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LH 136: Big Ideas for Small Backyards

Using Design Principles for Our Smaller Veggie Gardens

Just because we have an edible garden does NOT mean it can’t be beautiful. In fact, it should be even MORE beautiful than the average backyard.

In this episode, I brought on garden designer Susan Morrison to talk about some simple design principles we can use to make our backyard space more usable and more aesthetically pleasing to the eye at the same time.


You will learn:

  •      The biggest mistake most homeowners make these days
  •      Why we may not want a lawn if we have kids
  •      Create ways to make the backyard usable
  •      The 3 W’s of a good design philosophy
  •      The best 2 vegetables for dramatic color in a garden
  •      How to use containers to bring the design together
  •      And so much more

Susan Morrison:

Susan Morrison on

Landscape designer, Susan Morrison is a nationally recognized authority on smaller-sized outdoor spaces. She specializes in teaching people how to make a big impact with even the smallest of spaces.

Susan lives in the Bay area of Northern California and is the co-author of the best-selling book, Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces. And she has been featured on our PBS TV show, Growing A Greener World. (Links below in the resource section)

Susan is also a popular speaker and writer and her work has been featured in the San Fransisco ChronicleCottages and Bungalows and Fine Gardening Magazine.


Resources & Links Mentioned:

Creative Exteriors Landscape Design – Susan’s websiteThe Less Is More Garden by Susan Morrison on

The Less Is More Garden* – Susan’s Book

Garden Up* – Susan’s Book with Rebecca Sweet


Other Related Episodes:

Episode #55: Designing A Food Garden for Double DutyGarden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces by Susan Morrison on

Episode #71: How to Refresh Your Garden Design


Vegetables Mentioned:

Imperial Star Artichoke – from Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply

Bull’s Blood Beetavailable from Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply


Click here for the full transcript for Episode #136


*denotes an affiliate link

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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy®. For 9 years, Theresa was the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.