Even if your inclination to do so isn’t driven purely by having to work with limited space, the growing trend around gardening is to maximise the space. Those of us lucky enough to have gardens at all are realising that their value lies more in their functionality than how they look.

Best-lawn contests might still exist in some neighbourhoods, but it’s more of a niche special interest these days. That being said a good lawn will always complement outdoor teak furniture if you are lucky enough to have some.

As much as the suggested functionality of a garden would be to grow some of your own produce, a vegetable garden can still look amazingly beautiful.

Start with a basic garden

The basics you’d have to begin with entail making sure your garden looks respectable in its simplest form. That makes for a great base upon which to build and also means you won’t have to worry too much about the fallout of seasonal changes, like when it’s extremely cold and not many vegetables can realistically grow, along with flowers that aren’t in their blooming season.

Taking care of the bare basics entails making sure the garden space is clean and de-cluttered, with darker shades of green being the dominant colour that complements the natural brown of the tree trunks and soil. Simply turning the soil, having removed the loose leaves that have fallen, would constitute having “done the garden.”

Use teak planters and containers

The quickest way to cultivate a great looking vegetable garden is to plant fast-growing veggies, which fortunately encompasses pretty much the full range of common veggies that can be grown in the backyard. But we’re specifically talking here the likes of pumpkins and some fruits like watermelons, as well as beans. These should be planted in teak planters which will typically be elevated, the effect of which are some lovely, cascading shoots flowing out of the planters.

Aim to have the brightest colours at the highest point, which will make for some kind of highlight points for the green base. If you have good teak planters, try and get some teak furniture to match. This will ensure your garden has a complete look.

Where possible, use containers of which the soil you alternate with the ground soil. The backdrop or base in terms of the trees should ideally comprise of evergreens.

Ideal vegetable cross-planting pairs

In the same way that some vegetable pairs don’t grow well with each other, there are some varieties which enhance each other’s growth when cross-planted, like asparagus with tomatoes, beets with cabbage, kale, lettuce, onions and garlic, and melons with pumpkins. This makes your job even easier because by default when these pairs flourish, they create intensely beautiful contrasts.

Talk to your plants

This is as much about doing it physically as it is about its metaphorical equivalent. The more time you spend in your garden, perhaps talking on the phone or with a guest, the more “fresh” carbon dioxide you emit for the plants to process. So install some portable teak outdoor furniture, sit out there and talk to your plants.

You’ll be surprised at just how beautifully some vegetables can flower. Vegetable gardens, although primarily cultivated from a functionality point of view, don’t have to look like a royal mess. They can look amazingly beautiful if done right in this way.