I recently visited the Arlington Court National Trust property in Devon. I was blown away by the beautiful vegetable garden in the grounds of the house. Here are some of the ideas that I found most inspiring as I try to develop my own vegetable garden.
String supports Tall vegetables, such as broad beans, as well as tall flowers were supported by string webs staked into the ground with garden canes. This stopped the vegetables and flowers from drooping over and gave a very neat and orderly finish.
Twig supports Peas were supported with twigs. Fine box structures were also created from twigs for other delicate plants to protect from birds. These were much more attractive than wire or net cages I have seen elsewhere.
Twig supports for peas
Cane supports Tall climbing beans were supported with canes arranged into conical teepee shapes or long wedges structures.
Wedge cane structures for beans
Conical teepee structures for beans
Slate chips Slate chips were scattered on top of the soil around vegetables. This helps keep slugs and snails away and stops the soil drying out too quickly in warm weather.
Shaped beds Potatoes were set in shaped beds rather than plain rectangular beds, giving a more interesting aesthetic.
Potatoes planted in shaped beds
Water containers Old wooden water barrels give extra atmosphere - much more interesting than black plastic water butts.
Please share your ideas for a beautiful vegetable garden via the comments forum.