Flower Box Awards: Doggie-proof Vegetable Loft

Designer: Maria Finn
Owner: Mookie's parents (Josh and Lisa)
Location: Brooklyn, NY

In Maria's words:


Mookie is known as "The Destructor" at doggie daycare. He experiences the world by passionately chewing anything within his reach, and when let loose in the small courtyard, this translates to toppled and uprooted plants...

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...So the question is how to grow vegetables out of the reach of Mookie and create a visually appealing space?

We ordered a pre-fab sleeping loft to keep costs down, but it needed to be treated for the outdoors. The idea of priming and painting it solved weatherproofing problems. We decided to go with eggplant purple and contrast the colors with chartreuse sweet potato vines tangled with orange nasturtium. Baskets of strawberries and chocolate mint hang from the side and herbs are planted alongside salad greens that include spicy mustard greens, tatsoi and baby red and green leafed lettuce. Boxes hold Mediterranean and Mexican vegetables.

Rather than have planter boxes in the corners for the figs and grapes custom made high enough to keep Mookie out, lattice could be added around the rims. These too would be painted bright colors adding a dynamic and patterned element to the area.

Dear Mookie,

You sound like you get into everything - even conventional planters? You have very thoughtful owners! Besides the dog-proof aspect, which also means the back yard is kept open for Mookie to play freely, the individual planters on the loft area make the garden more manageable. The eggplant color of the loft coordinates nicely with the nasturtiums and sweet potato vine. We hope you are having a good harvest - and thanks for sharing the idea with us.

We have a little gift in the mail to Mookie, Josh and Lisa: a pot from Ecoforms and seed packets from SelectSeeds.com to help make your gardens grow. Enjoy!

Best,
matt at apartmenttherapy dot com

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.