New Potager Photos Anyone?

macgregor(6MA)March 14, 2012

Periodically someone asks for people's photos - and although it's March and not peak growing season for most of us, I am asking for any potager photos - no matter the stage/season - that folks would like to share.

For some of us this is an important planning/plotting time before planting; and for others of us our garden is thriving. I'd love to see both and I think we all benefit greatly from ideas and photos shared -

Thank you!

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Here are a few:

Early in the season

The view from the driveway

and near the garage, at the arbor

Another view from the driveway

View from near the arbor

Flowers and pole beans with arbor in the background

and flowers with tomatoes behind them

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 7:48AM
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What beautiful photos! They are an inspiration, your potager looks like what one would imagine a classic French potager to be. Functional yet so pretty. You can imagine Monet parking his easel in your garden and painting the flowers spilling across paths, and in bunches near the vegetables. And the tomato tripods, which add so much interest to the garden.

The table and chairs right there, near everything, is a great idea. Something I had only thought about but now will do in mine! A place to put a pitcher of iced tea while working, and drop into a chair for a break. (or have friends over)

It's also helpful to see your "before" early spring photo compared to the ones taken later in the season. And lucky you to have a greenhouse!

Thanks so much for posting all these great photos.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 8:57AM
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Very nice garden! Its so much less formal than most of the Potager gardens I see posted here. It feels very welcoming.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 9:17AM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

How nice that you have a greenhouse! What do you have growing in it now?

Ordered an aluminum fence for the garden. The current one started to rust after only 6 months. Live and learn.

Here's my kitchen garden.


during heavy downpour on 2.18.12...

Yesterday after transplanting 11 tomatoes. This weekend I'll harvest the remaining lettuce, then turn that bed and plant the rest of the tomatoes. I'll have about 3 dozen to put curbside free for the taking.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 12:39PM
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What a lovely potager. Your arbor is gorgeous, it gives a very stately look to your garden.

Sorry about the fencing,hope you have lots better luck with the aluminum.

I am so envious that you are growing tomatoes right in Massachusetts we just have to be patient until May (yikes).

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 1:29PM
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Natal, I love your potager, and I especially envy you that cold frame. I've thought of having one but never did.

I mostly use my greenhouse as a waystation for the seedlings that I start indoors. In the first picture you can see a small white heater on the shelf at the back of the greenhouse, and we use that in the early spring to keep the temperatures above freezing at night when we have flats out there. The light in the greenhouse is much better than the fluorescent bulbs in my indoor setup, and it allows the plants to get stronger and sturdier, so as soon as they have a few true leaves the flats go out there until they're ready for the garden. I also use the greenhouse for annual flowers that I buy early on, so I can get a good selection and keep them safe before temperatures will allow them to be planted out. Other than that the greenhouse is mostly a garden shed and holds tools and other supplies. I haven't figured out a way to use it any more extensively.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 1:38PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

Only a gardener would go out in torrential rains to take a pic of their garden! LOL Nancy

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 8:47PM
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Riverfarm and both have such lovely gardens!

Here's a picture of mine. There's not much going on with gardens, until April, in our area :) From Lavender's Garden

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 2:17PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Macgregor, thanks! I can't seem to decide what to grow on the arbor. First year it was Sweet Autumn clematis. Last year I tried climbing roses. This year I have a few clematis on one side and honeysuckle and jasmine on the other. Both sides have Mexican Flame vine. We'll see how the combos play out.

Riverfarm, I use my cold frame the same way you use your greenhouse. As seen as my seeds germinate they get moved to the cold frame.

Btw, is that purple martin house in your yard? My favorite local nursery has a few houses. When I visited today the birds were vocalizing like crazy.

Nancyjane, it sort of looks like that, doesn't it? ;) I was actually high and dry inside looking out the window.

