We are thrilled to have Megan Cain of the Creative Vegetable Gardener share her tips on how to create an artistic vegetable garden this summer! Megan's site is filled with beautiful imagery and useful information on how to get the most out of your garden. Join the Flavorful Life Garden Club and Megan will walk you through exactly what to do each season to be successful in your garden. Check it out!
I am a highly visual person. I need to have beauty around me. It comforts me, inspires me, and lifts my spirits when I am having a sad or stressful day. It’s what I feed on to survive.
In my home I surround myself with others’ artwork. I love bright colors, vegetable garden art (of course!), clean lines, and inspiring messages.
Outside my home I surround myself with my own artwork – my garden. I love to grow my own food, that’s a big part of the reason I have a vegetable garden. But, I also love the deep beauty that having a garden brings to my life.
My garden is right outside my living room windows and when I wake up in the morning I peek through the curtains to get a breakfast dose of visual garden candy. It’s difficult to put into words the internal spiritual lift I get when I catch a glimpse of my garden. It’s like my heart pauses for a little back flip of joy, and then continues along its merry way to continue on in its work.
My daily inspiration is found within that garden. Just a few minutes tying up tomato branches, pulling a few weeds, or harvesting a brightly colored vegetable is enough to center and ground me.
Over my years of gardening I’ve discovered the gift in the realization that the vegetable garden doesn’t have to be simply a place to grow food to feed your body. You can also intentionally grow plenty of beauty to feed your soul.
When planning your next garden, here are some tips to incorporate more artistic touches:
1. Tastefully sprinkle some garden art throughout your yard. Not the tchotchkes available from any garden center or big box store. Think local artists, and art fairs instead. Invest in a few quality pieces instead of lots of little things that crowd the garden.
2. Mix in flowers for added color. I like to plant annuals like zinnias, rudbeckia, and salvia in with my vegetables. You could also create a perennial flower bed that borders your garden or frames the entrance.
3. Contrast plant shape and form. This is a trick pulled from perennial flower garden world where shape and form are the building blocks of garden design. For example, in one of my garden beds I planted celery, which has a mounding, fine leafed shape next to leeks, which are more grassy and upright. The visual contrast between them adds some interest that catches your eye.
4. Plant for color as well as taste. I love eggplant, but the dark purple globe eggplant found in the grocery store is the most boring variety out there. I’ve grown neon purple, bright orange, and white eggplant. Search out unique and fun varieties of your favorite vegetables and experiment!
Looking for some meaningful, handmade garden art? We recommend our Garden Turtle, Gourd Birdhouse, or Garden Insect Wall Ornaments to intermingle with your veggies and flowers and add some whimsy to your space.