Now that my raised beds are morphing into a lovely potager, I need to think about planting them in a way that creates visual beauty and structure as well as provides food.
Raised bed one has 4 Top Hat Blueberry bushes for a nice permanent structure. For a groundcover, I have 20 Quinault Strawberry plants. Behind them is a trellis for Coyote Tomato indeterminate vines with pretty yellow cherry tomatoes.
Bed 2 has Black Satin and Natchez Thornless Blackberries already, and this spring I will seed Strawberry Goosefoot in and around them. That should fill in and around the lanky blackberry vines with pretty bright greens and red berries. I will not only have blackberries but collect and dry blackberry leaves for tea. If your blackberries are spreading past where you want them, clip the small volunteers, and eat them. They remind me a little of asparagus tips. The Strawberry Goosefoot greens are delicious raw or cooked, and will naturalize out to my Food Forest. The red berries are mildly sweet and will look decorative until the birds or I eat them.
Bed 3 will have an Ultra Dwarf Fuji Apple Tree in the middle for structure, and it should stay 6-8 feet tall. This little tree spent the winter in a ceramic pot, and is just waiting for its spit to be ready. The apple tree will eventually fill in and shade the bed most of the day, so I plan to set wild violets loose in there this spring, and these little jewels spent last year in two large pots awaiting their new home. They are my favorite salad green and I look forward to have them fill the bed. They will produce greens without disrupting the tree roots and since they are a shallow rooted perennial will not need further input or digging. I will also plant Saffron Crocus mixed in with the violets, and let them spread at will for my delicious clam chowder and for rice dishes.
This year there is plenty of room to grow turnips, carrots, and radishes all around the edges.
This year I will grow scallions in the middle of raised bed 4, with rutabaga and kohlrabi on each side.
My 5th raised bed will have herbs in it, they will like the warmth and full sun. I already have enough herbs in pots to get it started, and can fill in with basil for pesto this year. I will let a few of the bunching onions loose in there also.
I added more concrete blocks to raised bed 5 this morning, so it is taking shape. 63 concrete blocks add up to just under 1800 pounds. I should be finished with it by next week and letting it compost.
Raised bed 6 will have Ultra Dwarf Elberta Peach on one end and Ultra Dwarf 20th Century Asian Pear on the other end. Both fruit trees have been living in large ceramic pots since last spring. In the middle will be pickling cucumbers and melons.