The Garden Kitchen (interior counterpart of a kitchen garden)

(16 Posts)
shovetheholly Fri 08-Jan-16 08:52:01

I'm having my house extended this year so that I can have a larger kitchen (current one is the size of a cupboard). I have never ever done a kitchen before so I have absolutely no clue what I am doing.

One of the things I want to do is to design this around the fact that I hope to grow a lot of my own fruit and veg in future. I was wondering what fellow gardeners would advise? One particular concern is muddy veg, and how to handle this hygienically. At present I just make a hell of a muddy mess everywhere with it, which I am sure could be avoided with better design. How do you cope? Should I have two sinks?

Storage is another thing - I'd like to fit in a larger freezer, but how big should I go?

Are there any other pieces of kit that would be useful to plan into the design?

Please give me your advice, from a gardening perspective!!

bookbook Fri 08-Jan-16 09:24:51

Morning shove!
How big is the new extension/kitchen? And will you be bringing your produce in through the kitchen door ? An extra sink sounds a great idea, if you had enough room to make a dedicated utility area IYSWIM?
I don't have a big kitchen , but I do have the advantage of a smallish utility room ( but with no sink) and I managed to squeeze a pantry in next to that a couple of years ago by stealing a bit off another room. I have wire shelving on wheels (underneath fixed shelves ) for storage of vegetables.
Freezers - well, I had a new one 3 years ago, and we bought the biggest one that would fit in the utility ( and would get through the door and around corners!). I could have frozen more/cooked more if I had more freezer space . If its feasible , there is more storage in a chest freezer - I swapped my upright for a chest one, but it is still stuffed smile

shovetheholly Fri 08-Jan-16 10:10:24

Wire shelving! That's a genius idea! I have to find space for this. I hear you on the freezer, too. I don't think we'll be able to fit a chest one, but an upright will be possible!

I think we are going for a 3 metre extension to the back of our house. It's a really small, cheaply constructed semi of the kind that are all over the city. It dates from the late 20s so it's not one of the grander bow-windowed 1950s ones. Space is tight - we can't go out to the side at all.

Currently, there are two rooms at the back - the tiny kitchen to the right and the larger dining room to the left. We will probably keep the wall between them, but extend both out. This will make a big L-shaped kitchen/dining area facing the garden and the current dining room will be used to store our ever increasing load of books. (DH recently got made a professor, so he now has airs and graces about having a 'library'. grin I know, however, that this is all just a ruse to have a place where he can have a sneaky whisky).

There won't be the space for a separate utility or even a pantry, but I will be able to have a 'cooking' end of the kitchen (the new bit) and more of a 'utility' end (the old bit, which is about 2.5 metres or so long and less than that in width).

There will be big, big, big windows out over the new bit so I can see my garden and nip out to grab weeds without anyone noticing. But we'll also potentially retain the current back door into the kitchen so I can avoid slopping muddy veg all over the new cooking area.

I also want a green roof, since I will be losing garden space otherwise!! grin

bigbadbarry Fri 08-Jan-16 10:12:16

Have you got an outside tap? Would be feasible to install a (lovely stone) sink there to rinse off the worst of the mud before you bring the veg in?

bookbook Fri 08-Jan-16 10:36:46

That sounds like the house I grew up in!
Is the door you are going to keep on the side, and the sink along the same wall? So you could have a sink, washer machine etc along the wall next to the door, before you get into the main part of the room , that seems a good plan
It sounds like it is going to be wonderful, and congratulations to your DH , every house should have books smile

shovetheholly Fri 08-Jan-16 11:38:16

bigbad - I do have an outside tap, and a stone sink would be a really lovely idea (in the summer, anyway grin). I've been thinking about how I might incorporate textual features into the garden, actually, having been a bit inspired by Little Sparta's language-statues. I really, really love the look of letters carved into stone - lots of inspiration on this site www.letteringartstrust.org.uk/ However, I fear this might be astronomically expensive to do!!

book - yes, the back door is on the side of the house, but the sink is on the back wall. (One of the problems with the current space is that, despite being tiny, it has two windows and a door, which seriously limits storage!). I will be redoing the plumbing so I can fit a washer and stuff on the other side, though, so no reason why there couldn't be a sink too.

I must ponder this issue further!!

There are literally thousands and thousands of inter-war houses in Sheffield that are identical to mine! It's not exactly a 'character property'!! But I love it and I love our neighbours, who are remarkably patient and tolerant with my gardening, even though they find it very strange. Especially the parts that involve poo, compost and rotting leaves!

funnyperson Fri 08-Jan-16 12:17:52

Not answering your question but just to say that after dithering over the shaker option for months I went for the gloss plain white modern option with white ceramic sinks and granite tops and am really really really pleased I did as the shaker option with wood would have instantly looked dated ad the gloss option is pleasant and calming ad easy to keep clean and not at all hospital like
Big freezer (tall not chest) pantry to store jams etc. area to store apples etc. amtico do very nice wood effect easy to clean floors not cold underfoot

shovetheholly Fri 08-Jan-16 12:48:11

funny - I'm really glad you like your kitchen! I am thinking of going for a gloss white, so it's reassuring to know that you are really pleased with yours. I find them easy to clean with a microfibre cloth and a bit of polish.

