MODern Produce Garden

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sumu
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MODern Produce Garden

Postby sumu » Fri Nov 10, 2006 11:55 am

Does anyone do any gardening? I like fruit trees ( I have peach, nectarine, plum, lemon, fig - beautiful tree, btw - grapefruit, lemon, tangerine and blood orange.) I prune the citrus with an open airy feel, exposing more of the structure of the tree, and I buy dwarf varieties, when I can.

I've read threads where folks have expressed a mild disgust with flower gardens and such, so I'm wondering if there are any gardeners here. Most of what I see on these threads is landscaping that's more austere and very low maintainance, which, of course, is practical, but I like a productive use of my back yard. When I'm an old fogey, and have more time on my hands, I'd like to dedicate more of my yard to produce.

Does anyone have any examples of a more modern produce garden? Or, is this at total odds with the modern aesthetic? Maybe someone has ideas on creative raised beds that don't use railroad ties, or some ingenious method for designing a garden. Also, I'm not so much into patio gardens where everything is in a pot - I have a good sized back and side lot.

BTW, I have an entire collection of 50s-60s Sunset books on everything from hillside landscaping, rock gardens, cactus - all modern. But their garden books tend to be more traditional and typical.

any ideas or photos?

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dentedvw
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Postby dentedvw » Fri Nov 10, 2006 1:53 pm

Great question! I would like some pointers on that too. We kind of threw out some plants on a hill this year, and got some produce, more for fun that serious about it though.
If I was going to make it a bit more modern, I would try to make it look like the planters in the front, if I could.

Image

I don't make any claim to having the cleanest porch, you see. The leaves stain the cedar something awful. I should have treated the cedar perhaps, but I like it natural. Such a dilemma. :) The cedar is simple 1x6 decking, and behind is is 4x6 treated lumber. Also, the cedar isn't tacked down all the way, it is not entirely finished. And, of course, there is the broken sidewalk. And the yard. Why won't grass grow? The giant maple above all of this, it's a love-resent relationship. If anyone has any ideas for the ground here, I am all ears as well. The board is the winter cover for the water garden/fish pond. Our water thing used to be full of dirt that wouldn't grow anything but little maple trees. All in all, it was a huge improvement over the small cement step that was here though. FWIW, I took out a bunch of RR ties to do this. But enough about my porch.

I like having the tiers, if you have a hill available, that's what I would use because I like that sort of look. We did the same thing with our vegetable garden, only I used old sandstone slabs that were on site when we bought the house.

Just like what you said, you can adapt mini versions of what the sunset books have done, or full size versions of what they picture for vegetable gardens, instead of sitting areas. Take some of their ideas for rambling yards/landcape areas and turn it around into produce garden. I think it is a wonderful idea you have.
I can only give you what I think you said you thought you wanted.

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scowsa
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Postby scowsa » Fri Nov 10, 2006 4:15 pm

Does anyone have any examples of a more modern produce garden? Or, is this at total odds with the modern aesthetic?


I see no reason why the modern aesthetic cannot be applied to the garden design.

For example, raised beds are simply 4-sided boxes and I have seen them built from formed concrete, or concrete blocks that been "smooth stuccoed." Also, there are some stylish concrete blocks out there that would work without stucco. Obviously these options require more skill and money, but they have a more modern look.

Even railroad tie built boxes could be faced, and their top edges finished, with an interesting decking material, such as gray Trex, or that popular modern-look outdoor material, cement-board.

In addition, there is no reason that within the checkerboard design that you see in modern gardens -- alternating concrete pavers with sod or low ground-covers -- you could choose to plant herbs etc in the planted sections.

However, I am not aware of vegetable plants that have that consistent, "architectural" look that is favored in modern-style gardens. So, aside from the additional maintenance required, I suspect very few MCM gardeners will be planting tomatoes, or broccoli, and will continue to favor flax, interesting grasses, and succulents.

Josquin
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Mod Produce Garden

Postby Josquin » Fri Nov 10, 2006 4:57 pm

After we moved into our house this Spring, we built a few raised beds out of stacked concrete block, so we could easily move them once we've figured out our master landscape plan. We removed the grass and used DG around the planters. The blocks are anchored with rebar. Not exactly modern, but it works.
Image
Image

tg
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Postby tg » Fri Nov 10, 2006 7:40 pm

The idea or attitude that a vegetable garden or array of fruit trees prevents your home from being modern really gets under my skin. We are surrounded by all sorts of plants in this world and I know of no worthy reason why one should avoid keeping and tending to the plants that provide food to eat and to share with family and friends, just to maintain a lifestyle as seen in books and magazines. If you don't like vegetable gardens, that's one thing, but if you do and are holding back because it isn't part of a modern look, you are unnecessarily depriving yourself. Just apply the principles of modernism as they make sense and enjoy gardening. It's worth it when the harvest comes in. :)

I made some some modern looking raised beds in my backyard using rough cut cedar planks, stakes made from 2" PVC tubing, and galvanized bolts. I hadn't intended to use those materials at first, but after reading up a bit on the chemicals applied to treated lumber and railroad ties I decided I would have to approach the problem in a different way. I didn't want any of those chemicals leeching into the soil of the raised bed and potentially into my vegetables. Cedar is naturally resistant wood and was easy to get a hold of, so I opted for it. I took some inspiration from the cedar fence at this URL

http://www.eichlernetwork.com/HDext_remod3.html

and made raised beds similar in style. The PVC stakes were used because I couldn't find any wooden stakes that weren't pressure treated either, and wanted a solid yet inert material. I cut the stakes to a length that would keep them buried and unseen under the soil when I filled the beds, and used the galvanized bolts to fasten the cedar planks to the PVC stakes.

