Does anyone have a potager?

lavender_lassAugust 13, 2010

I know a lot of you own older homes, so I'm wondering...does anyone have a potager?

They're very pretty vegetable gardens, laid out in (usually) formal, geometric patterns. The garden combines vegetables and herbs with flowers and often fruit. Raspberries are often used for an edge to the garden and dwarf fruit trees and espaliered fruit trees are very popular. The beds are often edged with boxwood, lavender or flowers.

Anyway, just curious...and if you do have one, how do you like it? I just started one this year and I love it! It's turning more into fruit, herbs, flowers and a few perennial veggies, with a separate garden for annual vegetables and boxwood, but plenty of lavender :)

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I don't have a potager garden per se, but because I live on a small urban lot, vegetables, herbs, and a fruit tree are mixed in with the flowers.

I have a cottage garden beside the driveway with irises, phlox, foxglove, coneflower, roses, nasturtium, and cosmos with a dwarf plum tree in the center of it.

Along the deck I have butterfly bush, aster, climbing rose, hollyhocks, and a big pumpkin vine intertwining.

And on the deck in pots I have two tomatoes, morning glories, violas, raspberries, and peppers, and another piece of the giant pumpkin vine intertwining up to the deck.

So, not a potager garden, but close! And I love it!!!!!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 8:35PM
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Lass, did you see the post down below titled: "Old Interior Pictures"? Sorry, didn't know how else to get your attention in regards to it. Check out the pics on "Cottages".

To make this somewhat relevant to this post - the use of vines trained to grow up the sides of Victorian houses surprises me. Check out all the strings put up around the porches. krycek1984 your pumpkin vine "intertwining up to the deck" is interesting!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 9:51AM
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I'm trying hard to remember where we went that we toured a potager garden. I'm thinking it was Williamsburg, but then we also did some places in Boston too. And Ireland.

What I remember the most was the dwarf boxwood outlining the quartered plantings of the herbs. For vines, they had the wooden obelishs. An arbor was in the back corner. The roses were the old ones, Apothecary rose was one I recall. There was a section of culinary herbs, and one for medicinal herbs. As a gardener, I was enchanted with the tour.

I'd surely love to see your garden pictures when you can manage, LavenderLass. It makes sense to me that there would be lots of lavender in your garden! I've tried so often to grow it but hard to find a variety which doesn't stress out in our heat and rosemary is another story!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 11:01PM
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How fun lav, I'd love to see pics! We're ripping out all of the goofy gardens here and replacing them with formal and historically correct gardens including about a million boxwoods. We'll have a potager in the back area surrounding the adult eating space. We're also doing a maze :) for DS and future D whatevers :) I have this LOVELY english gardener helping me with it. HE's retired but comes from a family of professional gardeners in england. They've done amazing work in their lifetimes (castle gardens etc). I'm darned lucky he retired here and is was dying to get his hands on my yard LOL

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 11:52AM
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Krycek- Your garden sounds beautiful! Do you have any pictures?

Schoolhouse- I did see those pictures. They have some interesting kitchen pictures, too.

Moccasin- It would be great to see some actual examples of potagers. I've just been using pictures in book and on the Internet, especially on the GW forums. The potager forum has wonderful photos.

Igloochic- That sounds like so much fun. To be able to redesign the space AND have such a talented designer to work wonderful!

I'm going to try to take pictures. Right now, there are so many weeds (this garden was the horse corral and pasture for years) that all I do is weed and they're back again. I probably started too many gardens this year :)

The other night, I was weeding the kitchen garden, as we call it, and I thought to myself, I feel like I'm restoring an old ruin. LOL The weeds are over 3' tall and I keep finding all these great shrubs and plants underneath them. They're all in wonderful shape, just hidden by weeds.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to check on the Garden Restoration forum...and what do you know. My kitchen garden design is very similar to a 1920's garden. The funny part is, most of my roses that I planted this spring, would have been popular around the 1920's, mainly because the "newest" roses in those gardens are the hybrid musks. I didn't know there was a 1920's garden style, but now I want to research it a little more :)

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 4:14PM
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Lavender, what a great project you have going! Make a drawing of the garden and as you discover new treasures, put them in their spots on the drawing. By numbering each kind of plant, and taking a picture of it, you can create a garden journal that will be a history tale.

