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Garden Photo of the Day

Vegetables Can Be Beautiful Too

The vegetable garden we all wish we had

Niki Jabbour gardens in Halifax Nova Scotia, where she has one of the most beautiful and productive vegetable gardens I’ve ever seen. She also proves that cold winter weather (something we’re all getting too much of right now…) doesn’t need to stop the gardening fun. Niki uses cold frames to allow her to harvest fresh greens from the garden right through the cold, snowy, Canadian winter.

You can almost taste the fresh vegetables and smell the rich, fertile soil! Niki’s garden is a dream come true.

Sturdy raised beds made from rot-resistant hemlock wood make this garden easy to maintain. A tall fence protects everything from the marauding deer.

Never content to grow the same old varieties, Niki always tries a diversity of different tomatoes and other vegetables.

Flowers like cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) add beauty and help attract pollinators to the garden.

Niki is a pro at using season extenders like this cold frame to extend her garden season long after most people have given up.

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  1. chris_buscemi 01/09/2018

    Hi Niki. Your vegetable garden is beautiful. Love the way you incorporate pollinator plants. I like to do that too. Another good one is Agastache to attract bees. You are a true northern gardener using a cold frame. Great idea. I love the arch of flowering nasturtiums. Is it made from twigs? Lovely. Thank you for giving me something to dream of during this cold winter.

    1. nikijabbour 01/18/2018

      Thanks for the suggestion! My first book, The Year Round Vegetable Gardener was all about cold frames, mini tunnels, etc. I love extending my season :) Wishing you a productive 2018 garden!

      1. chris_buscemi 01/18/2018

        Is your book on Amazon?

  2. frankgreenhalgh 01/09/2018

    Thanks for featuring Niki's vegetable garden, Joeseph, and congratulations to you Niki on your wonderful raised bed garden for food production and environmental benefits in a lovely setting. You have an extensive area for veggie production - what do you do with all the produce? Do the roots of the trees enter the beds or do you take measures to prevent this? Cheers from Oz

    1. nikijabbour 01/18/2018

      Thank you Frank! I have fabric under the beds. I helps prevent tree roots from invading my space :)

  3. user-6536305 01/09/2018

    I totally agree with Joeseph that is one of the most beautiful and productive vegetable gardens and it is a Canadian garden! Consider the growing conditions, this is truly remarkable - intense food production yet, so beautiful. Love the Cosmos bipinnatus! How do you maintain your soil Niki? Thanks for sharing!

    1. nikijabbour 01/18/2018

      Thanks Lillian! Yes, I'm in Nova Scotia. I feed the soil with my homemade compost, chopped leaves, chopped seaweed (or kelp meal) and aged manure :)

  4. reubi 01/09/2018

    This is so inspiring! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Garden1953 01/09/2018

    What a beautiful garden! I try to grow different tomato varieties but we have a pretty short season here and so I am wondering what your favorite short season varieties are. Thanks!

    1. nikijabbour 01/18/2018

      Oh boy! I have a LOT! Most are listed in my 1st book, The Year Round Vegetable Gardener and then my new book, Veggie Garden Remix builds on that. But, I love Sungold, Jasper, and Japanese Black Trifele tomatoes, Golden Sweet, Sugar Snap, and Magnolia Blossom peas, Emerite and Gold Marie pole beans, and greens - all the lettuces! Space and Corvair spinach, Cucumbers Lemon, Miniature White, Boothby Blonde.. and so on. Hope that helps!

  6. user-4691082 01/09/2018

    Wow, impressive! Other readers have asked the questions I was wondering about.

  7. Maggieat11 01/09/2018

    Love, love, love it! I wish I had HALF the space to do something like this. Not only is it practical and productive, it is Beautiful! What a joy! Thanks for sharing.

    1. nikijabbour 01/18/2018

      Thank you!! It's been my dream garden - years of hard work to reach this point. :)

  8. User avater
    meander1 (Michaele ) 01/09/2018

    Niki, your raised beds are so impressive and gorgeous that I am (almost) at a loss for words. It must be such a satisfying delight to tend this garden and harvest all those delectable veggies.

    1. nikijabbour 01/18/2018

      It is.. thanks so much. It's my happy place and I'm now in the process of choosing what to grow this year. So much fun!

  9. grannieannie1 01/09/2018

    How beautiful! Every year I fail miserably trying for a pretty vegetable garden. Maybe I need to post a photo of your at the gate for inspiration. Thank you for posting this!

    1. DeeinDe 01/12/2018

      Oh but your flowers, GrannieAnnie are an inspiration for all of us!!

    2. nikijabbour 01/18/2018

      Thanks GrannieAnnie - I've obviously got to check out your flower pics! :)

  10. anitaberlanga 01/09/2018

    Niki, your veg garden was the inspiration for my two enclosed veg gardens - the original kitchen garden was at ground level and it did...okay..but was a pain to keep weed-free and it wasn't Pretty. After seeing your gardens on Pinterest and your blog I took several of the beds UP! Much easier to maintain, a better yield...and WAY prettier! Thanks for posting these photos!