When it came time to put a net over my blueberry bushes to keep the birds away, I opted for tall bamboo stakes to hold up the netting. Works well and looks kinda cool, too. Can't beat the taste of fresh blueberries in your cereal every morning! :)

teej
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Postby teej » Mon Nov 13, 2006 1:04 pm

we have been looking at doing something like this...
http://www.sunset.com/sunset/garden/art ... 24,00.html

(great post - thanks!)

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Jerad
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Postby Jerad » Mon Nov 13, 2006 3:39 pm

Thanks Teej, those are awesome. I will be trying to add concrete planters to my list of accomplishments this spring. That looks like a challenging diy project in the making,


Jerad

teej
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Postby teej » Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:14 am

we thought that this may help to realize the above.

http://www.quikrete.com/AtHome/ProjectS ... spx?pid=25

but so far we haven't had any success... please let me know if you try it and it works!

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casiep
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Postby casiep » Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:00 pm

I did a search for "vegetable garden" and this old post popped up. I'm hoping for some new ideas and perspectives. We're gearing up to put a raised vegetable garden along the fence in the side yard of our Eichler. I'd like keep it in line with the MCM aesthetic with regards to the appearance and the items grown. We've got some gardening/landscaping books from the '60's I need to sit down and go through but I thought I'd ask you folks as well. Any thoughts?

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Joe
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Postby Joe » Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:15 pm

nice use of space, Josquin. I wish I had time to grow veggies :cry:

robbhouston
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Postby robbhouston » Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:36 am

nice use of space, Josquin.


I agree! That's a super clean looking gardening area.

My wife likes to garden (a little), but has a very busy schedule. We considered a typical in-ground garden, but thought it might be more than we needed. And I wasn't crazy about the idea of a semi-neglected, year round scar in the yard. After we thought about it, we agreed a small herb garden would be easy and fun, but not too much to handle. So, we did a kind of pots-on-rocks mini herb garden....

http://0044f49.netsolhost.com/nashville ... arden2.jpg
http://0044f49.netsolhost.com/nashville ... arden1.jpg

This past Summer she did a combination of herbs and flowers. In the Fall, after she harvested the herbs, we put mums there.

--Robb
Last edited by robbhouston on Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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A little website I created to showcase my home and other MCMs in and around the Nashville TN area.

pinetree
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Postby pinetree » Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:39 am

ours is pretty funky,

section copy of a.quincy jones' MHA office wall; pattern test.
Image

pattern turned into vegetable planter with other bricks salvaged from the property:

Image
Last edited by pinetree on Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

greenmod
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Postby greenmod » Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:20 pm

Our yard is still a serious work in progress so I'm not going to bother with pictures. We had to terrace our backyard (very steep slope) and did it with concrete blocks that now serve as raised beds. I'm very into "food, not lawns" so I put in food where ever there is space. Maybe not modern but in these times of recession I'm more into how much $$ my yard can save on the food budget.

Besides the veggie garden, we have wild strawberries, everbearing strawberries, 4 types of raspberries, salmonberries, asparagus, quince, and an herb garden. Our "flower" garden is all edible or medicinal - camas, lavender, calendula. We had some overgrown (ruining the roof) oak and vine maples removed this fall so we can put in some dwarf fruit trees (4 in 1 plum, almond, apricot, and peach) this month and hopefully my husband gets my posts set so we can get the kiwi berry in this year. I also have a mushroom garden with 3 types of (legal) shrooms. With some planning you can get a LOT of food out of an urban lawn. Our lot is .28 acres but the house is a 2200 sq ft footprint with another 650 sq ft garage and 2 driveways and we still have some lawn left over for the kids to play on.

I only choose plants that grow easily here as I am all about low maintenance. Lots of my plants are native to keep watering, etc down.
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Izzy
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Postby Izzy » Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:47 pm

Grow a garden! Make it modern, make it crazy, make it ugly, whatever. Gardens are cool, youre growing your own food and its great to be outside! Find a spot in the sun and to heck with aesthetics. (it is possible, im sure of it, see above raised beds) but really, i would love to see more of my neighbors outside doing something, pretty or not!
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egads
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Postby egads » Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:15 pm

I don't think any mushrooms are illegal unless you sell them.....
But I'm much too old to even consider such a thing anymore. :oops:

greenmod
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Postby greenmod » Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:03 pm

egads wrote:I don't think any mushrooms are illegal unless you sell them.....
But I'm much too old to even consider such a thing anymore. :oops:


I think it is illegal to consume them, but maybe I am wrong. You are right though, they are legal to grow. They grow in front of our fire station. Not that I would know or anything...
Allison

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AJ Fisher
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MODern Produce Garden

Postby AJ Fisher » Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:23 pm

Image

Here is the raised planter bed I recently completed.

-AJ

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Slim and Gabby
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great ideas!

Postby Slim and Gabby » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:37 pm

Echoing what others say about Modern gardens.
It's all right there in the bible-er-I mean Sunset. Many of you know how we feel about lawns-not a good idea in CA....too much water.
I've seen some really cool vintage garden boxes-will see if I can find pix of them.

But those of you with the cement blocks are absolutely on period. I especially like the one with the pockets.

And yes-this is a swell time to grow your own food-as it always is.

Poor Slim made such a nice raised bed, I had him make more. We like to keep most things native ( yep-we DO eat the acorns and the berries) so don't have as much sun as we'd like for food crops. There was no design-y way to place the boxes and get enough sun for veggies.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/93018283@N00/3381746487/

The domes on top are to keep deer out, and come off for harvesting/weeding. I'm too short to pull up one that was full height all around. No Bambi is getting MY lettuce!
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