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Potager--who still has one???

Posted by lavender_lass WA zone 4 (My Page) on
Sat, Nov 14, 09 at 12:28

There used to be so much activity on this forum and I realize this is the "off" season for gardening, but I was wondering....how many people still have a potager?

Is it the same design as when you started? Do you still grow vegetables, or mainly flowers? Did you take it out and put something else in its place?

I only ask because before putting the time and money into a potager next spring, I'd like to know how many of you really use it and enjoy it. I hope my potager will be a functional and beautiful space, but I'd like to know how it's worked out for all of you.

While I've seen a few of your potagers, and they're very pretty, I'd like to ask if anyone else has pictures of their garden to share. A lot of the older pictures have been deleted on the forum and I don't know if this was by choice, or just expired. Thank you!!!


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RE: Potager--who still has one???

  • Posted by natal Louisiana 8b (My Page) on
    Sat, Nov 14, 09 at 22:54

I have something growing year round in mine. The 2 beds flanking the arbor are full of herbs, cool season flowers, along with the still-blooming purple coneflowers, and Swiss chard. One of the summer tomato beds is now filled with Red Sails lettuce and arugula. The other tomato bed has Bright Lights cosmos. Peppers are still hanging in another bed and the 6th one has pineapple sage, fire spike, firecracker vine ... all for the winter migrant hummers, and more Swiss chard and arugula for me, lol.


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RE: Potager--who still has one???

It's so nice that you can plant successively in your garden. Mine is more of a one shot type of thing, but I do have two plantings of peas, if the second one is in the shade :)

I really like the way it is designed. It is so functional and so pretty at the same time!


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RE: Potager--who still has one???

This was my first year with a potager and I have learned ALOT, but I do love it. I have had traditional gardens in the past, and I like this arrangement much better by far. Here's why: By having small beds it's much easier to do succession planting. I don't have to worry about disturbing growing crops when I am pulling out worn out ones. And, it's easy to amend and re-fertilize that soil at the same time. I love having paths so that I don't have to tiptoe, lean, stretch and balance over rows. I can just sit on the edge of my beds and work. Finally, there's a psychological advantage to having to thin or weed only one 8' x 3' bed at a time. I feel like I can finish something in just a few minutes, so I have kept up with it better than I used to when faced with an entire garden at once.

On the other hand, I have found that it is very tricky to mix in flowers with vegetables. The flowers are just starting to hit their stride and it's time to pull out a crop and start another..., or the vegetables grow so fast that the flowers get smothered out. I did have success growing marigolds around the base of tomatoes, but otherwise it had turned into strictly veggies by the end of the summer. And, though I started out mixing different vegetables into the same beds, I quickly figured out that it's easier to grow just one crop per bed unless it's a crop that will last throughout the season.

This fall, I have tried sowing vegetables in patterns. That is working well and I like the look. For instance, I sowed one bed in diagonal stripes of red romaine lettuce, purple kale, and onions. The differences in color and texture is attractive. This works well for greens and lettuces. I am not convinced it will be as successful for tomatoes and squash, etc.

Finally, I think you just need to evaluate what your needs are. I have nine raised beds that are 8 x 3 feet. I will be planting a bed of tomatoes two, maybe three times, a month apart, next year. The same goes for cowpeas, squash, and cucumbers. I don't want to can, so I don't want a whole big bunch of one thing coming in at one time. These smaller beds make it easy to have enough for table use coming in throughout the season, without overdoing. I love this arrangement, but I am only cooking for my husband, and my mother in law, and me now. If I wanted to can a year's supply of something other than tomatoes, I might prefer a larger more traditional garden.


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RE: Potager--who still has one???

Vegetables in patterns...sounds very french :) I'll bet it looks great! I also like the idea about small beds make it easier to weed--that's always my biggest challenge!


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RE: Potager--who still has one???

I still have one, but it is in transition.
Now I will have city property and a half full of potager of one kind or another - not traditional by any means, but never the less, a mix of gardening. Our raised beds had a mix of flowers and vegetables in them - but I am transitioning taking the flowers out of this area. They are all raised beds and I need the veg. production space in this great soil. I am removing the surrounding roses and other perennials too, and replacing them all with flowering and useful fruit and shrubs - however everything here needs to also be attractive, of course! Another area is going to be more of a mix, a potager that follows more of a "regular garden" outline - meaning veggies can be things like the groundcovers for fruit trees or flowering shrubs (which are the buffer between my neighbor who sprays their lawn, and my edibles). This all makes more sense to the way the land is laid out, the way I work, where we get to first in the garden. I would like the most intensively worked areas to be closest to the house so they do not get neglected. We also have one large back yard transitioning from nothing to the perennial garden. Lots of shrubs and perennials that need much less care - an area for relaxing and not so much thinking about work. "Wild" plants such as native herbs etc. go in another area that won't be visited so much but will be heavily harvested from (which will help keep it in check). Fruit trees dotted here and there always with a line of site from more heavily used places in the garden so we don't forget to tend them when needed.
I want the entire garden to be useful and beautiful, but it is becoming a newly defined sort of potager, same theory but an entirely new look.

