23 Garden Layout Ideas for Vegetables and More (2024)


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Marie Iannotti

23 Garden Layout Ideas for Vegetables and More (1)

Marie Iannotti

Marie Iannotti is a life-long gardener and a veteran Master Gardener with nearly three decades of experience. She's also an author of three gardening books, a plant photographer, public speaker, and a former Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator. Marie's garden writing has been featured in newspapers and magazines nationwide and she has been interviewed for Martha Stewart Radio, National Public Radio, and numerous articles.

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Updated on 03/13/24

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23 Garden Layout Ideas for Vegetables and More (2)

Whether you're planning small backyard garden, a large homestead garden, herb garden, or even a tiny window box garden, referring to garden layout ideas for inspiration can help guide both the blueprint and the types of plants you choose.

Your garden may include layouts like square-foot gardens, raised bed gardens, container gardens, and gardening in rows. Deciding which one is the best for your garden will include considerations like the best location in your yard, assessing whether it has full sun, partial sun, or partial shade, and matching that up to the best plants for that particular spot.

Often, gardeners will plan the layout around their plants of choice, including tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, fruits, herbs, and flowers. The plants within a specific garden layout can be chosen based on their USDA Zone and the garden's sun exposure.

Want to start planning your garden? Here are 23 garden layout ideas to get you started.

  • 01 of 23

    Square Foot Vegetable Garden

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    A square-foot vegetable garden is a great way to organize your garden if you plan on planting a variety of vegetables, fruits, or herbs. You'll plant in square-foot blocks rather than the rows that you often see in vegetable gardens.

    Within each block, you'll plant the maximum number of plants that will grow according to that particular vegetable's guidelines. For example, you can plant more carrots than you can cabbage within a square foot.

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  • 02 of 23

    Garden With a Cohesive Color Palette

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    This townhouse courtyard featured onHome Living Now shows a great way to make space appear larger by keeping the number of colors used to a minimum. Purple and yellow are complementary colors that work together to make each color stand out, but any color pairing you love would work.

    Keep the plants low and loose, to soften the geometric shapes of hardscaping, such as the patio, lawn, and pathway.

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  • 03 of 23

    Raised Garden Beds

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    If you want a neat, organized way to plant your vegetable garden or want to grow multiple plants that don't play well together, try raised beds. This allows you more control over your soil and can save you the task of weeding regularly.

    You can make symmetrical raised beds for a more formal look or size them according to the plants you plan on growing. While they can be DIYed, you can also go for a more structured look like the garden above, where gravel paths make it easy to travel between beds.

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  • 04 of 23

    Perennial Shade Garden

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    Shade gardens create a wonderfully restful ambiance that works particularly well around patios and decks. Gladys King, from Hometalk, shows you how she made elegant use of the color green in her shady retreat.

    Low-maintenance ferns and hostas make up the bulk of the planting. Be sure to include some with variegated white and gold leaves, to add even more texture to the planting. Try planting some brighter hosta in a spot where the sun breaks through and watch them glow.

    Green contrasts particularly well with darker wood colors such as the decking, the stone and paving, and even the tree trunks.

  • 05 of 23

    Inviting Modern Garden

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    Clean lines and symmetry create a modern style garden. In theTelegraph Garden, photographed by Herry Lawford at the Chelsea Flower Show, the minimal use of color is very calming and soothing to the eyes.

    Create and repeat rounded shapes, such as the clipped boxwood for a relaxed orderly look. Except for mowing and occasional pruning, very little maintenance is required to keep this space looking fresh and inviting.

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  • 06 of 23

    Side Yard Garden

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    Narrow side yards can be a challenge to design. Using fencing that is made of the same materials as the house creates the walls of a garden room. Having the structure of the walls makes it easier to outline the way the path should flow. With these elements laid out, you can use plants as dressing.

    Something tall, such as the arborvitae at the curve in the path, keeps the eye from shooting straight past the garden and out the gate. Low, spreading grasses will make the space seem a bit wider than it is.

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  • 07 of 23

    Lush Drought-Tolerant Garden

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    Limited water doesn't mean you can't have a lush, vibrant garden. Many plants canthrive in dry areas and survive periodic drought conditions.

