Beautiful photos of creative and colorful vegetable gardens

colorful home vegetable garden photo

My front yard vegetable garden is a riot of color in the summer.

In the darkest months of the year when we can’t be out in our own vegetable gardens, the next best thing is looking at pictures of other peoples’ vegetable gardens.

One of the gifts of the off-season is the space and time to dream, imagine, and make plans for all the ways we’d like to create more beautiful and colorful gardens next season.

Checking out inspiring books from our local library, taking an afternoon to browse the gardening section of a bookstore, or just spending time on the internet reading gardening blogs and looking at gorgeous photos are all great ways to get the creative juices flowing.

Planning, seed ordering and starting, and late winter and early spring garden prep are all practical and important ways to prepare for the upcoming season.

But, daydreaming and visioning are also critical “tasks” we should make sure to carve out time for during wintertime.

I spent an evening by the fire recently with my laptop searching for stunning photos of vegetable gardens. I’d love to share some of my favorites with you and what ideas and plans they sparked for me.

photo of front yard vegetable garden

My front yard vegetable garden.

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Creative and Colorful Pictures of Vegetable Gardens

Besides books, my favorite source for inspiring garden photos is Pinterest. I like that their search function allows me to hone in on something specific I’m thinking about, like “garden trellises” or “creative vegetable garden designs”.

Pinterest is like a digital scrapbook because if you have a Pinterest account (it’s free to sign up!), you can pin, or save, the photos for later reference. You can even make “boards” with different topics.

The digital boards on Pinterest are similar to having an old school bulletin board where you tack pages ripped out from magazines, gardening notes you scribbled to yourself, and inspirational photos representing dreams for your garden.

I have boards for fun things like garden plants I want to try, artistic garden trellis ideas, and great garden paths.

When I’m in the mood to dream and plan for the season, I’ll treat myself and carve out some time to browse through the many eye-catching garden photos to be found on Pinterest.

When I find things I love and want to remember for later, I collect them in my own account so I can revisit them whenever I want.

You can see all of my boards here. And don’t forget to follow me by clicking on the red Follow button.

Here are some beautiful pictures of vegetable gardens that have caught my eye recently. You can click on the photos to be taken to the original source to find out more. If there’s no link, that means I couldn’t find a source.

Paths

Garden paths are part of the “bones” of your garden. Along with your garden beds, they’re one of the elements that make up the design and structure of your garden design. So, why not get creative!

Although my current garden paths are covered in woodchips, my dream garden has brick paths like this one.

beautiful vegetable garden photo with brick path

 

circular garden path pictures of vegetable gardens

I’ve also thought that having a main path created out of stone would be a good alternative to covering the whole garden with it. That way I could leave the other paths in woodchips. I love this circular design!

A mixed media path would be so artsy!

photos of vegetable gardens with mixed media path

I’ve seen circular pavers similar to this around my city. This style would be pretty easy to replicate. They would look so cool as mosaics.

pictures of vegetable gardens with circular path

 

photos of vegetable gardens with mosaic path

And speaking of mosaics, as a mosaic artist I’m always thinking of ways to add more of them into my garden and landscape. I love this subtle mosaic border.

These photos are an important reminder that paths don’t have to be simply a utilitarian part of your garden. If you put in a little extra time and effort they could be a major feature of your garden design.

Trellises

One of the secrets to a more attractive vegetable garden is using height to add interest. Trellises, obelisks, tuteurs, and arbors all are great ways to grow food and flowers vertically in your garden.

To be honest, when I looked on Pinterest for trellis ideas, most of what I found was expensive to buy or difficult to build.

I’ve experimented with various simple and beautiful trellises over the years in my own garden, so I’m sharing mostly photos of my trellises in this section.

woman under trellis in photo of vegetable garden

I have three different types of cattle panel trellises in my garden and I’ve grown many different vegetables and flowers on them over the years.

Each panel costs around $30 at a local store within a mile of my house and only requires minimal supplies to get it erected in minutes. And there are three different options for designs from one piece of panel. Check out my post on how to build one here.

birch trellis in images of home vegetable gardens

When the idea for this trellis popped into my mind, it was convenient that my husband, Mark, is an arborist. I put in my special request for long birch branches and within a few weeks, they were sitting by my garden.

That’s service for you!

I simply trimmed them up with a hand saw and used twine to tie them together at the top. I grew sweet peas on them for several years, as you can see in the photo above.

rustic branch trellis home vegetable garden photos

This charming, rustic trellis is from garden writer Ellen Ecker Ogden’s home kitchen garden. I recommend checking out her book, The Complete Kitchen Garden: An Inspired Collection of Garden Designs and 100 Seasonal Recipes, which is filled with plenty of garden ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

garden obelisk in photos of home vegetable gardens

I am not what you’d call a handy person and we don’t have a lot of fancy tools at our house. But, after using the birch trellis above for several years, I decided to build a tuteur that was a little more permanent.

I searched “garden trellis” on Pinterest and eventually landed on plans for a simple DIY tuteur. I convinced myself I could build it if I took my time and had plenty of patience, and I was right!

If you look up close it might not be the most professional looking build, but from a distance, it provides quite the focal point. Especially since I painted it my favorite color – turquoise.

I have a clematis planted beneath it for spring color, and usually, I plant a summer-flowering vine to extend the color throughout the entire season.

I never knew there were climbing nasturtiums until I ordered this seed from Renee’s and now I love them!

If you like the idea of making your own tuteur like mine, you can find a similar design here.

If you’d rather purchase a ready-made one, you can find some recommendations here.

arbor in garden pictures

And in my dream trellis category would be a series of Gracie Modern arbors lining the interior of my garden like in this photo from the Sunset Magazine test gardens in Sonoma, CA.

