Structural Brilliance: Revamp Your Garden Infrastructure for Maximum Impact

When people hear the word garden, most picture the things that grow there, from a crop of juicy tomatoes to lush, colorful blooms.

They’re not wrong; plants should have starring roles in a garden. But just like stars in the entertainment world, plants rely on supporting performers and a crew to truly shine.

In the case of gardens, those parts are filled by infrastructure: basic elements and structures that support the garden’s overall functionality and appeal. 

“Your infrastructure can include raised beds, which help with your soil and help keep your area cleaner,” Vego Garden Horticulturist Sydney Fiene said. “It can be a drip irrigation system — or even a good hose reel — or gravel or stepping stones for a pathway.”

Valuable roles to play

Garden pathway | Vego Garden

When it comes to infrastructure, each element, no matter how simple it may seem, can have a positive impact on your garden. For one thing, infrastructure can help you organize your garden space, making it easier to navigate and work in. Defined pathways, for example, make it easier for you and your visitors to walk through your garden without trampling delicate plants. 

Garden trellis | Vego Garden

Infrastructure can help in other ways, too. Structures like trellises and stakes provide support for your climbing plants, helping them grow upward and maximizing the space in your garden. They also improve air circulation around plants, reducing the risk of disease and mold. And infrastructure like raised beds and irrigation systems give you better control over your soil’s quality and moisture levels, resulting in optimal growing conditions for your plants.

In addition to contributing to a healthy, productive garden, infrastructure can help you create the kind of space that you’d want to spend time in. Well-designed infrastructure, whether it’s a pond, a seating area, or a sculpture, adds beauty and visual interest to a garden.  

Fiene’s list of go-to infrastructure includes decomposing granite (DG), a natural material made by breaking down solid granite through weathering and erosion. 

“I have it all around the ground of the garden,” Fiene said. “It really helps with controlling weeds, and it makes a good walkway.”

Fiene also enjoys the arched trellis system Vego Garden incorporated into its garden landscape. 

“It adds a beautiful walkway, and it's four and a half feet from one end to the other, perfect for people to walk through. We also have a focal point, which is our seating area with chairs and a fireplace.”

When it’s time for something new

If you’re thinking of adding to or enhancing your garden infrastructure, we recommend putting careful thought into your selections, just like you would with your plant choices.

“I would say, look at your space and whatever part you're not absolutely in love with, that is where you need to start,” Fiene said. “For example, if your hoses are just sitting on the ground and they look bad, or you keep tripping over them, then the solution would be to get either a hose hanger or a hose reel box or a retractable hose.

"There are lot of different options to make your garden beautiful and efficient. It's really a matter of what works for you and what you want to do with your space.”

Enhancing your garden’s infrastructure does not have to break the bank, Fiene added. You have plenty of budget-friendly options for finding the elements you want.

“Check your local Facebook Marketplace, garage sales, or flea markets. You can find hundreds of different things there,” she said. “Another possibility would be asking your friends or family if they have any extra things lying around that they don't mind parting with.”

You can also save money by building something you want, like a bench or planters. Or you can organize a neighborhood swap where gardeners would exchange items they don’t need anymore.

Water features can enhance garden beauty | Vego Garden

Here are a few infrastructure enhancements to consider to elevate your garden space.

  • Decorative elements: You can add visual interest to your garden with sculptures, ornamental lighting, water features, or colorful signage.
  • Functional features: Additions like rain barrels, compost bins, or tool storage solutions can make your garden more efficient
  • Sustainable choices: If you’re interested in environmentally friendly options, try using elements made of reclaimed materials, selecting durable products, or incorporating habitat features like birdhouses or butterfly gardens to support local wildlife.

Caring for your infrastructure

Keep in mind that once your infrastructure is in place, it will need regular maintenance.

“Maintenance is really one of the important things in gardening,” Fiene said, “It can help with the aesthetics of the area, and it can save you money in the long run. It also can increase property value and, depending on the kind of infrastructure, help control pests and diseases.”

Maintenance needs will vary, depending on your infrastructure. Pathways and walkways, for example, will need regular sweeping to remove debris, occasional weeding to prevent vegetation from growing through cracks, and repairs to cracks or uneven surfaces. 

With fences and trellises, you’ll need to inspect them for loose or damaged sections. Fences will need to be repainted or stained occasionally as they show signs of weathering.

If you have wooden raised beds, keep an eye out for signs of rot including soft or crumbling wood and uneven beds.

Irrigation systems in your garden will need regular check-ups for leaks and clogs. You’ll probably need to replace damaged or worn-out parts occasionally and flush out drip lines to prevent mineral buildup. 

If you have garden structures, like an archway or pergola, check them for signs of decay or damage, including sagging or leaning structures, loose or missing hardware, or peeling paint.

In your garden, your plants may take the spotlight, but it will be the infrastructure that supports their growth and enhances the area’s overall beauty. By putting thought and care into both plants and infrastructure, you’ll be setting the stage for a healthy garden that's both functional and aesthetically pleasing.


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