GGG


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RE: Potager--who still has one???

Girlgroupgirl- That's my favorite type of garden. Beautiful, yet very functional and transitioning from more intensive gardening to more relaxing spaces. I hope you can post some pics. I love to see how people use their areas and how the gardens make sense in relation to each other.

I'm just starting my garden spaces, so I'm hoping they'll be picture worthy next summer :) I want to have more flowers around the house (at least on two sides) and the veggies on the other side. Raspberries will be on one side of the fenced potager and I'm hoping to add some apple trees on the other side of the house. While I have a lot of land, I don't have a lot of gardening space. Most of mine is outbuildings, pasture and paths for the snowblower! (LOL) This means I have to be a little more creative, but that's what makes it fun.


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RE: Potager--who still has one???

I just posted a pic of my potager taken at the end of July under Great Gardens in the photo gallery. It started to get pretty wild looking. I had volunteer pumpkins all over the back paths. I also thought it would be neat to put mammoth sunflowers in the middle of the tomato trellises. It looked very abundant especially since I couldn't bring myself to top the tomato plants once they reached over the trellises as I originally planned. One week later, I had to pull all the tomatoes due to late blight so in the end, I was happy that I at least had the sunflowers left.

I love potager pics. Anyone else have some to share?

Here is a link that might be useful: My potager in july


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RE: Potager--who still has one???

Ali-b,

Wow! Great potager pic. I love all the flowers. I thought your potager looked very orderly, with all the paths and different beds. I hope you post more pics of the arches and other side of the garden :)


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RE: Potager--who still has one???

Absolutely still have one here! As a matter of fact, mine expanded this year, swelling by about 1000 sqft. The paths in the new section are not completely done - this time I'm going for broke and using pavers in the paths, so it has taken a little while to accumulate all those pavers and get them installed. I firmly think that planting the potager was the best thing we ever did on this property. It feeds us year round, it's attractive, and we all enjoy spending time there.

If you'll forgive a little shameless self promotion, check out my new book Garden Imperative (link below), in which potager gardens are discussed at length.

-Diggity

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Imperative


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RE: Potager--who still has one???

Thanks for the comments, lavender. I posted a couple more pics. One is in early July before everything really took off. You can see the arch in the back is a little arbor I made after seeing directions for a similar one in a library book. You can also clearly see my hop gallows (so named by the kids). Those are going to be gone next season. I'm taking over more space and adding a hop yard. The design is still TBD. The other pic is from early March when I expanded from 20 x 20 to the 32 x 32.
ali-b

Here is a link that might be useful: 2 pics of my potager in Great Gardens gallery


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RE: Potager--who still has one???

Ali-b, Great pics! I love the hop gallows :) Can't wait to see the hop yard.

Diggity- Congrats on the book! Very impressive. I like the way you relate gardening to health, cost and even national security. (College professors can take their time getting to a point, I like the way you spell it out right at the beginning of the book.) I'll have to show this book to my husband and put it on my Christmas list :)


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RE: Potager--who still has one???

I started one last year and I had a lot of fun. I built 8 raised beds and filled them with vegetables and some flowers. Some things worked and some didn't. It's definitely a learning process!

Garden Year 1 2009


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RE: Potager--who still has one???

Backyard3- I really like your design! Are those sweet peas in the back bed? I love the idea of a fountain in the middle of the garden. Unfortunately, for me, it's too hard to get power out to the garden. I'm thinking of using an old two-tiered fountain and planting it with petunias :)

Where are you located? Do you have long summers or short ones? I love the raised beds. Were they hard to install? I've read that raised beds are better for warming the soil in the spring and with my short summers, that might be a good thing!

Thanks for the pictures. Just curious, what worked and what didn't?


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RE: Potager--who still has one???

lavender lass

My neighbor has 2 tiered bird bath/fountains with flowers in them and it's cute.

Andrea


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RE: Potager--who still has one???

Andrea- That's great to know. I was hoping that would work, but I wasn't sure if the soil would be too heavy. What kind of flowers did they use?


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RE: Potager--who still has one???

I still have one!
Next year there will be more beds and I want to use drip irrigation.

P7110024
This was in July

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This was in July

P7110009
Pond

P9030015
This was in August!

