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10 Unexpected Spots for Growing Fruits, Veggies and Herbs at Home (16 photos)

If space is sparse, these convenient suggestions can help you grow some greenery.

By Lauren Dunec Design on 2019 06 02 in Houzz

If your home doesn’t offer much traditional growing space, or if you’re looking to squeeze in just a few more herbs or tomato plants this season, bookmark this list of creative growing spots. From front yard veggie beds to balcony-grown lettuces and edible living walls, the bounty of ideas featured in the following gardens will help you grow more fruits, greens, veggies and herbs at home.
Edible GardenPlan-it Earth Design
1. Front Yard

Though the idea is gaining in popularity, front yards are still not the first place we consider when growing vegetables. But, depending on the orientation of your house, front yards can offer a sunny growing area where edible plants can thrive. Here, landscape designer Amy Whitworth of Plan-it Earth Design took advantage of a sunny, sloped front yard in Portland, Oregon, to plant a terraced edible garden bursting with peas, lettuces and other edible greens. 

Tip: Check with your municipality before planting, as some neighborhoods don’t allow crops in the front yard.
Madison Park HouseScot Eckley, Inc.
2. Built Into a Bench Seat

In this backyard in Seattle’s Madison Park neighborhood, landscape designer Scot Eckley constructed this bench seat along the rear edge of the patio to double as a raised bed that provides bonus planting room for as many — or as few — edible plants as the owners choose to grow.

Work with a landscape contractor on Houzz
Madison Park HouseScot Eckley, Inc.
Floating bench seats can be swapped in and out of the raised bed as needed.
G A R D E N - The Edible GardenLore Patterson
3. Garden Screen

This planted screen does double duty in the garden. Wood boards set at an angle are filled with soil to create planting pockets for growing strawberries, creating an attractive garden screen and space-saving planter. Harvesting is easy, as berries are positioned to dangle over the boards. One could use multiple strawberry towers to screen a shed in a sunny side yard or one tower to divide a narrow balcony into two seating areas.
Aqua Perma Solar Firma Vertical Lettuce GardenCplusC Architectural Workshop
This yard features a similar slatted design, except the architects at CplusC Architectural Workshop used metal shelves instead of wood ones. The clear synthetic roof creates a greenhouse-like environment for growing lettuces and other tender greens.

Read more about this earth-friendly home in Sydney
The Bloomer series - Hanging GardensRevolution Design House
4. Wall-Mounted Indoors

Wall-mounted containers may be the perfect spot to grow edible herbs if you have an interior wall that receives at least four hours of bright sunlight. 

These chic containers mounted on a brightly lit wall keep counter space clear. The growing space is deep enough to support shallow-rooting edibles like strawberries and annual herbs like chivesparsley and basil.

Containers: ‘The Bloomer,’ designed by Zoe Umholtz forRevolution Design House
Rooftop GardensAralia: Innovation in Landscape Design
5. Living Wall

This kitchen garden designed by Patricia Fox of Aralia is a feast for the eyes and the plate. Living walls overflowing with lettuces and edible greens, and built-in planters housing citrus trees and culinary herbs, provide abundant ingredients for a backyard feast.
Rooftop GardensAralia: Innovation in Landscape Design
While installing and maintaining a living wall of this size is unrealistic for most of us, use vertical space to your advantage when planning an edible garden. Try planting a smaller living wall with seasonal herbs, or plant a grape or kiwi vine to cover a sunny vertical surface.

Shop for living wall planters on Houzz
Terrasse haussmanienne comestibleAnouck Barcat Paysagiste
6. City Balcony

Don’t let a narrow outdoor space stop you from growing edibles. This full-sun Parisian balcony, lovingly planted by a father for his two kids, is fully stocked with lettucetomatoescelerybasilradishesstrawberriespeppersmint and other herbs. The space is long and narrow — measuring 20 feet long by 3¼ feet (6 meters by 1 meter).
Terrasse haussmanienne comestibleAnouck Barcat Paysagiste
Planters are subirrigated by a trough of water below the soil, allowing the father and his kids to leave for a two-week stretch without worrying about watering. Here, tomatoes are thriving by midsummer.

Read more about this balcony garden
Sunrise on the Back Deck Window BoxesSteve Masley Consulting and Design
7. Window Boxes

We’d argue that window boxes filled to the brim with ruffled lettuces in shades of green and bronze are just as pretty as a planter filled with flowers. Organic gardening consultant Steve Masley often reserves window boxes for growing shallow-rooting lettuces, saving floor space of small balconies and porches for larger-rooting crops like tomatoes or eggplant, which are better suited in large containers.
'Jade' Green Beans Growing in a Window BoxSteve Masley Consulting and Design
Here, Masley grows ‘Jade’ green beans from window boxes mounted on deck railings.

Given their shallow soil reservoirs, window boxes can dry out quickly, so it’s best to set up drip irrigation or stick to a daily hand-watering schedule.

Find watering and irrigation tools in the Houzz Shop
Lynch AveOUTHOUSE design
8. Pocket Garden

Often-overlooked areas like side yards can provide extra growing room for edibles, as long as they receive full sun. In this suburban garden outside of Sydney, landscape designer Steve Warner of OUTHOUSE designused planting pockets alongside a side yard walkway to grow cherry tomatoes on attractive metal trellises.
Container GardensKaren K. Ma Landscape Design Studio LLC
9. With a Tree or Shrub

If you have a potted tree or evergreen shrub with extra room around the base, try planting that space with edible strawberries, leaf lettuces or herbs. In this container design by Karen K. Ma, strawberries form a pretty and delicious lower layer for a standard trained evergreen shrub.

Find an outdoor pot
Wallingford Vegetable BedsErin Lau Landscape Design- Seattle
10. Sidewalk Strip 

If your sunny sidewalk strip isn’t being used, consider adding a few edible plants. Raised beds, like the ones in this Seattle sidewalk garden by Erin Lau, provide plants with nutrient-rich soil and set them above passing dogs. 

Fruit trees can also work well, so long as you don’t mind sharing the fruit with neighbors and are willing to be responsible for sidewalk cleanup of any fruits that drop.
Rooftop Gardens

Michael B. Swinney
Lic# 270689
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