Garden Gates

Finding the right garden gate for the entrance to your yard or garden can be tricky. And in full disclosure, mine is terribly ugly. I currently have a low fence around my front yard garden and I left a 4 ft. opening so I can easily get things in and out.

But, because my fence is only 2 ft. tall, I wasn’t sure what to do about creating an entrance gate. So, I looked around my garage and pulled out a large wooden screen window I found on the curb and have used for drying onions.

I placed it on its side to block the entrance and wedged a piece of wood on either side to keep it standing upright. Then I told myself, “I’ll figure out a better design sometime this summer.”

Ha! Fast forward four years and I still have the same ugly “gate”. It’s convenient, but I really need to figure out a more elegant entrance this year.

That’s why I’ve been spending some time looking at photos of garden gates on Pinterest.

photos of vegetable gardens

This is such a darling entrance, and you wouldn’t even have to build the actual gate! A major plus in my book. I’d probably paint the door turquoise though…

photos of vegetable gardens

This one would not keep the rabbits and other critters out, but it’s so cool!

idea for vegetable garden elements

The subtle leaves and the play of light through them and onto the ground would be its own artisitc installation!

photos of vegetable garden designs

I like the wavy lines of this otherwise pretty standard garden gate. I can definitely see it in…turquoise!

 

colorful vegetable garden photos

Here’s another one for the ultimate dream board. If I lived in Australia and had an unlimited garden budget I’d definitely hire this company to make me the garden gate of my dreams!

Garden Design

I tend to gravitate towards a less formal French kitchen garden style of garden. I like the organized look of a garden that is laid out neatly, but the artist in me also wants to inject some wild and unruly elements into the structure.

These two gardens are tidy, but they also incorporate some unexpected shapes and additions like the circular pond and scarecrow.

vegetable garden design photos

A little greenhouse in the corner of my garden? Yes, please! I love how this design uses various shapes throughout the garden.

A white picket fence is a very traditional style, and I like how the designer softened the hard lines of the fence by creating a planting bed outside the perimeter.

pictures of vegetable gardens with white fence and gardener

I’d love to design a more circular, mandala style garden at some point. An herb spiral as a center point is a great idea, and I already have one constructed in my garden!

picture of mandala garden

I first noticed black-stained raised beds on Instagram when I started following a gardener/photographer from Finland. I immediately thought to myself, “I want black raised beds!”

I love the visual weight and contrast they provide to the green colors of the vegetable plants. Definitely on my must-have list for a future garden redesign.

dark raised beds photos of vegetable gardens

Additional Resources for Ideas and Pictures of Vegetable Gardens

I could post cool pictures of vegetable gardens all day! But, that would make this post extremely long. This was just a taste of all of the exciting things you can find out there if you start looking.

Here are a few other resources to help you dive deeper into the joy that is garden design and dreaming.

On my Youtube channel, I invite you to walk through my garden with me during three different times of the season, May, July, and August. Watch the garden tour videos here.

In this article I share how you can use some more advanced techniques of garden design like contrasting color and texture, to create a vegetable garden with a lot of visual impact.

I wrote a three-part series highlighting how I built and expanded my home garden with lots of fun before and after photos. Find the first post here.

I read a lot of gardening books and I’m always on the hunt for books that talk about how to create a more beautiful and unique vegetable garden, which is rare! Here are the best ones I’ve found so far:

best organic gardening books
Growing Beautiful Food
By now you probably know that in addition to having a garden that produces a lot of food, I also want my garden to be a gorgeous part of my landscape. I was intrigued by this title because I don’t often see other garden writers talking about the aesthetics of growing vegetables.
 
Matthew Benson runs a small, specialty CSA in upstate New York and is also a garden photographer. The book is a visually striking one to hold in your hands. It’s the perfect eye candy for a gray day. Read more about it here.

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best vegetable gardening booksEdible Rainbow Garden
Rosalind Creasy is pretty famous in the gardening world. She’s one of the first people who wrote about edible landscaping and she has a passion for growing beautiful vegetables. A woman after my own heart!

If you’ve been thinking about incorporating more colorful and interesting vegetables into your garden, check out this book, or one of her many others.

 

 

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Vegetables Love Flowers, by Lisa Mason Ziegler

My favorite gardening book from a few years ago is a holistic view into why and how mixing flowers in with our vegetables benefits us, our plants, and the animals and insects that are a part of our garden ecosystems. 

Check out the book here.

 

 

 

Veggie Garden Remix, by Niki Jabbour

Part of creating a more colorful vegetable garden is picking varieties to grow that go beyond your standard vegetable colors.

I love experimenting with fun new vegetables and varieties and this book gave me some great ideas of alternatives to try out next season. 

Find out more here.

 

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 Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn

This European artist spent several years taking over the yards of willing Americans and transforming each of them into a unique edible paradise. It’s a stark contrast to the typical grass front lawns and his designs are interesting and artistic.

Read more about the book here.
 

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If you’re interested in creating a more vibrant vegetable garden this season, the first step is to gather inspiration by searching for pictures of vegetable gardens that get the creativity and ideas flowing.

Spend an hour browsing around Pinterest or the internet, purchase or borrow some new gardening books, page through your favorite seed catalogs, take a walk through a local botanical garden or grab a few gardening magazines and your favorite cup of tea.

Carve out some time every year to savor the process of dreaming about your garden. As a passionate gardener, you’ll likely relate to one of my favorite quotes:

“Anyone who thinks gardening begins in the spring and ends in the fall is missing the best part of the year; for gardening begins in January with the dream.” -Josephine Nuesse

 

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