Monday, June 20, 2011

Growing on the coast - California style

A few weeks ago, we left the suburban veg plot in the capable hands of our neighbours and headed across to the west coast of the USA. In among visiting wineries, a trip to Alcatraz and coming face to face with a rather large herd of elk in a redwood forest, we planned a trip to the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. Winding our way through the extensive rhodendendron gardens (those west coast types really like their 'rhodies') we headed straight for the vegetable garden. I just love having a nosy around other people's veg gardens - usually to see what they're planting next to what or to find some new container planting idea that I can blatantly copy back in the suburban veg plot.
The organic vegetable garden at Mendocino was a beautifully laid out rectangular plot. Deep borders planted with flowers and edibles outlined the entire area and with central beds of varying sizes being cut out of the well-kept lawn. The variety of styles of veg beds was amazing - long narrow ones of rhubarb and raspberries, potager-style areas bordered with bricks, timber-sided raised beds and circular spaces for bean wigwams all overseen by a scarecrow named Dottie. My favourite idea there was a wonderfully ornate bedstead recycled as a pea frame. Definitely an idea I shall be using should the opportunity arise!

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