Kitchen Gardens – Useful beauty for busy folks!
Today’s busy families and working professionals may not have time to till and tend a half acre vegetable garden, but that doesn’t mean homegrown vegetables are out of reach. Sometimes the old ways are the best ways, and an historical gardening style from France combines the production of food and medicinal herbs with aesthetically pleasing ornamental plants to create an easy, beautiful and bountiful backyard: the potager!
Potager (pronounced po-tah-zhay) is French for “kitchen garden,” and is quite simply a decorative vegetable garden… but with several notably smart characteristics:
1. Geometric layout
Keeps plants looking orderly and decorative while still retaining their utility. Try keeping typically wide and wild tomato plants in line with a border of sturdy marigolds.
2. Raised beds
Easy to maintain, with better drainage. Tip: use cedar since it’s naturally insect- and fungus-repellent.
If a space is beautiful, you’ll want to spend time there, and pathways create a great plan & foundation for geometric plantings.
Bean tripods, border hedges, benches, arches and trellises all add height and visual interest to a potager. Tip: Install a unique centerpiece — a floral display, birdbath or sundial will draw it all together and create a focal point for the gardener and visitors alike!
The following photos are from a local potager Van Putte Landscape installed in Hilton, NY. Tom, one of our landscape consultants, designed the plan above for a couple in their 60s whose children have moved on to homes and children of their own. The raised beds are easy for them to maintain, the garden offers a beautiful view from the back windows, and the pathways allow the grandkids to play among the plants without damaging any of the future harvest! Whether you’re thinking DIY or Van Putte-installed, feel free give us a call at (585) 225-7770 with any of your questions about creating edible, decorative landscapes — we love helping folks really take advantage of and enjoy the outdoors!