Nine years ago my husband and I bought a new town home in Madison, WI with a sunny yard and quickly started building the garden of our dreams.

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Vegetable Garden Design

Here’s the two of us relaxing after a hard day’s work under the hops arbor we built to shade our back patio. The door behind us is the entrance to the kitchen.

This is what the garden looked like on the first day we started working on it. Nothing was growing except for a few weeds.

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This is a photo from a few years later. The first thing we did was create our design by establishing permanent beds out of logs and rocks.

Flowers in Vegetable Garden

I love mixing flowers in with vegetables to create more color and texture in the garden. This photo highlights three of my favorite annual flowers: State Fair Zinnia, Prairie Sun Rudbeckia, and Verbena Bonariensis.

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We love to grow 400 onions each year in our garden to use in salsa and to store in our basement.

One of my absolute favorite things to grow is Carmen red peppers. We eat as many as we can fresh from the garden and freeze the rest for off season eating.

We’ve had up to four chickens living in a coop next to our garden. They don’t always have free reign like this!

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Colorful Garden Vegetables

I love to spend time with my camera in the early morning light of my garden capturing the stunning beauty of vegetables.

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Searching for art to feature in my garden is a favorite pastime of mine.

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In addition to building a vegetable garden in the backyard we also designed extensive perennial gardens on the side and in front of our house.

Front yard garden before

Front yard garden after

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Side yard garden before

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Side yard garden after

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We sold this house in the winter of 2013 and moved closer into town to a more urban (and bigger!) lot that we could transform into another edible oasis.

You can tour our current garden here.

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