A vegetable patch
Nicole and Patrick Mioulane/M.A.P.

Old School Flair

A vegetable patch next to a clothesline harks back to a time when people raised their own cabbages and tomatoes. Here, beans and squash above white azaleas find breathing room atop twig teepees.

A garden supported by a fence
Clive Nichols/M.A.P.

Take It Up and Out

When cabbage exhausted the cultivable ground in this garden, other vegetables were trained to climb instead of sprawl.

The fence offers extra support for trellises dripping with sweet peas. Next to the steps, even nasturtiums are encouraged to grow up rather than out. The design is efficient as well as attractive.

Hanging squash
Rob D. Brodman

Healthy Squash

The summer squash dangles from a trellis like beans or tomatoes, maximizing space and reducing its susceptibility to mildew and disease.

Corn in a box
Judy White/GardenPhotos.com

Corn Crops

This raised planter in the middle of the garden provides deep soil, good drainage, and plenty of sun for a backyard corn crop.

While the ears of corn come in, neighboring ornamentals such as zinnias, marigolds, and dusty miller bring visual interest to the space.

A very full edible garden
Melba Levick

Waste Not, Want Not

Practically every square inch is devoted to edibles in this terraced garden. Herbs spill over the steps. Peppers bask in the sun in their beds. Squash matures in containers. And beans snake up posts and fences.

Small tomatoes in a pot
Rosalind Creasy

Hot Tomatoes

Tomato fanciers with limited space are able to get their fix with cherry varieties placed in pots. The fruits may be small but many of them rival huge beefsteak tomatoes for flavor.

A movable garden in a basket
Clive Nichols/M.A.P.

Movable Garden

A basket of leaf lettuces augments the garden where the ground is reserved for edibles with different growing needs.

The basket can be filled with fast-drying soil, watered as desired, and, of course, moved where the light is optimal.

A lettuce garden
Judy White/GardenPhotos.com

Lots of Lettuce

This plot of lettuces is perfectly situated to save steps. Seeds are started in the greenhouse. Harvested greens are cleaned and dressed indoors. Finished salads are savored on the outdoor patio.

And as plants mature, their ruffled leaves enhance views of the garden from every angle.

Strawberries in a container
Rosalind Creasy

Sweet Strawberries

Where horizontal space is a luxury or good drainage poses a problem, growing strawberries in a tall container like this one does the trick. It allows fruit to hang clear of wet soil but within reach as berries ripen.

Herbs in a basket
Jody White/GardenPhotos.com

Culinary Treats

Small pots of herbs such as thyme, marjoram, chives, and rosemary are handy next to the indoor cooktop or outdoor grill.

Keep them pinched back and corralled in a shallow tray, and they’ll take up very little counter or shelf space.

For more garden, porch, and patio inspiration, purchase Big Ideas for Small Gardens .

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