I will ask my DH where we visited that potager garden si I can pass it along to you. Perhaps you will be close enough to visit it yourself. Take LOTS of pictures!

My DVD player is not working now, and a replacement is on its way, but until then I cannot access my archived photos. I'd show you the ones I took if I could.

And have a great opportunity there to keep a blog story going, with your English gardener to fill in the reasons why things are designed in specific ways.
I like knowing WHAT, but also WHY.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 4:48PM
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Lavender, we need some pics! You figured out how to upload them. We all want to see your potager garden! LOL! And your old house!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 1:29PM
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Krycek- I was hoping to get the beds a little more weeded and presentable, before I took pictures. With all that's been going on, I haven't had a chance to do more than water, before I'm up helping at my mom's, after work. Anyway, I will take photos, weeds and all, this weekend. Then you can see how much better it looks after I weed :)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 1:53PM
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The old house we bought has concrete "edging" laid out along each side of the sidewalk, outlining beds in front of the front porch, and along the fence in front. Each half of the yard, which is split in two by the entry sidewalk, has an old-timey umbrella shaped plant hanger. The picture I posted on my "Hello" thread barely shows the concrete edging. It's mostly overgrown right now with grass. You can also see just a smidgen of one of the plant hangers. Until we move there permanently, I'm not going to do too much with the beds, but I've been toying with just that idea, a potager. It seems to be ready made.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 3:07PM
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Lavender_Lass, I noticed on the gardening side of GW a forum for Potager Gardens. If you have not visited it, perhaps you'd enjoy discovering others on GW who do have such a garden.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 9:26PM
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They do have a potager forum and I have visited it...several times :)

Here is a picture of my '1920s' garden, which started out as a potager/kitchen garden and has ended up being a lot more perennial flowers, fruit, herbs, shrubs, etc. My husband took this picture the other night, just as the sun was going down, behind the hill.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 10:48PM
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Lavender, what a great garden area you have. Love the way your beds of flowers give a lot of area to walk around, and do not simply do the edges.

May I ask what are the tall metal pieces that look like they might form a gazebo? Are you intending for vines to cover them? Or maybe roses? It appears that your bird bath is centered under it, and I like that it gives a sweet focal point to your garden.

As time goes by, you may want to add some dwarf Korean boxwood, which do not require as constant maintenance as the regular boxwood. When we were in Ireland, we saw some regular boxwood 30 FEET TALL, which they claimed to be the tallest in the WORLD. Like trees they were.

You have the perfect place for hummingbird and butterfly plants, either to feed them or to host them.

Thanks for letting us see part of your garden.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 1:02PM
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Lavender Lass, that garden is just dreamy! I think I need a potager garden too.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 2:17PM
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Moccasin- The arbor is metal and I got it from a garden center at a local store. I'm planting clematis on all four corners. I love roses, but so do the deer and they've been snacking on the few roses I do have in that garden.

The birdbath is actually in front of the arbor, but I'm trying to decide if I want to leave it there, or center it in the bed in front of the horses. Then I might put four small 3'x5' beds in that open space...a small potager for mini-veggies for the nieces and nephews :)

Here's a picture of the horses (taken that same night) as they had to see what we were doing. You can see the arbor a little bit better. I've also included one that shows the garden, before we put in the plants.

Powermuffin- You should put in a potager. Any size, any shape...they're fun to design and very practical. You can grow a lot of food, if you like, or mostly herbs and flowers.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 8:03PM
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I picked up some books this weekend at the library. So now I am planning for spring. You've inspired me!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 1:34PM
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Diane- I can't wait to see your garden next year! You're going to have so much fun planning it. Have you checked out Jennifer Bartley's, Designing the American Potager? It's a great book and will give you lots of wonderful ideas :)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 8:42PM
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Thanks LL - I didn't see that book. I'll check it out.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 10:21AM
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