“It’s Complicated” movie provides inspiration for NC garden

Abundant summer garden

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.

Winter view

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.

Raised beds add structure

One of the joys of the design process is collaborating with my clients to create a garden that inspires them.

Subscribe to my post to see updated photos of this garden with the installed fence and summer garden.

2 thoughts on ““It’s Complicated” movie provides inspiration for NC garden

  1. heidi

    What kind of material did you use in between the garden boxes. I saw the movie “It’s complicated” and I am so curious what was used it looks kind of like terra cotta or orangey colored sandy gravel????

  2. Terri

    Since the raised beds for this garden were installed over an existing vegetable garden plot, we first removed the garden soil, stockpiled and installed it in the new raised beds. For the beds installed in expanded areas, we amended soil with horse manure used from the owner’s barn and Nature’s Helper. Horse manure is an excellent soil amendment and needs to be aged and composted before using to prevent weed seeds from germinating in your garden.
    Since soils vary in different areas, I would recommend that you begin by sampling the soil for your garden plot to determine how they need to be amended. Your local cooperative extension agent will be a knowledgeable resource for your local conditions. If you have access to topsoil, use it. Often in Asheville, we take good quality soils free of weed seeds, rocks and debris and amend them with a pine bark conditioner, mushroom compost and Black Cow composted manure to create an approximation of topsoil. You probably need to add lime and fertilizer.
    Keep in mind that the garden in the movie was a movie set. We used it as inspiration for the structure of the garden. The vegetables growing in the movie would not be producing at the same time in our garden, since there are cool season and warm season crops should at the peak.

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