P9030028
Pond

Here is a link that might be useful: My Blog


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RE: Potager--who still has one???

I have lurked here for many years but this past year I finally made some progress in my own potager department! I have always been so inspired by other peoples' pictures. I'm excited to have some to post of my own. I don't know how to post pictures here but I am providing a link to my blog that shows the process from my small veggie garden to a more formal potager design. I am pretty happy with the size and design but I would like to possibly add a fence this year.

Michelle

Here is a link that might be useful: http://michellemasters.com/blog/potager-progress/


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RE: Potager--who still has one???

Catalinagrey- Wonderful pictures! I love your pond and all the flowers. Did the corn work well for you? I'm thinking about trying it, but I'm afraid it will not produce well in my smaller beds and just attract the deer.

Michelle- Beautiful photos and I love the apple trees on both sides of the bench. Neat idea! Adding them to the seating area will look nice too. You have such a nice large level area for your garden. I like your idea of a picket fence. It would look very traditional :)

I don't like to dig holes for wooden posts, so I'm going to try metal T-posts (you pound in) and wire wooden lattice to them. I did this with plastic white lattice at Mom's and it's very cute. You just need to put a post about every four feet and attach the lattice at 2' and 6' in on the panel. Then you wire the panels to each other. I'm going to try 4' tall lattice with purple raspberries on the outside, hopefully keeping the deer from walking through the garden. Last year they ignored my small garden, but I think they didn't care for all the flowers (marigolds, nasturtiums, lavender, etc.) Do you have deer problems?


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lavender lass - Thanks! I didn't plant corn last year. ? But there is some elephant garlic in the first pic. I tried corn 2 years ago, but it didn't do well.


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Oops! I thought that was corn...over in the square foot garden forum they've been taking about planting corn in smaller raised beds and I'm not sure mine would do well that way.

Nice elephant garlic (LOL)


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What great gardens! I hope to start my kitchen garden this spring! Your pics & info are very helpful!


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Thanks to all of you for sharing your glorious gardens. I will be back to visit them over and over again.

My husband built me a small potager almost three years ago for Valentine's Day, and I put in rubble paths. I love it and try really hard not to plant too many annual flowers in it. The rule is that the flowers must be edible!

Veggie Garden June 1

Photobucket
Photobucket

The rose canes are kitty pongee sticks.
Renee


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Renee- I LOVE your potager! It is so pretty! Those paths are great too. They look so nice - is that thyme in between the bricks?

Here is a link that might be useful: My Blog


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Thanks- yes, it is.

Catalinagrey-I spent all last night looking at your potager and copying down the layouts and ideas. It's just wonderful.

I have a friend who wants to begin gardening, and she has a huge bermuda grass lawn with full sun. So there's no possibility of ruining anything, and it's all potential. The only problem is- no money. So I'm getting together some ideas for a expandable potager, and boy oh boy are there some fabulous gardens on this forum! There's nothing prettier and more aesthetically satisfying than a potager, in my opinion.

Thanks for the link to your blog.

Renee


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I love all these potager pics! I've been making my list and checking it more than twice -- my seed list that is. Like Renee, it has to be an edible/medicinal to be planted, but I doubt I'll ever use my yarrow or catmint for more than a bouquet. BTW, your pathways are terrific, Renee. I'm going into my 3rd season with my potager and this is the third time I'm changing it around so I've been using newspaper covered with straw for paths. (It's cheap too.) In fact, for those looking for low cost ways to start a garden. Just lay down overlapping sections of newspaper, followed by grass clippings, leaves and compost (if you have it). Do it in the fall or even in early spring. That's how I did my outer beds and it worked pretty well.
ali-b


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RE: Potager--who still has one???

I dont have a potager yet, but I would like to share with you my great inspiration: a blog of a small enclosed potager in UK, called My Tiny Plot.

It has espaliered fruit trees, and a lovely seating area in the middle, surrounded with garden beds of veggies and herbs and flowers.

It is just lovely!

Here is a link that might be useful: My Tiny Plot


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RE: Potager--who still has one???

Mine's still around, although not as tidy as when we first installed it, almost three years ago. Many of the boards are buckling (they warped and are pulling away from the corners; next time, we'll install corner blocks!), and I made a BIG BIG mistake and stuck raspberries and blackberries in there (couldn't even reach two of my beds, along the fence, this year; next spring they're all coming up and going into their own bed in another part of the yard). I'd love to have better paths than the cedar mulch, but it IS fragrant, and looks good for almost two years. AND it is a friendly "medium" for volunteer flowers and herbs, which spring up all over the place...

Here's what it looked like in 2008:

Here is a link that might be useful: My Potager


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