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.