Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Potager Garden

As one of our many landscaping improvements this Spring, the Mr. was coerced into building a fabulous new garden fence for me with cool doors and latches. It is totally countrified quaint, absolutely to die for! I was thus inspired to try something a bit more elaborate with my vegetable garden plan. Since I now had a clean slate after removing the Strawberries and Chives, I decided to completely rethink my concept of vegetable gardens. With my cute new fence, and newly built stone walls, I didn’t want boring old rows, oh no, the new garden had to be an *experience*. After some research I came across the Potager garden concept as well as the theories behind companion planting and decided to combine the two into my new garden design.

Potager (pronounced: pot-ah-zhay) is a French term for an ornamental vegetable garden. Or some might say it is a wonderfully pretentious way of saying you have built yourself a super fancy kitchen garden. The main goal of the Potager garden is to present vegetables usually grown for practical purposes in the most aesthetically pleasing way. Potager garden plants are chosen as much for their functionality as for their color and form. Meaning, if you plant cabbage, plant the purple instead of the plain, if you plant eggplant, plant three different kinds for visual interest and texture. Often flowers (edible and non-edible) and herbs are planted with the vegetables to enhance the garden's beauty. This, if you ask me, is a perfect match for those interested in Companion planting. Companion planting is based on the theory that many plants have natural substances in their roots, flowers and leaves that can alternately repel and/or attract insects depending on your needs. In some situations they can also help enhance the growth rate, productivity and flavor of other varieties. There is extensive information on this topic as well as guides as to which plants like each other and which plants do not. I poured over this information for days, while I scientifically and aesthetically devised my garden masterpiece. :) I’m not sure how successful it will be, but the planning and scheming was half the fun.

Here is my Potager Garden plan:

The actual plan is a one inch to scale plan for our 14’ x 35’ space (meaning the drawing is over 3 feet long). There is also a diagram for two stone walls with flower plots (Cactus Flowered Zinnias) in front as well as an extended flower plot outside of the fenced area (Mexican Sunflowers).

Here is what I planted:

Vegetables: Zucchini, Summer Squash, Cucumbers, Sugar Snap Peas, Flat leaf Spinach, Purple Cabbage, White Icicle Radish, Cherry Belle Radish, Cherokee Wax (yellow) Bean, Green Bush Snap Beans, Peppers (Kaleidoscope Mix, California Wonder, Jalapeno, Corno di Toro), Celery, Lettuce (Loose-leaf Blend, Vivian, Iceberg, and Butter-head), , Eggplant (Black Beauty, Japanese, White, and Gretel), Basil, Cilantro, Carrots and Tomatoes (Grape, Plum, and Salad).

Flowers: Nasturtiums, Morning Glory Scarlett O’Hara, Dwarf Sunflowers, and Marigolds (Scarlet Starlets, Safari Mix, Snowdrift, Calendula Pacific Beauty Mix).

Here are the photos of my new Potager Garden in progress:

Here are some previous versions of our Vegetable Garden:

The 2009 Vegetable Garden:

The 2008 Vegetable Garden:

The 2007 Vegetable Garden:


Ann Flowers said...

Wow...your vegetable garden looks cool and you have got a nice cute gardener. It was nice going through your blog. Keep on posting.

Rose Silver said...

Certainly, you are right that some plants don't like each other and other plants compliment each other. I have a friend who keeps on complaining of worms on his eggplants, I told him to inter-crop it with peppers to keep those worms at bay and it worked.

modeflowers said...

Your garden is so clean and well arranged. I love the way you planned it.