    Succulents may be the first plants that jump to mind, but this xeric garden featured in Roses in Wilson showcases drought-tolerant shrubs, such as rose of Sharon, rosemary, and Russian sage. Besides plants, choosing a high-contrast light-colored stone mulch will make the limited colors all the more vibrant.

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  • 08 of 23

    Flower Border Garden

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    Fran Sorin, at Gardening Gone Wild, provides a perfect example of a classic perennial border, with a billowing, dark evergreen hedge as the backdrop and a progression of plant heights from low in front to tall in the rear.

    The mounded plants keep your focus rolling toward the house. These are most effective when accented by clusters of spiky plants at increasing heights. If you love blue-toned flowers, the use of white and yellow will make blues and purples stand out, rather than recede into the distance.

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  • 09 of 23

    Japanese-Influenced Garden

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    The Japanese influence in this garden designed by Ramon Smitand showcased by Paramount Plants goes well beyond the weeping Japanese maple reflecting over the water. What provides a sense of Japandi style is how meticulously maintained all the shrubs are. The plants should be perfectly shaped, but look natural.

    Even the ground coverings need attention to detail. Instead of grass, use moss and gravel. If you want to include a few flowering plants, make sure they echo the color of the hardscaping.

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  • 10 of 23

    Monochromatic Garden

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    Purple is a dramatic color, but at a distance, it tends to fade away. In this intimate space, purple is warm and embracing. This Hampton Court Flower Show garden is featured by Susan Rushton uses the subtle differences between the shades of purple and the round and spiky flowers to keep it from looking flat.

    You can add some contrast, like the white delphiniums, to brighten things up. An asymmetrical path will lead visitors straight to the focal point.

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  • 11 of 23

    Entryway Garden

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    At Pacific Horticulture, Dave Egbert explains that a welcoming entryway gardenstarts with a wide path to the front door. Creeping plants, such asfragrant thyme, can be allowed to meander between the flagstones.

    Keeping larger shrubs away from the walls isn't just fire smart, it makes the area appear larger than it is. Coordinating the bronze tones of the ornamental grass seed heads, succulents, containers, and tile roof ties the whole entrance together.

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  • 12 of 23

    Ornamental Grass Garden

    One of the best low-maintenance plants for any garden is ornamental grass. The blades and inflorescence add movement and sound to a garden, but perhaps their best feature is the way they glow when backlit by the sun. This garden was designed by Scott Lewis for a California vineyard explored in Gardenista.

    The grasses and small trees light up a pathway and invite you to enter. Use something like an arbor to borrow and incorporate the distant view, the way the hazy mountains here create an atmosphere you could never get with bold-colored flowers.

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  • 13 of 23

    Enclosed Garden

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    Whether you have a small backyard or courtyard or you just want to create a space for dining near the house, one of the best ways to close off an area without making it feel claustrophobic is to uselattice. The Garden Lovers Club found a way to make this compact backyard garden both airy and chock full of plants.

    Lattice openings allow air and light to get through, while still providing some privacy. Plants on either side of the lattice walls will give even more screening. Having the plants and containers in the yard elevated above the sitting area further adds to the sense of airy enclosure.

    You can blend the wood tones and gray hardscaping with the use of gray and terracotta-colored ornaments, pots, and cushions.

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  • 14 of 23

    Modern, Functional Garden

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    Many times, outdoor entertainment areas need to be carved out around a garden, but the folks at Collaborate Decors showcased a garden carved out of the patio. With the small tree in the center and the large boulders, it looks as though this was a natural part of the site. Two separate seating areas are created by this division, but the stepping stones keep them connected.

    Although a limited number of plants are used, there is enough garden space to soften and cool the look of the stone pavers. You could create a similar space on an existing patio with raised beds.

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  • 15 of 23

    Zen Garden

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    Symmetry and geometry can be very striking in the garden. Nawawiah at Inspiring Home Decor softened the almost Zen-like quality of the hardscaping in this geometric garden by juxtaposing it with a deep, lush border of soft greens and purples.

