Raised beds for both flowers and vegetables
Welcome to the garden of a Juliana employee
The small garden in Middelfart, Denmark.
When my boyfriend and I moved into our rented terraced house in Middelfart, Denmark, it was the start of our mini-kitchen garden project. It has become two raised beds and two pallet frames with a plastic greenhouse on top. I would like to make a garden where flowers and vegetables are combined. We have plans for kale, lettuce, radishes, squash, pumpkins, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers in the mini-greenhouses.
Inspiration from England
I have sought inspiration in the book "Veg in one bed" by Huw Richards, which is about growing in one raised bed throughout the year. By continuously harvesting and replacing vegetables, you can get a kitchen garden without a "resting period". We found this very fascinating. It suited our needs as we have plans to move to the countryside within the foreseeable future and will take the plants with us when we move.
With the inspiration, we were ready to get started. The first task was to apply to the housing association for permission to set up raised beds. It is always advisable to ask the housing association for larger projects in rental housing, as they can ask you to take it down if they have not approved it. We submitted a garden plan - made in Gardena Gardenplanner - so the housing association had a visual picture of the garden and the size of the project.
This was the first sketch of the garden. Since February the plan has changed multiple times though. We often see that planning the garden is a process where things change along the way.
We chose to build 2 raised beds and buy 2 pallet frames, for the raised beds with mini-greenhouses on top. We built the large raised beds from laths with pressure impregnated poles for the corners and long sides. To protect the wood from wind and weather, we gave them wood oil with paint. On top of the raised beds, we made a seating board to give the beds a nice finish. We chose to use two pallet frames as beds because you can buy mini-greenhouses that fit perfectly on top.
All the while we were getting ready for the plants outside, our seeds were growing in the terrace window. We continuously germinate the seeds as indicated in the description on the bags. I have made a simple file with each month so I know when which vegetables and flowers should be transplanted in the seed tray or the garden. It's not perfect yet, but it does give me an overview of the 30 different seeds we have.
Here are pumpkins, peppers, cucumbers, chillies, herbs, tomatoes and much more germinating, so they can be transplanted in the garden later. Other vegetables and flowers have already been sown outside and will show in the ground around May/June.
The expert recommends:
“When it comes to lettuce, marigolds are nice to pair with. You can sprinkle seeds between the lettuce. Marigold is a beautiful colourful flower that adorns the garden beautifully and is also great to use in salads. Between kale and Tuscan kale, blue tansies can be planted to keep the cabbage butterflies and their larvae away. At the same time, blue tansies have several good qualities in the garden. They are bee and insect friendly, can be used in bouquets, and are soil improving. Along the edge of the raised bed, Indian cress can be put to cover places with bare soil. Thus, weeds can also be kept down. At the same time, the flowers of the plant can be eaten in salads. Overall, it is important to be aware of the different heights of the plants, so that low and tall plants do not cover each other and inhibit growth”.
When it comes to our mini-greenhouses, the expert recommends that these are ventilated regularly. She has experienced that plastic greenhouses can become extremely hot, and dry out and overheat the plants. By placing a thermometer in the greenhouses, we can continuously monitor the temperatures and ventilate when necessary.
Finally, we were recommended an effective windbreak plant, that we will plant by the terrace. We had planned to put creeping hydrangeas as windbreaks, but the expert recommends ‘Clematis Montana’ instead, as it is a fast-growing bushy creeping plant that is suitable for regular garden soil. Creeping hydrangeas need to be in acidic soil, which we had not planned that when we bought soil for the raised beds. We ended up buying the Clematis Montana "Rubens" and "Marjorie", which have delicate pink flowers.
We have built the trellis for the four clematis plants that we bought. In the tub are two perennials – garden sage and blue sage. In the tray are herbs for the raised beds and pots. They stand outside in the sunshine and come into the greenhouse every night to avoid the cold.
In the next few months, it will become clear whether our plants will take hold and whether the combination of flowers and vegetables will provide the benefits we hope for. We look forward to the first harvest in our own little garden, and we hope you will follow our journey. Follow us on Instagram.
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