    1. nikijabbour 01/18/2018

      Aw, thanks so much!! that is amazing to hear. Wishing you a very productive 2018!

  11. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/09/2018

    That's a great system. Those raised beds must be great for all sorts of reason; amended soil, plants closer to the gardener! Nice.

  12. NCYarden 01/09/2018

    Sweet....Most impressive. I keep wanting to figure out a way to grow veggies and this might just be a good solution, and certainly for the limited area I will have to do so since a large portion of my garden is wooded.

    1. frankgreenhalgh 01/09/2018

      Hey David - I made the mistake of not putting a fine fabric on the bottom of my raised beds before filling the boxes with soil mix. The roots of the surrounding gum trees simply invaded the beds. I mention this since you have a wooded area. Regards, Frank

      1. NCYarden 01/10/2018

        Ah, great caveat to consider, Frank. Thanks for the advice. I would certainly have a similar issue.

      2. nikijabbour 01/18/2018

        Great point - I have fabric under these - just to prevent the woodland plants from re-establishing. Works like a charm.

  13. PerenniallyCrazy 01/09/2018

    Vegetable gardens never looked so good...and smart! Great job.

  14. Sheila_Schultz 01/09/2018

    If anyone thinks vegie gardens can't be beautiful, they have never seen yours... Wow!!! I'm guessing you could supply a food bank with fresh vegetables without batting an eye. Your gardens are incredible, Niki.

    1. nikijabbour 01/18/2018

      Thanks so much Sheila!

  15. edithdouglas 01/09/2018

    Fantastic! Gave me hope for mine. An inspiration for me to work harder.. Thanks :-)

    1. nikijabbour 01/18/2018

      Thanks - good luck in your 2018 garden!

  16. BTucker9675 01/09/2018

    Wow - I am "stealing" this layout for the veggie bed planned for a nice sunny spot in my backyard. What an inspiration!

    1. nikijabbour 01/18/2018

      Awesome! they layout is actually on my website - SavvyGardening.com. Just search for 'raised beds' :)

      1. BTucker9675 01/18/2018

        Thanks! We thinned out the wooded area in our backyard and saved the trunks so we'll use them as the posts for the fencing to keep the deer and other critters out.

  17. User avater
    Linda on Whidbey 01/09/2018

    Niki, your garden is enviable and I love the height of your raised beds. You grow an incredible amount of food, so I’m curious if you supply a food bank as Sheila mentioned or if you preserve your surplus. Have you tried Margold tomatoes? They’re from France but the seeds came from Johnny’s.

    1. nikijabbour 01/18/2018

      Thanks so much. And I supply food to my family, extended family, and yes, our local food banks do benefit. I often share our excess as well as fresh herbs. :)

  18. mjensen 01/09/2018


  19. cynthiamccain 01/09/2018

    What a gorgeous and inspirational garden! The photo of tomatoes has me salivating!

    1. nikijabbour 01/18/2018

      Ha, come on over in August and we'll slice some up! :)

  20. JoannaAtGinghamGardens 01/09/2018

    Yes, your vegetable gardens are beautiful!

  21. greengenes 01/09/2018

    Niki, I so enjoyed visiting your vegi garden. You have done a wonderful layout and the height of the beds is perfect! No problems with rabbits or voles in your garden! The nastursums are such a wonderful plant/flower to have as well. The flowers are edible and the seed is used as capers. They always remind me of my grandmothers garden and i always plant them every year. So thankyou for letting us walk thru your garden!

    1. nikijabbour 01/18/2018

      Thank you Jeanne! I really appreciate that :)

  22. carolineyoungwilliams 01/09/2018

    OMG Niki, this is the ideal setup for my empty dog pen. It is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. nikijabbour 01/18/2018

      Thanks so much!

  23. Cheryl A 01/09/2018

    Beautiful! How do you get such beautiful bloom from nasturtiums planted in rich soil? I'd love to grow them, but my soil is too rich...

    1. nikijabbour 01/18/2018

      Good question! I don't add compost to the spots I plan on seeding nasturtiums. And the raised beds hold heat so well that they just love it!

  24. tennisluv 01/09/2018

    Niki, what a great vegetable garden. Vegetables and flowers combined to make a really beautiful place to raise fresh produce for your home. My son-in-law is the vegetable gardener and I will definitely be sharing these pictures with him to get him started thinking about his vegetable plot for this year. Thanks for sharing.

    1. nikijabbour 01/18/2018

      Thanks so much Sonya! :)

  25. Foxglove12 01/12/2018

    ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ your garden. In a any garden I’m always drawn to the vegetables. What a beautiful garden. So wish I had that much sun, space and fencing! Amazing job!

  26. nikijabbour 01/18/2018

    We eat them, share them with extended family and friends, and donate extras to the food bank :)

  27. nikijabbour 01/18/2018

    Oh, and it's 'my thing' :) I do get help from my hubby and teens when we move up manure though. The garden is intensively planted and mulched and really is quite low maintenance. After the rush of spring planting, I spend maybe 2-3 hours per week tending the garden.

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