Adding an edible garden, no matter the size, will save you money on groceries, provide you with better quality food, plus give you beautiful and diverse landscaping.  We have you covered with inspiration and guidance that will show you how to design a beautiful edible garden, down to the layout, materials, even what types of herbs and crops to plant.
Edible Garden Backyard Lori Dennis Inc

In the Backyard Home + Edible Garden of Forks Over Knives Founders




Although we tend to think of our home’s outdoor spaces mostly as a place to lounge, eat and retreat, look at it as an opportunity to maximize your backyard, patio, courtyard, or even your front yard.


By now, even urban dwellers are growing their own lettuce, tomatoes, and peas in pots on rooftops, in sun-filled spaces, and in front yards.  If you’re an organic produce eater like us, you know it is the freshest, most nutritious food you will ever eat.  And if you need a little more convincing, check out our Top 3 Reasons to Consider Going Plant-Based.

Plus, the time you spend gardening gets you outside, which means you’re not using your home’s utilities.  The big bonus for the environment is that the food you grow doesn’t cause any pollution in transportation.  We also hope that someone who is going to eat their own produce may be a bit less liberal with the toxic chemicals on it.

Edible Garden Terrace Lori Dennis Interior Design

Image via Natalie Denormandie

How to Design a Beautiful Edible Garden Lori Dennis Interior Design

Image via Gardenista


How Do You Plan an Edible Landscape?

Let’s start with where you plan to have your garden.  Walk around your home to spot any unused spaces that have room for a box or two.  Great locations include the pathway to your front door, a portion of your backyard, or the entire open land.


You’ll want to make sure you’re able to access all the edible plants.  When planning the layout, make sure to allow for about a 24″ pathway in order to walk through the garden and reach each  marked plant.  Now you’ll know how much space you’ll have for the garden containers – which could be against a wall, terraced up or down a hill, or floating in the open.


We recommend the style of your edible landscape to mirror the style of the home.  Allow for the architecture to dictate the look and layout.  If your house is more modern, consider keeping the pathways and containers in a straight grid or geometric layout.  And if your home is more casual, a meandering organic flow will suit the style beautifully.

Using Natural Materials Like Wood, Stone, Plastered Cement or Metal
Create an Organic Feel for Any Edible Landscape Design.

Design a Vegetable Garden Lori Dennis Interior Design

Image via Board and Vellum

Raised Planters, Built-in Seating and a Slatted Fence in Wood give this backyard vegetable garden a casual and grounded style.  The linear and contemporary layout balances out the wild and natural flow of the landscape.  Ground cover in decomposed granite.

Edible Garden and Restaurant Design Plant Food and Wine

Outdoor Dining at Venice Restaurant, Plant Food & Wine. 

We love the way restaurant Plant Food and Wine incorporates dining next to the garden that provides meals for the guests.  Stone and white plaster finished walls hold the herbs and vegetables, while wood seating softens and warms the space.  Giant olive trees for shade and a string of bistro lights add to the ambiance of outdoor dining.

Design an Edible Garden
Patina Farm is always an inspiration.  We highly recommend you follow their page Velvet and Linen on Instagram.  Their addition of a stable of cute animals only adds to our respect and adoration.  We can’t decide who we love more, the hairy cows or the miniature donkeys… or the curious cats or the playful baby goats.  For now, enjoy these poofy chickens inside the edible garden space.


When it comes to selecting a container or edging material for your vegetable garden, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Almost any material can be used for a planter. For example, an untreated wood box, cement pot or stone.  Options include the following:

  • Any Pot will do
  • Raised Bed or Planter Boxes
  • Trellis for climbing vines
  • Wall Hung
  • Built-In Wall or Terrace
  • Edging around ground Fruit Trees or Edible Plants using Stone, Railroad Ties, Wood or a Hedge

UPCYCLE:  Get creative and think outside the box (see what I did there?).  Small gardens can flourish in any unusual or discarded containers you might find.  For example, an old oak wine barrel, a freshly painted vintage BBQ, even a wheelbarrow.


Design a Beautiful Edible Garden

Image via The Garden Glove

Design a Beautiful Edible Garden

Image via Arana Craftsman


The best looking gardens in any size are designed with layered and intentional planting. Start in the back with plants that will grow tall.  Then fill in the box with crops that are short and full, followed by cascading herbs or vegetables up front.

Design a Stylish Vegetable Garden Lori Dennis Interior Design
Clean Black Metal Boxes in Various Heights, with a Trellis in the Center for Climing Tomatoes.

Image via Kriste Michelini, Gardenista

How to Design a Beautiful Vegetable Garden

Raised Bed Edged and Supported in White Stone.                               Image via Land studio East

How to Design a Small Vegetable Garden

5 Gallon Clay Pot Contains a Good Handful of Vegetables

How to Design a Small Vegetable Garden

Raised Bed Front Yard Garden Made with Pavers,  filled with Strawberries + Tomatoes

How to Upcycle a Beautiful Vegetable Garden
Find a Creative Container for Your Garden
How to Design a Modern Vegetable Garden

Our Venice Art House Project

How to Design a Colorful Edible Garden
Edible Garden Landscape Design
Image via Pine House Edible Gardens
Smart Edible Garden Landscape Design
Hidden Compost Below Walkway.  Image via BHG

Edible Landscapes

How to Design an Edible Garden

AG Week



The easiest and most obvious answer is plant what you know you’ll eat.  More than just a vegetable garden, you can add things like fruit, herbs and complimentary plants.

