Tidy gardens have never been my forte. I know people whose gardens are both tidy and productive, but I also know people who get so hung up on tidiness that they seem to loose track of the point of vegetable gardening–growing and eating food.
Interestingly, concerns about the untidy appearance of vegetable gardening is often given as a rationale by public officials/HOA groups when they make decisions not to permit community gardens in highly visible public places.
To my mind, though, a lot can be done with hardscaping or other forms if permenant garden structure that can help counteract the flux and chaos that comes with growing food. And at the end of the day, what sends a stronger message of community rooted-ness and investment than people growing their own food?