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Lofted Vegetable Garden

Today’s garden sneak peek comes courtesy of writer and garden designer Maria Finn of Prospect & Refuge, who created this unique edible garden for a couple in New York City. Finn’s clients asked her to transform their boring, walled cement courtyard into a vegetable garden. There was just one problem: the garden needed to share space with the clients’ lovable Labrador, Mookie, whose nickname is “The Destroyer”.

Finn’s solution? A lofted vegetable garden! This garden makes ingenious use of the courtyard’s plentiful vertical space, keeps the edibles safely out of Mookie’s reach, and leaves space for him, and his owners, to romp.

Finn custom built an arbor topped with five planting boxes and filled them with vegetables and herbs, including salad greens, heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, and jalapeno peppers. Baskets of strawberries and chocolate mint hang from the sides, which have built-in ladders that make harvesting and watering a breeze. The whole structure was painted eggplant to help protect it from the elements and to add color to the bland courtyard.

On either side of the arbor, deep planter boxes painted in bright, contrasting colors hold a fig tree and vines, and lattice fencing protects the plants from the dog. I think this concept would translate perfectly to roof gardens and the loft might even make an interesting entrance to an in-ground veggie garden!

Finn created an audio slideshow about this project on her blog City Dirt, which always has really great, insightful thoughts about urban gardening (I love her recent post about garden tips from the Surfrider Foundation!). You can also check out more of her work, including some really cool terrace gardens, at the Prospect & Refuge site.

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