Here’s a quick list of some of our favorite and easy to grow crops:

  • Fruit Trees like Fig, Apple, Peach, Pear, Meyer Lemon and Lime
  • Salad Greens like Lettuce, Kale, Spinach and Chard
  • Fruit like Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries and Blackberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Beans
  • Peppers
  • Zucchini
  • Artichoke are absolutely beautiful
  • Eggplant
  • Onions, Garlic, Chives
  • Herbs like Rosemary, Mint, Thyme, Sage, Parsley and Oregano
Eggplants | The Spruce

Kale | Farmer’s Almanac

Swish Chard | Farmer’s Almanac

Herbs | Morning Chores

Fig Tree | Gardener’s Path


When planting, consider blending your edible garden with other plant species that contain berries, flowers (nectar), and seeds, as they will encourage wildlife like butterflies, honeybees, and hummingbirds to visit the garden.

If you’re planting an herb garden, make sure it is close to the Kitchen so the herbs will be readily available when you need them.  You’ll be so happy you did!


 Top 10 Fragrant Plants + Herbs:

  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Geranium
  • Golden Leaved Pineapple Sage
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Sweetspire
  • Lilac
  • Hyacinth
  • Honeysuckle
You can’t imagine the peaceful feeling you get from seeing these little creatures buzz around.  Plant pollinated and fragrant species near windows so the beautiful scents will waft into your home.
- Green Interior Design


Planting indigenous, regional plants requires a lot less environmental burden.  These types of plants tend to need little, if no, chemical pesticides or herbicides because they have adapted to their climate and soil conditions.  The occasional compost and beneficial insects are about the only booster shot needed for native plants to flourish.

Native flower varieties can be planted in cutting gardens as a simple, convenient alternative to buying chemical-laden, store-bought flowers.

When you plant certain varieties of herbs and flowers together, they give the added benefits of improving soil, preventing harmful insect infestation, and increasing propagation in your garden.
MINT planted with Tomatoes and Cabbage deters ants, fleas, cabbage moths, rodents, and aphids attract earthworms.

Not to mention, mint smells incredible when you catch it in a breeze.  It grows like a weed, so you’ll have plenty to add to water, tea or watermelon salad.


Planting GARLIC near Cucumbers, Celery, Peas, Lettuce, Raspberries, and Roses ward off Japanese beetles and spider mites, and keep aphids off roses.



The combination of LAVENDER, ROSES and FRUIT TREES keeps moths away but attracts beneficial bees, ladybugs, and pray mantises.
BORAGE planted near Strawberries, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and Squash adds trace minerals to the soil.  This helps to boost the disease resistance of the nearby plants and deters tomato worms.
ALFALFA planted with Lettuce and Beans adds nitrogen, iron, potassium, and phosphorous to the soil.

Loaded with tons of health benefits, Alfalfa is a prized super food that is loaded with vitamins and minerals, and is said to help reduce cholesterol.


When SWEET ALYSSUM is planted with Broccoli, Eggplant, Corn, Potatoes, and Beans, it attracts hoverflies and wasps that eat aphids.

Often considered the work horse of complimentary garden plants, Sweet Alyssum will help your crops to grow a more productive landscape.  Work smarter not harder, if ya know what I mean.


Not only is the NASTURTIUM FLOWER beautiful, but when planted near Radishes, Cucumbers, Fruit Trees, and Cabbage, it also detracts whiteflies, squash bugs, and cucumber beetles.

In addition, aphids will dine on the nasturtium petals instead of the fruit trees.

MARIGOLDS may well be the superheroes of any edible garden.  They make gorgeous bouquets of cut flowers and can be planted next to almost any flower or herb to release a substance that repels root-feeding nematodes.  They also keep whiteflies away from Tomatoes.

Front Yard Garden Strategy

How to Deter Unwanted Bandits from Stealing Ripe Fruit:

I was walking around a neighborhood the other day and loved what a neighbor had done with their front yard fruit trees.  To educate passers by, she hung a white paper from each tree as a note from “The Tree’s Mommy.”  It talks about what type of fruit tree it is and how long it takes to grow fruit, etc.

Educate the community with signs that inform neighbors
about the fruit and labor that goes into growing.
Chamomile, Rosemary and Grapes peak over a white picket fence.

Incorporate Seating Into Your Landscape Design

One of our absolute favorite Interior Design projects, was the home of Darshana Thacker and Brian Wendel, Founders of the renowned plant-based diet brand, Forks Over Knives.  Because they’re both vegan chefs, they didn’t need much convincing when it came to implementing sustainable elements in their home and garden design.

The aesthetic of the home has an open design plan connecting the Dining and Living Room areas to the Kitchen and the Backyard.  With edible landscape gardens in both the front and backyards, we included an potted herb lined walkway, built-in garden containers and seating covered in plaster and wood, and casual dining areas throughout.

Chef's Kitchen with Edible Garden Just Outside

At home, in the Kitchen of Forks Over Knives Founders.

See more photos of this fantastic outdoor edible garden and chef’s Kitchen HERE.

Green Interior Design Book Must Have

How to Achieve Style and Sustainability

Green Interior Design is the most comprehensive guide to sustainable building, designing, and decorating on the market.

This beautifully illustrated guide covers every detail of your home, from the drywall to the finial on the curtain rod.  Plus how to find the most environmentally friendly versions of products and décor.

This second edition of Green Interior Design is meant as much for the budget DIYer as it is for the luxury homebuilders looking to dip their toes into sustainability.

Pick up your copy here, or your favorite local community bookstore.


How to Design a Stylish Vegetable Garden

With Exerpts Taken from the book, Green Interior Design