The edible outdoor room

Another of my favorite garden designs from the DVD ‘The Outdoor Room with Jamie Durie’ is the outdoor room he calls Atlanta. This is a brilliant garden design for those who would like to reduce their environmental footprint.

Jamie’s design brief; create a productive garden the motto from the client ‘If I can’t eat it I don’t want to water it’. The large garden also had a slope which meant the water and nutrients quickly drained away.

 Atlanta garden dining space image via

The landscape design Jamie created was inspired from a visit to Atlanta Georgia. He felt Atlanta had a wonderful mix of old style southern charm and cutting edge environmental design. He was inspired by the 400 square feet curved vertical vegetable and herb garden in the Atlanta Botanical Garden. He also visited the Robert Green house. Green had studied with Frank Lloyd Wright. This was reflected in the design of the house and the landscape.

Strong architectural lines of the timber pergola and the use of concrete, natural stone and timber informed Jamie’s choices. He translated the floating stone pontoons used in the Green Japanese inspired garden into timber platforms that appear to float on the landscape.

Edible garden Atlanta Botanic Gardens image via

Jamie built retaining walls of concrete faced with natural stone inspired by a bench from the Green house. The walls would overcome the sloping site and make sure the water and nutrients remained in place. They would also act as dividing walls between the different growing areas.

As well as the floating timber decks meandering through the garden Jamie designed and built a large timber pergola to be used as a dining area. The posts of the pergola were painted green to blend in with the vertical gardens making up the walls of the dining space. The slatted timber roof was painted brown.

The garden was planted with fruit trees; apple, cherry, plum, lemon, peach and fig. Blackberries, blueberries, olives, strawberries, spices, herbs, kiwi fruit and numerous seasonal vegetables were also planted. Two of the few non edible plants used the wonderful architectural like sago palm and ebony night mondo grass.

Jamie’s clients were delighted with the productive sustainable outdoor room created by the team. Here’s a link you may find interesting Jamie Durie talking about vertical gardens

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Author: Rosena MacFadzean for – concept creation online

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