If you are a gardener and have not yet investigated the kitchen garden, also known as a potager (in French, jardin potager), I invite you to walk with me a minute.
It is a garden where the beauty inspires you, and one designed to be close to the kitchen to bring vegetables for the cooking pot!
Combining both edible and flowering plants, a potager garden design is purposeful and utilitarian as seen in delightful kitchen beds of Europe, but laid out with aesthetic beauty in mind (inspired by lovely compositions of French gardens).
In her classic book on companion planting, Louise Riotte has taught generations of gardeners how to use the natural benefits of plants and flowers to protect and support each other. For someone who loves growing things, Carrots Love Tomatoes is so much fun to read. I have read it several times and always learn something new.
Here are some garden design ideas to grab your imagination:
“A traditional French kitchen garden ~ potager ~ mingles vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs to make the function of providing food for the table aesthetically pleasing. An urban potager uses every inch of available space, growing edibles and ornamentals on balconies, patios, porches and rooftops.” ~Cynthia Brown, the Smithsonian Gardens’ Education Specialist
There are often rustic elements that add to the earthy beauty. Simple and yet elegant.
The rot-resistant DIY cedar trellis for tomatoes is inventive and full of character.
This is what a productive potager can be like in August with foresight and planning…take a look! Remember that by adding flowers into your plan, by this time of year you will have a non-stop cutting garden as well!
Knowing that not all of you live in a part of the world where the weather is conducive to a garden, I still must encourage the rest who do. This is not a really large garden. Even one a quarter of this size can be very helpful to your family. Go ahead; dream and plan a little spot right outside your door…
A truly lovely, working garden doesn’t happen over night. It often takes years of dreaming, planning, and hard work. Gardening is, in essence, a creative journey, a miniature picture of God’s design in Creation.
“The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.” ~Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932) was an influential British horticulturist.
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Thanks for reading!