    This way, you can still have order and symmetry, as here with the alternating standards and hydrangeas and the pair of purple-leaved trees. The fullness and mounding shapes of the plants will keep your garden from being austere.

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  • 16 of 23

    Floating Island Gardens

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    These island beds are overflowing with effusive flowers, but their clean edges keep them from looking wild or messy. They used this English-style border to inspire this garden.

    A natural feel is created by using different size beds, while a sense of cohesion can be maintained by repeating colors and plants, like the airy wandflower and the bold coneflowers. The two tall evergreens in the large front bed break up the otherwise flat expanse of flowering perennials.

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  • 17 of 23

    Front Yard Garden

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    A well-maintained front yard garden makes an immediate impact. This cottage-style garden at GooDSGN shows how to keep things simple while tying in with the house. Large shrubs on either side of the garden will add substance and anchor the space.

    Bright flowers at the entrance, like these impatiens and hakonechloa grasses are just enough to designate an entry point without looking too busy and overwhelming the house. And while you want your garden to provide a bit of privacy for you, it's best not to fully block the view of the house from the street.

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  • 18 of 23

    Small Vegetable Garden

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    Even with just a small amount of space, you can still grow a vegetable garden. You don't have to follow the exact measurements of other gardens that grow in rows or squares; instead, you can focus on maximizing your space for the vegetables you want to grow.

    Consider planting them based on their growing season so you can easily cycle out plants with each harvest.

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  • 19 of 23

    Large Backyard Garden

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    When you have a large backyard to work with, you can create two distinct spaces. One is the lush green lawn that's perfect for throwing out a picnic blanket. The other is the abundant border that can include trees, ground cover plants, seasonal flowers, bushes, water features, and hardscaping.

    All this space gives you room for creativity, color, and texture. Let the shape of each space feel organic and flowing. There's no need for a strict square. Instead, it can move around the yard.

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  • 20 of 23

    Vertical Garden

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    If you're short on square footage, go up! A vertical garden offers flexibility for those in small spaces. You can try succulents, herbs, vegetables, or flowers. In this garden, a scattered effect plays off of the colorful backdrop. But, in a more minimalist vertical garden, you could focus on straight, symmetrical rows.

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  • 21 of 23

    Herb Garden in Terracotta Pots

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    Herbs thrive in a container garden, and they have a classic look when planted in simple terracotta plants. This gives you the flexibility to plant multiple herbs in one spot, even when they have varying water requirements.

    Stack them in a way that lets you get more light to herbs like rosemary or thyme while giving others, like cilantro, a shadier spot.

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  • 22 of 23

    Formal Rose Garden

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    A formal rose garden is one of the most iconic garden layouts. With a pebble gravel path, hedge border, and overflowing rose bushes, it has the abundant feel of an English garden, but with a more tailored look.

    It's a straightforward layout to follow—just plant the hedges in a straight shape and fill the area with rose bushes.

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  • 23 of 23

    Mixed Herb, Vegetable, and Flower Garden

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    Herbs, vegetables, and flowers can all grow beautifully right next to each other, and they give a garden with rows a more casual look. Plant the flowers on the border to help repel pests and attract pollinators, then plant herbs and vegetables—paying attention to good companions—throughout the garden beds.


  • How do you plan a garden layout?

    Your garden layout should be planned based on factors including location, sun exposure, and the types of plants you'd like to grow.

    You'll plan the size and type of beds according to whether it's a vegetable garden, herb garden, flower garden, or a low maintenance spaced primarily designed as an outdoor living area.

  • What is the most efficient garden layout?

    Square foot gardening is one of the best uses of space when designing a garden where you need to focus on efficiency. In square foot gardening, each square foot gets a different vegetable or herb, and the optimum number of plants for that type is planted within the square.

    For example, you can plant 16 carrots per square foot or 1 cauliflower per square foot.

  • What vegetables can be planted together?

    There are so many incredible companion plant options when you're planting vegetables.

    Basil does well with tomatoes and peppers. You could try carrots with onions, leeks, and radishes, or grow zucchini with beans and corn. If you'd prefer to add flowers to your garden, marigolds, and calendula are both excellent companion plants for vegetables.

