Welcome friends...thanks for coming by. We're seeking beauty in all of creation... in our faith and our families; our art and our music; our crafts and kitchens, and even in our own backyard. We'll share a poem or a recipe, a picture or a memory; maybe a dream of how we wish our life could be. And though we acknowledge that the world can be harsh, we're keeping it pleasant in our little corner; endeavoring to keep the words from the Book of all Books: ...Whatsoever things are lovely; think on these things.

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Photo: Bee and thistle: Taken high in the Cascade Mountains where there is a bee buzzing on every thistle. by Debora Rorvig

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Potagers...the French kitchen garden

Is there anything in life that can't be turned into art? I think not! I've been dreaming and scheming; up all hours of the night, pouring over seed catalogs and gardening websites when it struck me like a bolt of lightning...why not make my veggie garden a combination of flowers and vegetables with a formal geometric layout that would make it easier to get around and weed? And to add to the interest, I envisioned scarlet runner beans on a teepee in the center for a colorful, vertically interesting, and rustic, cottage-y feeling. I would build my garden around this central focal feature. Gardening meets quilting! So I poked around the internet looking for gardens that include flowers, herbs, and veggies in pleasing geometric layouts. What I found was that my big idea is not original (I always think my 2 A.M. harebrained schemes are original) and not only is it not original, it's been done for centuries and has a name; Potager. Here's how Wikipedia defines a potager...

"The traditional kitchen garden, also known as a potager (in French, jardin potager) or in Scotland a kailyaird,[1] is a space separate from the rest of the residential garden – the ornamental plants and lawn areas. Most vegetable gardens are still miniature versions of old family farm plots, but the kitchen garden is different not only in its history, but also its design.
The kitchen garden may serve as the central feature of an ornamental, all-season landscape, or it may be little more than a humble vegetable plot. It is a source of herbs, vegetables and fruits, but it is often also a structured garden space with a design based on repetitive geometric patterns.
The kitchen garden has year-round visual appeal and can incorporate permanent perennials or woody shrub plantings around (or among) the annuals."

I was actually kind of relieved to see that there are others that are as crazy and obsessive as I am.  
Urban Potager Kitchen Gardens, Chicago
Photo credit by Lisa Hubbard, Country Living
The vegetable garden with wonderful view of French Country House

Photo credit by Lisa Hubbard

This weekend hubby and I planted our potager in my community garden plot over at the Methodist Church. It of course, centers around a tee-pee of scarlet runner beans. Around the beans is a diamond shaped set of rows--one side lettuce, one side carrots, one side onions, and the last side is radishes. The corners are dahlias. Between them are dill, kale, and peppers. Along the far row are two spinach beds, and gladiolus along the front entrance. Here's my original plan...

It's all planted...my first official potager! I've named it Debora's Jardin Potager. Kelly helped a lot with the measuring and layout. I just wish I had room for  nasturtiums...

I'm calling it Debora's Jardin Potager.
All I need is a little sunshine and some fine-misty rains!

The Humble Potager
from the Humble Potager



Bookie said...

These pictures are gorgeous, probably been work in progress for long while. Keep us posted on how your new idea goes. Good Luck.

Susan said...

Oh, Debora. What a splendid idea! I just visited Cooperstown, N.Y.'s Farmers' Museum this past weekend.

Oh, the garden in the little village would set your heart to pounding. It's all surrounded by a gorgeous white fence.

Oh, it would be the garden design of my dreams.

Take care and good luck with the garden. Susan

Debora said...

Thanks Bookie! I'll post some pics after things really start growing.

Susan, a Farmer's Museum???Oh my! That would be so fun to visit. I think Cooperstown has some kind of baseball museum too, doesn't it. Maybe hubby and I will visit one day and we could see both...

Elephant's Child said...

What a brilliant idea. And I love the combination of plants which are good for our body and good for our souls. And some of course are both.

farmlady said...

Well even if this wasn't your "original" idea, I think it was very original of you to plan one out and recreate it.
Each of the photos are so unique and yours will be Debora's creation... all her very own.
Have fun with it.

Debora said...

Thanks Elephant's Child and Farmlady! I think most of the fun is in the planning...that and enjoying the finished product which does indeed feed the body and the soul.

euthymic said...

This is the first time I learned about a potager. It's so lovely to imagine a vegetable herbal garden separate from the rest of the family garden. The photos are beautiful. Good luck in planting your potager and I look forward to seeing the finished product:)

Linda O'Connell said...

What a delight to have in your own backyard. These photos are gorgeous. I can only imagine sitting in a garden such as one of these.

Red Gate Farm said...

How fun! Although I grow flowers in my veggie garden it's no where as pretty as this... can't wait to see it when it sprouts and grows :)


Debora said...

Thank you so much! I certainly hope that my garden turns out half as beautiful as the photographs!

Debora said...

The photos are beautiful aren't they? but I can't take credit for them. My potager will be in a community garden because my backyard is too shady. I hope that my fellow community gardeners will like the idea and perhaps we can have as many as 10 potagers all in one huge plot!

Debora said...

Thanks Chris- but I think you're being too modest... your farm and grounds are absolutely lovely!

K9friend said...

There are few things more lovely and peaceful than a beautiful garden. Enjoy!

Critter Alley


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