Imagine yourself walking toward a large home on the lake, a 15-foot-high wall of mature holly trees and magnolias to your left. As you get closer, you notice a break in the wall. You step through the trees and find yourself in a secret garden, tucked away to the side of the home. 

This secret garden isn’t for fountains or roses, though there are plenty of flowers. 

It’s a kitchen garden, overflowing with herbs, leafy greens, and veggies the family can clip and bring indoors for dinner. 

We pulled this dreamy garden from our imagination and made it a reality back in March. By April, it was filled with so many delicious things to harvest. 

Let’s take a tour of this “secret” kitchen garden and see all the beautiful details of its custom raised bed garden design. 

Raised Bed Garden Design - Black Steel Raised Beds

RAISED GARDEN BEDS

 

These black powder-coated steel raised beds are about as elegant as garden boxes can get. They are so sleek and beautiful, they’re thin so they don’t waste any available growing space, and more importantly, they’re super durable thanks to their double coating. 

I chose black to match the client’s home, which is a stunning Mediterranean-style house with white stucco and black accents. 

The two large beds are 8 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 24 inches tall. This is a great height for growing deep-rooted plants like tomatoes and peppers. 

A third raised bed is only 12 inches tall and features a wire trellis along the back. This is the berry patch.

The garden also includes 6 tapered square raised beds for perennial fruit trees and bushes.

Lastly, we have three planters on wheels for citrus trees so that the clients can easily roll their trees into the garage during winter freezes. 

TRELLISES

I went with the Moon Arch Trellis for this raised bed garden design to complement a large rounded turret that’s part of the client’s home near the kitchen garden. 

This trellis, with its unique rounded shape and thick bars, makes such a bold statement in a kitchen garden. It’s 84” tall in the middle and 89” wide. It’s made of black powder-coated tubular steel, so it’s as durable as it is sleek. 

This garden has two Moon Arch Trellises, one at the front of the large raised beds and another at the back. Together, they create a little tunnel to walk under as you move throughout the garden space. Once they’re both covered in plant mass, it’ll be like there’s a little secret alcove inside the secret garden. 

One thing I love about these trellises is how wide the bases are (20”). You can fit several fruiting plants on each side, and everything still has plenty of room to vine and spread out. For a trellis this large, you can even plant on both sides of the base. 

GARDEN PATHWAYS

I selected pale limestone chips for the garden pathways to contrast the black raised beds and trellises. This gravel goes well with the white of the home and reminds me of a rocky beach somewhere in Greece. 

PLANTS

The garden is filled with a wide variety of fruiting plants, herbs, veggies, and flowers. We planted a border of herbs and flowers along the edge of every raised bed to not only look beautiful, but also to attract tons of beneficial insects and help manage garden pests. 

Herbs

The herbs you’ll be able to find in this garden include rosemary, lemon verbena, dill, oregano, thyme, and lettuce leaf basil (a really fun basil type to grow). 

Flowers

For flowers, we did a colorful mix of marigolds, zinnias, angelonia, petunias, vincas, and sweet alyssum. These flowers can bloom from spring all the way through fall here in Texas, even in our triple-digit heat. 

Fruits and Veggies

We’ve got cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and malabar spinach climbing the front arch trellis. That might sound like a lot, but the malabar spinach will really take off in the heat of summer, when the tomatoes and cucumbers will be finishing up their growth. In the fall, we’ll plant another round of tomatoes and cucumbers. 

Winter squash and cucumbers grow on the back trellis. 

We planted a row of peppers down the middle of each large raised bed; one side features hot peppers like Anaheim and jalapeño, while the other side’s for sweet peppers like bell peppers and semi-hot peppers like shishitos. We also planted summer squash, Swiss chard, beets, arugula, potatoes, and tons of bush beans. 

Perennial Fruit Trees and Bushes

This kitchen garden has its own orchard. We planted perennials like a pomegranate bush, a peach tree, blueberry bushes, a lemon tree, and a dwarf mandarin tree in the sunniest spots in the garden. 

We added herbs and flowers around each of the perennial fruit trees and bushes to fill in the soil around the larger plants. 

The honeysuckle vines behind the orchard attract all the bees to this space to ensure the fruit trees get pollinated. 

Berries

Last but certainly not least, we have strawberries and blackberries. The blackberry canes are slow to take off, but by next year, the wire trellis should be covered. The clients are eagerly anticipating their first homegrown berry harvest. 

WATER SYSTEM

 

Our irrigation team added custom drip line irrigation to each and every raised bed, even the individual containers in the orchard. The plants in this garden are thriving with consistent water delivered right over their roots. 

We also installed a Rachio Smart Water Controller so that the garden only gets drip irrigation when it needs it. 

black steel raised bed gardens with various flowers, herbs and vegetables growing in them.

We hope you enjoyed touring this incredible kitchen garden here in Austin, Texas. Let us know if you have any questions about the different garden features or book your own garden design consultation and we will help make your very own dreamy garden come to life.

sketchup garden design