5 Mistakes Gardeners Make in Their Vegetable Gardens (and How to Fix Them)

23 Garden Layout Ideas for Vegetables and More (2024)


What is the most efficient vegetable garden layout? ›

Square foot gardening is an efficient and space-saving technique that involves dividing your garden into small, manageable squares. Each square is typically one foot by one foot and is planted with a specific number of plants depending on their size.

What is the most common garden layout for growing vegetables? ›

Grow tall items such as corn or beans, on the north side of the garden to keep them from shading smaller crops. Medium sized plants like tomatoes, squash and cabbage, should be grown in the center. Short crops like carrots, lettuce and radishes should grow in the southern end of the garden.

How to arrange vegetables in a garden? ›

Rows Vegetable Garden Layout Plan

The other rule of thumb when using this layout plan is to organize your spacing so that your tallest growing vegetables are planted on the north side of your rows. Follow them with medium height vegetables, and then plant your shortest crop on the south side of the rows.

What vegetables grow best together? ›

Which Vegetables Grow Well Together?
VegetableCompanion PlantDon't Plant Together
OnionsBeets, carrots, Swiss chard, lettuce, peppersAll beans and peas
PeasBeans, carrots, corn, cucumbers, radish, turnipGarlic, onions
PotatoesBeans, corn, peasTomatoes
SquashCorn, melons, pumpkinsNone
11 more rows
Jun 26, 2021

What vegetables can not be planted together? ›

14 Vegetables You Should Never Plant Together—Gardening Experts Explain Why
  • 01 of 14. Beans and Onions. ...
  • 02 of 14. Tomatoes and Potatoes. ...
  • 03 of 14. Corn and Tomatoes. ...
  • 04 of 14. Tomatoes and Brassicas. ...
  • 05 of 14. Cucumber and Squash. ...
  • 06 of 14. Lettuce and Celery. ...
  • 07 of 14. Fennel and Tomatoes. ...
  • 08 of 14. Peppers and Cabbage.
Jan 16, 2024

What is the best vegetable garden configuration? ›

As a general rule, put tall veggies toward the back of the bed, mid-sized ones in the middle, and smaller plants in the front or as a border. Consider adding pollinator plants to attract beneficial insects that can not only help you get a better harvest, but will also prey on garden pests.

What to plant in a 20x20 garden? ›

Plant List
PlantNumberSpacing in Rows
Bok Choy167" x 9"
Chili Pepper211" x 1' 3"
Chinese Cabbage611" x 1' 11"
Cucumber121' 11" x 1' 11"
13 more rows

Is it better to plant vegetables in rows or groups? ›

If you have the space for it, row gardening allows you to plant more and harvest more vegetables. Squares are limited because if they are too big, you can't reach the plants in the middle. You are also limited in the amount of plants/veggies you can grow in the given space.

What is the basic pattern in garden design? ›

Grid lines drawn at 45 degrees can be used as a guideline to design the garden. Rectangular themes are the most popular and widely used. They are adapted to give a formal look to the garden. Long or narrow gardens can be easily divided into even sections using this particular theme.

Is there an app to help me design my garden? ›

iScape is the No. 1 app for landscape design. We are here to help you create beautiful outdoor living areas.

How do I add a structure to my garden? ›

  1. Provide the framework of the garden. ...
  2. Add year-round structure to a perennial bed. ...
  3. Combine contrasting form and shape. ...
  4. Use restraint with strong forms. ...
  5. Provide winter interest. ...
  6. Create a sense of whimsy. ...
  7. Choose double-duty structure whenever possible.

Should vegetable gardens be east or west facing? ›

Beware that west facing gardens often get the brunt of intense afternoon sun which can be deadly for certain plants. North and East facing gardens, as well as gardens that have structures that inhibit direct sunlight, tend to be more shady.

What is the best position for vegetable beds? ›

Aspect and orientation - most fruit, vegetables and cut flowers need full sun, so position beds in the south- or west-facing parts of your garden, away from the shade of overhanging trees. Run long beds north to south for even sunlight levels.

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