Gardens of Provence

lavender_lass(4b)October 18, 2009

I really like french and english country is my home, and I seem to be moving towards cottage gardens in the front and shady side of the house, but would like to do more of a provence type of garden in the back, leading to my "potager".

The back yard gets a lot of sun and the summers here are very warm (90's in July and August) but the winters are cold and long. I'm thinking sunflowers, Hidcote lavender (zone 4) and maybe (eventually) an arbor with grapes over a seating area.

Does anyone else like this style of garden? Do you have any advice or pictures? Thank you!

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Well, no responses yet, but I have hope that someone may be reading this :)

After talking to Mom, we have decided to make some changes to the kitchen garden. She is going to grow some crops that are harder to grow here and I am going to do a real potager! She's two miles away, but no creek and she has frost a couple of weeks later than I do, so she's going to take the melons and some of the squash. She also will be doing more corn, which will leave me some room to design a more formal potager.

I'm hoping that after I get through my "provence garden" (still hoping for some help with this) I can have a covered arch into the potager, which will have a bird bath in the center with flowers around it. Four L-shaped beds will be in the middle, surrounding the bird bath and then beds along the edge of the potager. Half of these will be for vegetables and half for herbs and strawberries. I hope to have flowers mixed in with everything. The back side is bordered by a very large lilac hedge, the left side by sheds and the right side will have raspberries (purple and red). The front will hopefully have roses and lavender if the deer cooperate, otherwise deer-resistant perennials :)

    Bookmark   November 9, 2009 at 11:13PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

You may want to rethink inviting the birds with that bath. They'll probably want a snack too when they see those pretty berries, lol.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2009 at 2:15PM
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Then again, they will eat a lot of bad bugs... so maybe just cover the berries as they start ripening, rather than trying to keep the birds out.

And make sure you give the strawberries their own space. They will take over the entire garden if you let them!


    Bookmark   November 14, 2009 at 5:21PM
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Good to know about the strawberries :) We have a lot of birds here with the creek in the back pasture. They do eat a lot of bugs, but they don't like to come up to the house...too many barn kitties. Of course, ripe raspberries may have them changing their mind!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2009 at 8:59PM
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I've decided to replace the bird bath with a tiered fountain. I can't get power out to this area too easily, so I thought I would put flowers in it instead. It would be a nice focal point and give me a place to put the petunias. I'll still have some water for the birds in other parts of the garden and the horse's water tank is forty feet away :)

Still hoping for some ideas/suggestions for my little "provence" garden. Please feel free to contribute ideas, or even better, pictures!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2009 at 4:54PM
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diggity_ma(5 MA)

Have you seen the beautifully illustrated books by Louisa Jones? Look for The Art of French Vegetable Gardening and Kitchen Gardens of France (don't check Amazon though... I just did and for some odd reason they have these books for sale at $174 and $45 respectively! Must be a mistake of some kind - you should be able to pick up either book for under $20).

Anyway, both books are full of inspiration, useful ideas, and pictures that you'll wish you could have framed.


Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Imperative blog

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 4:40PM
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Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check it out this weekend :)

    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 2:04PM
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