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A traditional approach that's always appealing: grapes growing over an arbor with seating underneath. Imagine sitting in the shade on a warm day and simply reaching up to pick a handful of ripe grapes. Or better yet, sipping wine; it's certainly an appropriate use of the space. Just be sure to choose a surface beneath the arbor that fallen grapes won't permanently stain. Put out the chairs, open the wine and you're set.
Caution: Grapes can be poisonous to pets, so keep the two apart.
A surprising number of fruit trees can be espaliered. Apples are most commonly treated this way, but the technique works for peaches, nectarines, pears, plums and even cherries. It's more work than standard pruning, but you'll kill two birds with one stone: softening the surface of a long, unbroken wall and making the fruit incredibly easy to pick.
This contrast of a solid gate with open fencing on either side is appealing and somewhat unusual, providing a sense of enclosure that's not too overbearing. Though perennial vines would be the traditional choice, consider using beans, peas or tomatoes for a seasonal screening effect. You can always grab a quick bite as you go by.
A narrow side yard with no space for plants on the ground can become a productive garden area with the addition of an overhead structure. The design creates a shaded pathway and screening for people passing beneath, while the plants can take full advantage of available sun. It also helps separate and define the space from other parts of the landscape. In winter the open structure, free from plants, will allow much-needed light into the space.
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