adopt a more free-form kitchen garden layout, make sure beds are well-defined and pathways are covered in gravel or mulch to keep down mud between beds.Small edible gardens can benefit from an orderly layout as well. In this urban garden the designers used galvanized stock tanks drilled with drainage holes as planting beds for greens, herbs, tomatoes and other crops. The tanks, arranged on either side of a gravel and paver path, provide order to the design and make watering, checking for pests and harvesting a cinch.2. Plant low to high. Position low-growing plants, like herbs and strawberries, toward the front of a bed, and taller ones, like chard and tomatoes, toward the back. Planting in height bands not only looks good, it also makes it easier to keep track of crops and keeps them from shading each other as they grow. Plant vining plants, such as cucumbers and pole beans, against bamboo trellises at the back of the bed.