Think a veggie garden only looks good in summer and should be shoved at the end of the garden, out of sight? Think again. Alan visited a beautiful garden in Charlbury to show you how to make a productive space pretty.
This garden is part of a barn conversion and is surrounded by beautiful Cotswold stone walls – walk in and you feel you are in the perfect entertaining space with al fresco dining and a cosy seating area with firepit for enjoying a cool drink on the long summer evenings. But look more closely and you will see that this is a year round garden that is rammed with goodies to eat as well as admire.
Along side the dining area, a shade loving morello cherry tree has been espalier trained over the wall. It’s a pretty feature all year round, but also offers spring blossom, summer fruit, autumn colour and a pretty bark to admire in the winter. It also softens a large expanse of wall.
In the beds, decorative plants are interspersed with plenty of edible plants: raspberries, rhubarb, herbs, and elder are carefully mingled with alliums, tulips and plenty of perennials – but the bed will be green and interesting all year round thanks to neatly clipped box balls that give the space energy and structure.
The veg beds have been turned into a feature, aged sleepers are used to create raised beds filled with a mixture of newly planted herbs, fruit and veg together with some year round beauties, like artichokes. For structure and height and some low season interest, the bed also has tall obelisks in them – great for climbers, but attractive at all times of the year. And these beds are conveniently close to the back door, so there’s no excuse for not popping out to pick things, even when the weather is bad.
Other design features in the garden are the gorgeous pleached hornbeams that beautifully edge space giving screening and shade. And a stunning steel trough water feature with a gentle trickle that creates a lovely calming atmosphere.
This is a garden that provides perfect inspiration for ways to include plenty of fruit and veg without compromising on aesthetics – delicious!