The Best Flowers for Wet Soil

Turn a wet, poorly drained spot in your yard into a colorful landscape feature with these perennial flowers and ornamental grasses.

View Slideshow

Fall Veggies to Plant Now

Grow these cool-season vegetables and herbs to extend your garden's harvests in spring and fall. This list of vegetables includes seasonal vegetables, green vegetables, non-starchy vegetables, winter vegetables, green leafy vegetables, fall vegetables and more.

View Slideshow

Improve Poor Drainage

Follow these tips to transform a poorly drained area into an easy-care garden.

See More

Tips and Tricks to Keep Plants Blooming

Deadheading is a popular practice ¿ but do you know all the ways to keep flowers on your plants longer? Follow these easy tips for keeping your favorite shrubs and flowers blooming longer.

View Video

Top Plant Picks for Late-Summer Color

Keep the color coming on strong through the end of the growing season with these easy-care, reliable annuals and perennials.

View Slideshow

Plan for a Gorgeous Fall Landscape

See how two great gardeners -- one on the East Coast and one on the West -- created knock-your-socks-off fall yards -- and learn how you can do the same.

View Slideshow

Best Plants for Rock Gardens

Transforming an unsightly slope or mound in your backyard into a colorful rock garden is easy when you chose the right plants. These amazing, low-maintenance ground huggers don't mind poor soil but do need good drainage to survive. Here's a list of our top plants for rock gardens.

View Slideshow
Popular in Gardening

Vegetable Gardens That Look Great

Grow your own food with style! Use these tips to create a vegetable garden design that's as beautiful as it is productive.

X

    Everything in this slideshow

    • Make It Pretty

      Most people think of vegetable gardens as a plot of green, leafy plants in boring rows. But that doesn't have to be the case. You can grow edible plants in a vegetable garden design that rivals the beauty of any flower garden, as the King family of Southern California has done. In a relatively small space (roughly 20 x 20 feet), they grow mouthwatering fruits, vegetables, and herbs -- as well as flowers.

    • Pick the Right Spot

      The key to success with your vegetable garden design is to make sure you have the right spot. Most vegetables do best with full sun -- at least eight hours of direct light a day. No matter what kind of soil you have, your vegetables will thank you if you amend the ground with organic matter (such as compost) before planting.

      Here's a hint: Site your garden where you can get to it easily. Harvesting fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs is easier if you can quickly dash out and grab what you need (especially while you're cooking) instead of having to trek across the yard.

    • Make an Entrance

      One easy way to dress up a garden of any sort is to give it a grand entrance. Here, a simple white arbor bedecked with climbing roses does the trick. While climbing roses are a classic pick for growing on an arbor, you can grow anything -- from ornamental clematis or morning glories to edible scarlet runner beans or kiwi -- in your vegetable garden design.

    • Just Add Flowers

      One trick to make your vegetable garden design look more attractive is to mix flowers in with your vegetables. Here, Gaillardia 'Oranges and Lemons' adds a bright splash of color. Flowers, especially those in the daisy family, attract beneficial insects. Many of these beneficial bugs attack and kill pests such as tomato hornworms or aphids. Other beneficial bugs pollinate fruit-bearing vegetables, such as tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, cucumbers, squash, and melons so you have bigger harvests.

      Here's a hint: Pick plants with edible flowers so they can do double duty. Add them to salads or desserts and let them attract beneficial insects.

    • Protect Your Plants

      If hungry deer, rabbits, or other critters visit your garden, protect your plants (as here, with a simple 3-foot-tall fence) so the pests don't harvest more than you do. Chicken wire attached around the fence's perimeter keeps small animals out of your vegetable garden design.

      Here's a hint: If rabbits, gophers, or other burrowing animals are a problem, your wire fencing will need to extend at least a foot below the ground to keep critters from digging under it.

    • Grow Up with Raised Beds

      Raised beds offer many benefits for vegetable garden design. You can fill them with any type of soil you want (an advantage if your ground is full of clay, sand, or rocks). Raised beds also warm earlier in the spring so you can get a jump on the planting season. And, if you build them 3 to 4 feet wide -- so you can easily reach the middle from both sides -- you'll never compact the soil by stepping on it.

    • Think Like a Designer

      Take advantage of garden-design secrets in your vegetable garden design. Here's a great example of the power of repetition: Bright red poppies echo the round fruits of tomatoes. The climbing rose on the arbor is similar to the orange gaillardias and nasturtiums in the far corner.

    • Grow in Containers

      Add containers of edible plants to your vegetable garden design -- or to decks and patios -- to expand your space. Ever-bearing strawberries, for example, do well in pots or hanging baskets. The red fruits look decorative hanging over the edges, and are easier to harvest.

      Here's a hint: Colorful containers are another way to add a splash of interest to the garden.

    • Make Sure You Mulch

      Make maintaining your vegetable garden design easier with a layer of mulch. An inch or two of mulch helps your soil hold moisture during hot, dry weather. It also stops most weeds from sprouting. Plus, mulch keeps many soil-borne diseases from splashing up onto plant leaves and infecting them.

      Here's a hint: Spread mulch over your pathways so you won't get muddy feet when you're in the garden.

    • 10 of 13

      Pick Pretty Varieties

      Flowers aren't the only way to add color to your vegetable garden design -- a number of vegetables can, too. For example, the Swiss chard shown here adds a bright note to the bed. Other attractive vegetables include eggplant, red cabbage, purple kohlrabi, and red-leaf lettuce. Different tomatoes and peppers bear fruits in shades of red, orange, yellow, cream, purple, and green. And many herbs offer good looks -- including thyme, chives, and parsley.

    • 11 of 13

      Bring On the Birds

      Natural gardeners know the value of attracting birds to a vegetable garden design. Many common birds, including robins, mockingbirds, wrens, and warblers eat harmful insects. Include a source of water in your garden to attract your feathered friends. Here, a simple birdbath set among herbs does the trick.

      Here's a hint: Birds will appreciate a source of shelter nearby, so if you can, plant a shrub or small tree near your garden.

    • 12 of 13

      Add Ornamentation

      Use garden ornaments -- from birdhouses to statuary -- to embellish your vegetable garden design. Anything goes -- as long as it suits your personal style. This blue birdhouse does double duty: It looks good and provides a spot for birds to live.

    • 13 of 13
      Next Slideshow How to Build a Raised Bed

      How to Build a Raised Bed

      Raised beds make growing any plant easier. Use these easy instructions to build your own raised beds.
      Begin Slideshow »

      Related

    close
    close
    close
    close
    close

    Loading... Please wait...