LL, it's so pretty covered in snow. April will be here before you know it.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 5:39PM
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Natal, we do purple martin houses but alas, no purple martins. Currently the bluebirds are using them for a perch as they survey the fields. We have occasionally had a martin or two move in but they never seem to stay, even though we have English sparrow excluders and chase them out if they dare to try to take over. This is a good area for purple martins and we even host a Purple Martin Festival in August because our river is a staging area for them as they gather to migrate south. For some reason the martins just don't like our property, though.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 7:20PM
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Natal- Thank you. It does seem to take forever, for spring to get here!

Well, this morning it was snow...but by this afternoon, it was sunny and the snow had melted. Typical March weather!

Here are a few more pictures. As you can see, I have a lot of help, while I garden. Even, if I'm just out taking pictures, everyone has to find out what's going on :) From Lavender's Garden From Lavender's Garden

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 9:49PM
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This year i'm starting over after a few years off, and trying to build up a potager style from previous years where it was just a plan dirt row garden. So glad to see some activity in this forum!

So far my beds are just outlined with scrap wood or leftover deadwood from tree trimmings, and my pathways are just hay, but I figured it's a start anyway


    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 8:03PM
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Sorry about that, the picture didn't work!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 8:10PM
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You've made a great start.

I love the criss-cross in the center, that will be beautiful with the outer beds around it. Nice design.

Thanks for sharing your photo and happy Spring!


    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 9:05PM
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My new garden early last summer:

And early October:

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 11:01AM
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Ok, I'll share a picture of my new potager-in-progress, but it is pretty ugly compared to all of these other lovely pictures! I reused everything I could from previous garden layouts I've had over the last two years (which didn't work out so well). This is my first year trying the potager approach though. I took apart the raised beds from last year, resized and reassembled them and moved them to the new garden. I am even transferring the soil from the old beds - and some spinach and lettuce that made it through the winter.

I still need to place the large 4'x8' bed in the center of the potager, fill the rest of the beds with soil and plant, put up a proper fence and gate, and attach cattle panels to the wooden fence so I can trellis things. My back yard is very small - this 12'x16' potager was the biggest I could fit in, which limited my design options. I plan to put an arbor and gate at the entrance, and a second arbor over a bench at the other end so I can sit and admire the fruits of my labors :) In the center of the big bed in the middle, I will put a fountain, birdbath or something - hoping for a water feature as I think the sound of running water would be a nice touch.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 12:02AM
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Skitt, the early and late photos of your garden are very inspirational! It looks great. But how do you get INto your garden, with that fence around it?

Canokie, yours looks great, too. Please post more photos when you have it all set up, and also later in the season. The size of yours will make you pay a lot more attention to successional plantings than I do, and that's more like a true potager anyway.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 7:13AM
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Skitt, I love the shape of your planting beds - very cool. And the tree in the center is a great idea. Is it a fruit tree? I have dwarf apples and love them.

Canokie, Don't be discouraged, you have a wonderful start there. You have obviously done a ton of work and it shows. The stockade fence on two sides will be a pretty backdrop for whatever is growing in front of it.

One of the things I struggle with (besides moving 100-lb. pavers LOL) is not being able to do more right away in my potager. When you have a picture in your mind of what you want it to look like, it's hard to be patient when there's just so much time, energy, and let's face it, money in the budget. But I try to remember that getting there is supposed to be half the fun. And then we have all those wonderful fruits and veggies!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 10:24AM
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I just step over the fence. I have some blocks that I sometimes use to make it a little easier to get over. My 4 year old can even get over it. I wish I didn't have to have the fence, but our rabbits are rampant.

The tree in the middle is a peach. It's definitely zone stretching, but it's worth a try! Along the picket fence I have a plum tree and two pears, and red and black currants.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 6:15PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

Canokie, It is looking good. You have to start somewhere. If I ever get around to posting pictures I can show you where I am at. I am on year 3 and still, not all of the beds are done.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 8:04AM
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Thanks everyone, for the encouragement. I'll be sure to post updates. In the meantime, I'd love to see pictures of any other potagers. I find them so inspiring :)


    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 8:01PM
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ilovemyroses(8 Dallas TX)

Canokie, what type of wood is that? Are they 12" wide? Looks great! I'm inspired, as mine will be similar to yours, I like the wood! You said it is used, how old...just trying to see how long it might last!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 10:52PM
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Those are just 2" by 12" pine lumber like you would get at Home Depot. I went with the cheapest I could get, thinking by the time it had to be replaced I could replace it with something more permanent, like stone. So far it has lasted pretty well. The wood for the small 2' by 2' beds at either end is two years old. The longer beds are made mostly from lumber I bought last year. I think I will probably get at least a couple more years out of these boards, if not more.

