5 Potager designs

New Year’s Resolution: Rip out grass in front yard and replace with something better.

“We got to design it first, honey,” my husband tells me, curbing my enthusiasm.

“What do you mean?  We can’t just rip it out and then plant the plants?” I respond in my most logical convincing voice.

“No.”  He’s onto my tricks, probably because I use them all the time.  “Don’t you want a path, so you can access all your plants?”

“Well, yeah.”

“It’ll also help so you don’t trample on them.”  I nod my head in agreement and start wildly researching French Potager designs.  Remember, a potager is just a fancy French way of saying a kitchen garden.  I found the four most common designs, then Kris and I made a few variations on a theme and came out with our final design which is at the end of this post accompanied with a few current photos of how wildly the plants are growing.

Of course one option is to have no path and just step over plants as you weed, harvest or tend.  This is the option for all the careful people of the world.

Paths are a necessity for me.  I need a safe place to step that won’t harm my plants, although, when my plants are so overgrown they usurp the path I have to get a little creative.For all designs, green= path and brown=garden space 🙂

1.  Classic Raised beds.  This is the most common form of potagers, a mixed assortment of square or rectangular raised beds.Similar to one of the most famous French potagers at a castle called Villandry.

Photo by Manfred Heyde from Wikimedia Commons

It is also the design for the gardens at a famous Yountville restaurant.We snuck by them one day driving back from a Sonoma day trip.

Option #2: Keyhole designs allow circular access to plants.You can have many or one large one.

Option #3: 4 squares or Cross

Option #4: The “X,” similar to the cross, just angled to create triangular garden spaces instead of rectangular ones.

Finally, our design, option #5 a variation on the keyhole design.

And now…at the end of July, everything is rampant.  Love it!

Kris took this photo

The vines (acorn squash, honeydew melon, and ambrosia cantaloupe) are definitely the most expansive.

This one too.

Stay tuned patient souls for the continuing process of turning our front yard into a French kitchen garden.


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