The ultimate kitchen garden.Sunset's Dream Garden is filled with ideas you can use
A flower bed and a small lawn are standard fare in most gardens. But today's landscapes can be useful as well as attractive, offering fresh herbs, gourmet vegetables, luscious homegrown fruits, and vibrant flowers all within easy reach of the kitchen.
At Sunset's Dream House in Menlo Park, California Menlo Park is a city in San Mateo County, California in the United States of America. It is located at latitude 37°29' North, longitude 122°9' East. Menlo Park had 30,785 inhabitants as of the 2000 U.S. Census. , a large portion of the sunny side yard has been transformed into a kitchen garden with a layout designed by San Rafael, California San Rafael (IPA: /ˌsænrəˈfɛl/; originally IPA: [sɑn rɑfeˈɛl]), is the county seat of Marin County, California, United States. , landscape architect Peder Pedersen. Just outside the kitchen door are four small planting beds, each bursting with herbs, vegetables, and flowers.
"Since the garden is located off the kitchen, it seemed natural to create a formal kitchen parterre," explains Pedersen. Two decomposed granite paths bisect bi·sect
v. bi·sect·ed, bi·sect·ing, bi·sects
To cut or divide into two parts, especially two equal parts.
To split; fork. the beds. At the crossroads is a gurgling fountain (from A. Silvestri Company Garden Ornaments, San Francisco).
Pedersen uses all sorts of tricks to make this small garden seem bigger. The path that leads from the kitchen (at left in photo on page 69) starts out 6 feet wide and narrows to 3 feet toward the back. "This gives you a greater sense of depth," says Pedersen.
A single boxwood boxwood
see buxus sempervirens. shrub at the corner of each bed emphasizes the formality of the design. Beyond the beds is a sun patio; as the roses and lavender around it grow, they will create a "secret garden," says Pedersen.
Landscape designer Tisa Watts selected the plantings in each bed with help from fellow horticulture students at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California Los Altos Hills (IPA: /lɒˌsɑltoʊs ˈhɪls/) is an incorporated town in Santa Clara County, California, United States. The population was 7,902 at the 2000 census. . "It's chaos within order," says Watts. But the color scheme is daring and intense. Purples, blues, and yellows mix with a smattering of oranges and hot pinks.
Plants are both functional and pretty Artichoke was chosen for its bold gray-green leaves and purple thistlelike flowers, and 'Bright Lights' Swiss chard for its colorful ribs. Crookneck squash, eggplant, herbs, peppers, strawberries, and zucchini mingle with colorful flowers such as catmint, coreopsis coreopsis (kōrēŏp`sĭs), or tickseed, names for species of Coreopsis, a chiefly North American genus of the family Asteraceae (aster family). , marigolds, and purple coneflowers.
Each bed was planted around a tall focal point - a tepee tepee or tipi (both: tē`pē), typical dwelling of Native North Americans living on the Great Plains. It was usually made by arranging tent poles into a conical frame and spreading skins, usually buffalo hide, tightly over trellis laced with 'Kentucky Wonder' pole beans in one bed; tomatoes ('Early Girl', 'Yellow Pear', and 'Super Sweet 100') staked on aluminum spirals in another bed, for example.
The beds are watered by automatic sprinklers for about 20 minutes every other day. Additional spot watering is done during hot weather.
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The unsung hero of this garden is the work center, designed by Peder Pedersen, which fits neatly into a triangular area beside the garden gate. Screened from view by its trellis and by 'Tuscan' and 'Obelisk' colonnade apples planted alternately, the center provides space for composting, cutting- and seed-starting, potting, and storage.
Pedersen designed three structures for this area. The largest (below, and at right in photo above) is a 130-inch-long potting center built by Siteworks of Berkeley. From the garden, the 89-inch-tall redwood structure looks like a fence.
The other two structures - a compost bin and a growing table-make effective use of a wood-composite decking material called TimberTech from Crane Plastics (800/307-7780). The product, which is made of sawdust and polyethylene binder, will not rot when in contact with damp soil. The compost area has three bins with removable front panels.
Plans for all three structures are available for $5. Send a check or money order along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Dream House Garden Work Center, 80 Willow Rd., Menlo Park, CA 94025.