Here's an updated pic. I went ahead with the planting even though I don't have the arbor or gate done, and the center bed is still in progress. I have sweet potato slips arriving next week, and plan to plant them in that bed. I'm trying to be patient but its hard because I know it would look a lot better if I could just find the time and energy to carry out the rest of my plans. I'm grateful for all the rain this spring, as last year's drought was terrible, but it seems to always come on the weekends, which keeps me inside looking out longingly into the back yard lol! I really need a higher fence and a proper gate though, as my son's Jack Russell terrorist is driving me crazy! Somehow she has figured out how to get in despite my efforts. I think she must be leaping over it, which means I need a four foot fence I guess.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 10:29AM
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ilovemyroses(8 Dallas TX)

conokie, yes, me too. listening to the rain drip outside. I am having to de-grass by hand and despite the rain, I have done probably 15 square feet of de-grassing.

oh, what is it, to have your hands in the soil. some women ... diamonds, me? rich organic soil!

ok, I'll take the diamonds too!

I am going your way of the lumber. Think I am going to get cedar, 2 by's. I really like the look of wood.

I like your stakes, too. How many square feet is that?

I wonder what a 'good' sq. foot count is for a potager.

Thanks for the id on the lumber! I'll post pics someday when I figure it out.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 8:36PM
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I got a laugh out of the diamonds :) That's me too.

Yes, I like the look of the wood too, especially once it weathers to that gray color. I just love Riverfarm's potager with the little sign over the entrance, and plan to do something similar. But first I have to get the arbor built.

My potager is 12' by 16', so the total enclosed area is 192 square feet. The raised beds are 112 square feet and the rest is pathways. I think my potager is probably the smallest one here, and I would love to have one three times this size but that's all my back yard will allow. There is just enough room for a 3 foot pathway between the potager and the air conditioner and corner of the back patio (my back yard is extremely small). However, I read a couple of books, one called The Backyard Homestead, and the other called Mini Farming. They both gave pretty detailed breakdowns of how much food you can grow per square foot using raised beds and other intensive gardening principles. I can't remember all of the details now, but I decided that 100 square feet was enough to grow a significant portion of my own food, especially if I add some berries and fruit trees along the fence in the side yard. And its amazing how much work even a garden this size can be!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 11:07AM
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Yes! I just figured out by accident how to post photos! This is from two or three years ago. Don't know how to post more than one at a time. Here's one, taken at about this time of year. Not a great photo, but now that I know how to post I'll work on my photography skills. I'm not sure this meets the strict definition of a potager (especially with corn!), but it's a veg garden with flowers and herbs, so maybe it does.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 2:02AM
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valree3(Nv zone 4)

Egganddart49, your garden looks beautiful! Is your garden doing as well this yr? I have also just figured out how to post pics. This pic. was taken last Aug. We had a hard freeze Jun 8th this yr. so the garden isn't looking to perky right now. The potatoes really look bad but they will bounce back before our next frost in Aug. sometime!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 1:08PM
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Val, thank you. You garden under challenging conditions, with last and first frosts just two months apart! Your picture is beautiful too. Are those purplish plants kale, or some brassica: They make a really nice border.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 12:17AM
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valree3(Nv zone 4)

Egganddart49 - the purplish plants are flowering kale. They really made a great border around the potatoes. Are area is in the Great Basin Desert and it can be frustrating but you watch the weather in June and Aug. and cover up when needed for frosts. After a frost in Aug we get and "Indian summer" that can last for another month. We just watch the weather again for frosts.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 7:08PM
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