Kitchen gardens are a growing trend in gardening. As Pollan says, a presidential vegetable garden would set a wonderful example of sustainable living and help wean America off an agricultural industry that is dependent on oil. Lucky for us design freaks, a kitchen garden is also an aesthetic statement.
According to Domino, de la Renta’s garden applies the principles of a formal flower garden: strong structure, strict geometry and colour-blocking of plants.
A slightly more haphazard approach is taken by artist-turned-garden historian, Leslie Rose Close, the wife of artist Chuck Close. She has a thriving kitchen garden (below) at her home in Bridgehampton, New York, where she applies an artist’s eye but leaves room for happy accidents.
Photo by Gordon M. Grant for the NYTimes
There is a memorable article about her garden in the New York Times. “I can’t imagine anything more wonderful to do,” she says . “It’s spiritual, physical, intellectual, aesthetic, sensual. I feel tied to the basic process of life.”
I know what she means. Although I’m a garden-less city-dweller, I recently spent a day harvesting spinach, lettuce and carrots in the greenhouse at the Stone Barns Farm (above) in Tarrytown, NY. There was something very novel and satisfying about gently pulling a carrot out of the silty earth, dusting off the soil and eating it right away. The farm supplies the on-site restaurant, Blue Hill Stone Barns, with fresh produce for its highly crafted cuisine.
Maybe Blue Hill chef Dan Barber should start thinking about a new gig as White House chef?