ISSUE 44  |  Miss Havisham

The Ultimate Kitchen Garden, Courtesy of a California Master

November 03, 2012 4:35 PM

BY Michelle Slatalla

The steps to creating a kitchen garden sound deceptively easy: build some raised beds, plant vegetables, harvest. Last week when we featured LA garden designer Art Luna's work, he revealed his secrets for creating thriving raised bed gardens:

Above: Most of the kitchen gardens Luna designs are built and maintained afterward by Pam Rownak of Culver City. Luna's beds are often 24 inches high (slightly taller than average), a feature that has several benefits. Plant roots can develop and spread out easily in soil that's a luxurious two feet deep, for one thing. The design is visually appealing and practical, as well, because it's a comfortable height for a garden who wants to sit on the edge of the bed while weeding. Photograph via Pam Rownak.

Above: Luna frequently designs beds that are detailed with copper edging. Copper tape repels slugs and creates a finished, tailored look. Photograph via Art Luna Garden.

Above: The tape "comes in different widths to accommodate the size wood you choose to build the raised beds," says Luna. If you use 6-inch-wide copper tale, it will give you a 2-inch lip on each side of a 2-inch top edge. A 13-foot-long roll of Copper Slug Tape (1.25 inches wide) is $9.95 from Gardeners Supply. For a wide selection of sizes, see Tape Jungle.

Above: uniformity in size, shape, and height creates a pleasing arrangement in a kitchen garden. Photograph via Pam Rownak.

Above: Luna often adds wine barrel planters to a kitchen garden design. Not only do they provide visual contrast, they're also "a nice alternative for anyone who doesn’t have the space," he says. Photograph via Art Luna Garden.

Above: A repurposed oak Wine Barrel Planter is $149 from Viva Terra.

Above: Triangular trellises lend support to peas and other climbing plants. For trellis and garden support structures, see Design Sleuth: Willow Accessories for the Cottage Garden.

(N.B.: For more of Art Luna's designs, see "The Landscape Designer Is In: Creating and Maintaining a Thriving Kitchen Garden.")