Pictures of my garden and potager

lyonsy(10 CA)November 6, 2007


I created this garden 8 years ago and sold the house 3 years ago. The new owner tore out the garden and replaced it with horse coralls..c'est la vie.

Here are a few memories...

Working on my new potager at the moment.


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Sigh, that's lovely!

Exactly, exactly what I want. Sorry it only exists in memory. I'm in design phase, with an irregular space (sort of a rounded dog leg with not a straight line in sight!) do you have any design/layout tips for me. I SO want the more formal layout, but I don't know if it's doable.
Beautiful work!
Sandra in MD

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 2:51PM
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ninjabut(USDA z 8,CA)

OMG why would anyone mess with perfection????
Did you have multi acres?
I have 1 1/4 acres, but my vege area is very small!
I'm enlarging it every year.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 11:03PM
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lyonsy(10 CA)

Sandra, Nancy..

Thanks for the nice comments. No my lot was just shy of 1/2 an acre and the garden was formerly a tennis court. I would not do such a formal design again and my new garden will use some of the old wood but I want to organise it in a less linear way. Also I want to mix flowers and veg more effectively...this I think help with pest control as the beneficial insects are right "in" the midst of the veg plot and it increases the chances of them eating a bad bug.


PS Two great books are: Kitchen Gardens Of france/Louisa Jones, and Designing the New Kitchen Garden (an American Potager handbook) Jennifer R Bartley

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 9:54PM
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ninjabut(USDA z 8,CA)

Be carefull of those danged nasturtiums! They can take over the garden!
I've been ripping them out like crazy, and I still am finding seeds all over the garden area!
I love the plants and the flowers, but I tore out all the plants and threw them along the fenceline, hoping they will line the yard. NT

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 9:10PM
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Thanks for the tips (both here and on the other thread where I asked about layout in an irregular shaped space) I have ordered the second book, but didn't know about the first. Meanwhile I guess I will have to reconcile myself to the fact that I don't live in a chateau in France where there is the perfect rectangular/square space in which to plant. I LIKE straight lines, then planting a bit crazy within these boundries, otherwise I just look like a big mess. I'm going back to look at the photo in the other thread again, and to ponder this possiblity.
Thanks again for the help. I would love to see this garden once it's filled in, if possible.
Also, why wouldn' t you do such a formal layout again? Is this not the same thing as saying you won't do a potager again? Curious..

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 10:23PM
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How lovely!
I can't wait to start my potager in the spring. My problem is different then Sandra's. I have an area that is rectangular and joined to a perfect square =(.
No matter how much I try to plant in a square it always ends up round!
Your's is just beautiful John and I hope to see more pictures all winter to keep spirits up =)

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 5:48PM
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Hi John,

Beautiful garden! I would like to do something similar in part of our backyard that is currently lawn. Can you tell me what material you used for the pathways between the raised beds and the width of the pathways? Would you use the same materials again or have you discovered something better? Thanks!


    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 11:05AM
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lyonsy(10 CA)

Dear Anne,

I used wood chips between the beds from a clearing and tree shredding that I did. I leave 3ft between beds to allow a wheelbarrow to be brought through. I love natural materials that breakdown over time and add to the soil so the wood chips were perfect. The raised beds were made from untreated redwood.


I will post a few pics of my new garden (former lawn) that I took out. Began this project last July by laying heavy cardboard on the dead ish lawn (did not water for 9 months..grass was still not dead!!) and covered the whole yard with 2 ft of fresh horse manure over the course of 3 months. Pics to follow in next post.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 12:03AM
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lyonsy(10 CA)

My latest project...its an L shape and I do not bother to grow too its not technically a potager but rather a raggle taggle Kitchen Garden !! I will grow echevaria and other succulents on the whimsical chair. Painters ladder was used for beans and corn (see first picture) during the summer and is now getting gradually covered in Royal Family Sweetpeas for the winter..I live in Los Angeles. Most of the pictures taken this week. Enjoy.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 12:23AM
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I am speechless at the beauty of both your potagers! I lust after such perfection! Ab-so-lute-ly wonderful! I live in suburb of L.A., San Pedro, and have a backyard with lots of possibilities. Until recently, I really couldn't spend a lot of time in my garden. Your pictures have motivated me and inspired me! Garden on! meo :-)

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 10:45PM
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lyonsy(10 CA)


Thanks for the nice comments. The second set of pictures show a garden that was only started in July of this year. CA is a wonderful climate for gardening.

Email me privately if you have any questions ....the secret is in making the soil rich, deep and well wed.


    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 1:29AM
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Is this your front yard? If so, what do your neighbors think? I would love to live next door and see this instead of a patch of scraggly lawn.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 11:27PM
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lyonsy(10 CA)


Yes this is the front yard and yes it was a lawn. I took it out in July by covering the grass in cardboard and a HUGE amount of horse manure on a daily basis. One neighbour reported me to the Health Auth but they came and thought that the yard was beautiful. My other neighbours are intrigued and now as they get all sorts of goodies from the yard they see the method in my madness.

My back yard is much bigger and a blank canvas (this is a new house) and I will start on that next. I may do less of the veg in the front when I get the back garden designed.


    Bookmark   November 30, 2007 at 12:36AM
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John, You do have the touch. I moved into my new house in July and only just planted the first couple of shrubs the other day. I am somewhat overwhelmed by the size of our property, but I'm going to try two raised beds like you showed in your previous garden. Redwood is out of the question here. I'd have to take out another mortgage. If my beds look 1/10th of what yours do, I'll be thrilled.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 3:56PM
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lyonsy(10 CA)


Thanks for the nice comments. Where in VA do you live.? I lived there once , a year in Roanoke and a year in Lexington. I have lots of horse owning friends in the Middleburg/Leesburg area that I meet when we go to an annual horse show everyear. The Fall in the Appalachians was remarkable.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 11:53PM
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oh it breaks my heart that they ripped out your garden! it was LOVELY! SO much WORK!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 10:53PM
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Ahhhh! Sigh................ You've done a great job and your garden is so so beautiful. I can even smell the freshness of your garden.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 7:19AM
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