I'm wondering what I will be able to grow on my green roof. The garden (and hence also the extension) is north-facing... I don't know if sedums will really like it, considering the amount of rain we have here.

bookbook Fri 08-Jan-16 15:28:05

I have gloss white kitchen, with sparkly pale green quartz worktops, and love it.
Mine is north facing, so wanted it to be as bright as possible.
Does a green roof need a certain slope for true effectiveness. The only ones I have seen are on Grand Designs, and they come on a roll

shovetheholly Fri 08-Jan-16 15:53:57

Oooh, white and green sounds lovely actually. I hadn't considered green countertops!

I'm not sure about the slope for a green roof - apparently there is a tray thing that you put soil in and then plant into. (As you can probably tell, I'm not up on the technical side of this yet!! grin). I imagine that weight is an issue for anything of a domestic scale, so I'll have to see how much earth I can get away with. Wonder if I will be able to plant larger things like ferns on it? My bedroom will look out across it, so I have visions of sneaking out in my nightie to get rid of weeds grin.

One of the main reasons for doing it is that obviously I'm developing a small bit of ground, and I don't want to create run-off problems for those further down the hill. Sheffield only escaped the chaos this winter because the weather system was centred just to the north of us. I know it won't be my house alone that causes a flood, but I feel kind of responsible for doing my bit. Apparently, a green roof captures some rainfall and slows down the rate at which the rest of it hits the system. Plus, I can probably get another waterbutt in!! grin

DoreenLethal Fri 08-Jan-16 15:54:17

You have just given me an idea, I have a Belfast Sink that I was given for a project that is now not going to happen, so I can put that under a tap by the greenhouse and use it to wash veg outdoors. The drain can go straight into the drain that already exists there. Top banana!

SugarPlumTree Fri 08-Jan-16 16:52:42

I was really worried I'd blocked my sink washing dahlia tubers recently and was looking at a sink outside. Was quite taken with this one.

TheSpottedZebra Sat 09-Jan-16 10:20:54

Ooh, how exciting! I am determined to fit in a small chest freezer (to fill with fruit!) this year - something approx this size . I am v v pushed for space too, but I hope to squeeze it in, and maybe disguise the white somehow, and probably put a cat bed on top blush.

Will you have a dishwasher as well as a sink? As it could be that the sink and area become busy. I just use a trug, and scrubbing brush and Brent knife outside, as 8 rather keep the worst of the mud out. But also, I didn't invest in anything whizzy outside, as a) budget, and b) realistically I don't want to stand outside with my hands in cold water.

The other thing that makes a difference is the how the sink is installed, and what surface the counter in. Eg i think that wooden counters are hard tk keep clean if your splashing muddy water everywhere whilst washing veg. I also think that undermounted sinks, with the space behind the sink being all one material through to the splash back, are easier to look after than an over mount with lots of nooks and crannies.

For washing of less muddy things, if I have a lot, I tend to use a series of (all same size so they nest) colanders set over some rigid ikea trays which have quite high sides. Again, they stack easily for storage, and and draining can just be tipped away.

How do you cook -each night, or in bulk/ batches? Will you be preserving?

If you have lots of light, will you be able to grow some herbs inside?

Also, boring stuff - where will our shoes go,

rhihaf Sun 10-Jan-16 18:20:14

Am watching this thread with interest as fingers crossed we will be extending next year...

As far as muddy veg splashing all over kitchen goes, I think it's more about how deep your sink is rather than how big. If you can get a utility style sink that has a much deeper than normal bowl, you can chuck ur veg in and rinse without too much carnage. The only thing is, you will have to have a plastic washing up bowl to wash up in, rather than using the actual sink bowl IYSWIM...

We did this and it made a HUGE difference to mess on the worktops. The sink bowl is half the depth of the cupboard - when u open the sink cupboard you can see the bottom of the bowl is much lower than a normal one.

If you are going to grow veg though, keeping a big container of some kind with a gutter downpipe into it is always handy for watering, rinsing tools and veg. Good luck!

shovetheholly Mon 11-Jan-16 14:52:37

Oh, those are some GREAT ideas about the sink. Extra-deep sounds brilliant.

I think a lot of the problem at the moment is that my house used to be rented, so it has decades of terrible bodging and under-investment that are taking literally years to undo. The kitchen is the worst I have ever seen. It has clearly been fitted by someone who didn't have a clue what they were doing, and the sink/worktop configuration is so bad that it actually slopes wildly - it's virtually impossible not to slop whatever is in the sink all over the surfaces! And it is overmounted, though I didn't know the difference between this and undermounting until I saw Zebras post and did some googling!

I tend to batch cook, and I will be doing a bit of preserving though not mad amounts. I made about 30 jars of various chutneys last year, but I've never tried jam. Mostly, I tend to blanch and freeze veg, but am frustrated by my lack of freezer space, so I'm definitely looking for more of that. And I will definitely, definitely be having a dishwasher as I HATE washing up! grin

I love that outdoor sink, sugarplum. I don't know if it would be pretty enough to coax me to wash things outdoors in freezing weather, but in the summer it'd be fantastic.

bookbook Tue 12-Jan-16 11:45:20

Well, I must admit that DH and I are now making plans on how to achieve an outdoor sink! It is going to be next to our two kitchen compost bins, and near the greenhouse waterbutt, so I can wash and de leaf, tidy up the veg before it gets to the kitchen sink.. smile
Thank you shove for giving me the impetus !

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now