Design inspiration sometimes comes from unexpected sources. Late last winter, one of my clients asked me to design a kitchen garden (or potager) inspired by the movie, It’s Complicated. I knew that this was going to be a really fun experience. How many jobs do you have where you’re asked to see a movie as part of the design process?
Pat had taken the first step in creating an inspiring garden. She had a clear idea of what she wanted. The potager garden in the movie provided her with the picture of an abundant, lush vegetable and flower garden surrounded by a fence and raised beds for structure. She’s an avid vegetable gardener and cook and already had a large, abundant vegetable garden. The views of the existing garden from the house and decks were great when the garden was in full production but not so in winter.
The deer who had found plenty of food in the woods before discovered the tasty buffet of her garden last summer. Rather than a high fence, she decided to install a rail fence with a single line electrical fence above it if the deer become a problem.
My role in this garden was to provide the “bones” of the garden while Pat would select the small fruits, edible flowers and veggies to plant based on her past successes. Vertical structures for beans, tomatoes and other climbing plants will be built by a neighboring craftsman. We also planted dwarf pear trees that added vertical structure. When I last saw Pat, she was expanding her gardening knowledge by researching companion plants that benefit each other. Among others, she was going to install the baby corn plants first so that beans could grow up the stalks.
One of the joys of the design process is collaborating with my clients to create a garden that inspires them.
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