Garden Beauty

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Colorful vegetable garden harvest

Our vegetable gardens can feed not only our bodies, but our souls, too. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of walking out to your garden right before dinner to harvest the ingredients that will be featured on your plate that very evening. Feeding our families delicious food is a big part of the gardening experience.

But, what about the more intangible benefits of gardening? If we let them, they can be so much more than a place to grow our own food. Our gardens can also serve a bigger purpose of feeding our spiritual, emotional, physical, artistic and creative selves. They can be places where we find a beauty that touches us on a deeper level and sparks a feeling of joy that can only be found through nature.

How to Grow a Colorful Vegetable Garden

colorful vegetable harvest

If you had to pick a favorite time in your vegetable garden judging by aesthetics alone, which would it be? Spring, summer, fall (and winter if you’re one of the lucky ones) each have their own color palette. The colors of early spring are gentle and fresh –  the tender greens of newly emerging seedlings, the chartreuse of the trees pushing out their first leaves, and the soft whites, pinks and yellows of the early flowers.

Summer is when the color party really gets started. Those muted tones of spring flowers give way to the stronger purples, yellows, red and oranges of summer. Your vegetable plants start to put on exponential growth and become a deeper green. The first colorful fruits and vegetables can be seen peeking through the plants.

Fall brings the slanting light that gently caresses the vegetables and keeps them looking their best for the camera, the riot of color from annuals tumbling over themselves, and the harvests. Oh, the harvests! There’s every color imaginable in the baskets and bowls that overflow your kitchen counters.

Fall is my favorite time in my garden. The colors pull me in and beckon me to stay awhile with my camera. I open the living room curtains every morning so I can get a full view of my garden in all its glory. It’s with my gorgeous fall garden that I can finally pronounce the season a success!

I love bright colors, and fall is the season when they’re on display in all of their striking combinations and happy accidents. The flowers and vegetables are shouting from the garden, “Look at me!  See how beautiful I am!”

That’s why this is the perfect time for a garden tour focusing on the rainbow of colors that is the fall vegetable garden.

Easy & Beautiful DIY Garden Trellis

Easy Garden Trellis

August in Wisconsin is the peak of beauty in the vegetable garden. All of the flowers are bursting with color, the harvest is starting in earnest and my basket fills up with all the colors of the rainbow each morning. The plants themselves are big and lush, bursting with growth and tumbling every which way. My garden feels a bit like a living, breathing beast that’s going to take over my entire yard. It’s a jungle out there!

I’m currently reading the book, Growing Beautiful Food, and it explores a topic close to my heart – growing food not only to feed your body, but to feed your soul as well. I loved this quote,

“If you begin to imagine growing food as an art form, where you move beyond the supply and demand of feeding yourself and others and into the realm of aesthetics, then you begin to cultivate beauty as well. And beauty is a fundamental human need, as essential as breath.”

At this time of year I soak in the aesthetic beauty of my garden and embrace the extra joy in brings to my life. And I’m re-convinced that having a gorgeous vegetable garden is just as important as having a productive one.

Every season I try to pay close attention to which parts I feel drawn to visually, so I can make mental notes about especially striking flower combinations, stand out vegetable varieties and anything else that elicits a feeling of happiness in my heart.

One element of my garden that’s consistently been a favorite are the “temporary” trellises I created last year. When we bought our house there was very little landscaping around it. We’re slowly adding trees, shrubs and perennials, but it’s still pretty bare. My vegetable gardens sit nicely in front of and on the side of my house, but they can sometimes feel flat and boring in the early and late parts of the season.

Last spring I decided that I needed to add some temporary height around the house to make the gardens more visually interesting. I wanted something quick, easy and inexpensive to start with while I work out my plans for future structures. After some scheming and dreaming, I decided to try a livestock panel trellis.

First, I’ll show you some shots of the trellises from this season. Then, I’ll tell you how we made them.

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megan@creativevegetablegardener.com
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