Last fall I had the pleasure of visiting Dallas for an exceptionally fun wedding. We went out for brunch on Saturday morning before all the big festivities began and enjoyed the ambience of the restaurant. Then, as we were walking out, I spotted the courtyard. This is the wall decoration in said courtyard:
These were some seriously fabulous gutters! The restaurant has a series of staggered black metal gutters bolted to a brick wall within an inner courtyard. The gutters are planted with succulents, cacti and ferns. I managed to snap this photo with my phone (while trying not to disturb the diners in the courtyard) as my slightly embarrassed husband made a swift move for the exit. There was just no chance I wasn't going to document this display.
I've seen posts about gutter gardens for several years now, with one gardener in Alaska ingeniously using gutters along the side of her house to maximize her limited sun and space. But this was the first (and only) gutter garden I have seen in action. I'm sold. This looked great- very modern and organic at the same time. Plus it brought a lot of green into an indoor space. I was instantly jealous that we weren't seated next to this lovely planting.
If you have limited space in your garden (even just a balcony!) or want to keep food away from marauding pets (I'm looking at you Snoutface-the-strawberry-stealer) a gutter garden could be a great way to go. Plants with shallow roots would do very well in this setting including strawberries, herbs, lettuce, chard, or spinach. There isn't enough space for the big guys like squash or tomatoes but that's okay. With a gutter o' greens you'd have your very own salad bar all season long!