In my garden today: a kitchen garden
The other day a friend asked me, "Just exactly what is a kitchen garden? Aren't all gardens kitchen gardens?" In essence, this trendy term basically describes a garden filled with vegetables, herbs and fruits. All food gardens are technically kitchen gardens, but this term is used nowadays to indicate a garden planned for beauty as well as function.
A kitchen garden is not used so much for large-scale production, canning and putting away for the winter, but more for immediate use in the kitchen. It can range from a small hanging basket of oregano and lettuce outside the back door to a full garden with roses, shrubs and perennials coupled with vegetables and herbs. Most kitchen gardens include some vegetables, herbs, and perhaps some small fruits. Edible flowers certainly have a place here as well.
A kitchen garden can really be whatever you want it to be, limited only by your imagination. So, why plant a kitchen garden? We want to taste fresh food that's not available at the market. There is nothing quite like picking and tasting your own ripe, perfumed melon or warm raspberries right off the shrub. Greens such as arugula, radiccio and mesclun are not always readily available from the grocery or farmers market, but are amazingly simple to grow.
We all love having beauty around us - that's generally why we garden in the first place. Edible plants can be artistically combined with ornamental plants to create a beautiful garden that pleases eye and palate.