Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Potager in Early February

Summer 2007

The challenge, when you have a potager or ornamental kitchen garden, is to make the garden look attractive all year round.
April 2006

Many gardeners think, just because you grow mainly veggies and fruit, your kitchen garden looks horribly dull for most of the year, especially in winter. But that is not the case at all.
February 2008

Here's one of my beds, right next to the Victorian greenhouse and as you can see there's a lot going on there, even though it is still only early february. In the background you see the gorgeous leaves of the artichoke on the right and in front there's box on each corner, adding a bit of all year round interest. Smack in the middle of the bed is a gooseberry bush on a standard.
Here's another bed that I have just cleared the weeds from. There are some primula's in flower here and it won't be long before the daffodils begin to flower too. See?
My strawberry bed is more or less green all year round. I have to clear this bed up soon; it looks a bit of a mess right now.
One of the beds in front of the Victorian greenhouse is looking good too. The Bergenia is about to burst into flower, the box add a bit of green and in my coldframes the lettuces and radishes, I've recently sown, are coming up!
I'm not afraid of mixing and matching either clothes, furniture or plants. In this bed I've mixed rocket salad with Dutch Irises. And why not? This last bit of rocket will be harvested soon, leaving enough space for the Irises to grow.
When I started my potager the ground was heavy clay, fertile but not very well drained. Things are much improved after I worked in loads of compost. I keep finding more and more worms in the ground, which is great news of course.
Last weekend we had mostly sunny weather, although we had some hail on Saturday night, so we were able to work in the garden for most of the day. The Victorian greenhouse needed a good clean, you could hardly look through the windows anymore. See what I mean?
There, all better now!
Remember the elderberry that grew right in the middle of our hedge and had to come out? Well, it was time for it to be sawn and chopped into pieces.
Perhaps next winter the elderberry wood will be dry enough to be put into the woodburner.
My gorgeous green tipped Snowdrops in the potager are doing great. It's their first year and I am very pleased with them. The little flowers are gorgeous, like little jewels.
To make my potager look good all year round I use lots of evergreen plants but many ornaments as well. The Victorian greenhouse is not only very practical but beautiful too. Even my compost bins look good, as do all the arches, whether they are covered with flowers or not.
See, it isn't so difficult to have an attractive kitchen garden all year round!

copyright 2008: Y.E.W. Heuzen


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Yolanda, your garden is gorgeous during winter. I really love your snowdrops with the green tips. I hope to get some next year.

Just seeing all your tulips, berginia etc growing makes me yearn for spring even more. It will be awhile before we are at this point in the garden. I will have to be satisfied by looking at your beatuiful garden and others in the blogasphere.

Betty said...

Yes, your potager garden is awesome even in winter....why am I not surprised? You should have tours year round....

Thank you for visiting with me and commenting on my 'found' doll house...Betty

Hillside Garden said...

Yolanda, du träumst wohl auch schon vom Frühling? Deine Bilder sind wunderschön.


mss @ zanthan gardens said...

Your garden is so homey and welcoming. What a lovely place to be...any time of year.

Robin (Bumblebee) said...

Winter certainly has its own beauty in the garden. At least that's what I'm telling myself as I look at all the work that needs to be done!

--Robin (Bumblebee)

shirl said...

Hi again, Yolanda and a Happy 1st Year for Bliss too :-D

Sorry I missed the day :-(

I love this post as it also shows your structures so clearly and I agree that they can look beautiful without plants growing up them. Although we yearn for spring I like to see the garden at this time too. You show that by clever planting your Potager always looks good - inspiration for others too :-D

I loved the snowdrop too - I really should plant some for next year. I would probably best to buy them in the green as I just don't get the planting depth right :-D

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Your interplanting of Iris & salad greens makes sense in a smaller space. My snowdrops were just about to open b4 we got 2 more feet of snow. Yours are such a cheery sight, as are the primulas.

nikkipolani said...

Yolanda, I had opened your site and saw that lush photo with the headline "The Potager in Early February" and wondered where on earth you lived! Then I saw the correct caption: Summer 2007! Thanks for a little view into your garden.

A wildlife gardener said...

First of all, congratulations on your first blogging birthday, Yolanda Elizabet :) Willow's!

Your garden looks good all year the snowdrops.

Climbing trees and hanging baskets for cats? What a hoot!

One can never have too many hellebores in one's garden...great choices, fantastic bargain...ours can cost as much as 56 euros!

Macavity in the wars reminds me of Titch who came to me last Saturday with a very bad limp. Further inspection showed he had a massive tear on an inner flank. Since his owners don't bother with him it cost me 175 euros for an injection at our local vet's...but Titch knew to come to me for help. I'm happy to report the limp has gone, unlike his ravenous appetite :)

Cottage Magpie said...

Sigh! What a beautiful potager! I am so excited to work on mine this year. The paving you have--is that poured concrete or big pavers? I really want to have some good walkways in my new kitchen garden, but I am running out of time to put them in first like I had hoped to. Somehow I need to work out a plan to do it in a modular way.
~Angela :-)

Sherry said...

What a beautiful garden. So neat and organized and just down-right gorgeous. I agree with Betty - year round tours!

marl1 said...

Je kunt duidelijk zien dat het niet voor niets Ornamental kitchen garden heet...niks saais aan ;-))) En wat zijn de artisjokbladeren al mooi hè een tijdje trouwens...;-))
Flink 'ge-elbowgreased' op versiering bovenop is prachtig :-)

Rosehaven Cottage said...

I can't believe how much our climates are alike! Your potager in winter looks like mine. We even have artichokes just like you do. I don't have beautiful little snowdrops, however. Yours are absolutely gorgeous! Just precious.

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Birgit said...

Bei Dir sieht es ja schon so richtig nach Frühjahr aus. Und nach Gartenarbeit. So langsam kann ich es auch nicht mehr erwarten. Hoffentlich wird endlich das Wetter mal besser bei uns, damit man auch mal raus kann.

Liebe Grüße, Birgit

Frances said...

An inspiring tour. The nice walkways around each planting plot must make for easy tending. We all want those snowdrops! I love boxwood also and have used the dwarf cultivar 'Wintergreen' around the knot garden. It neatens things up so much. We want to know what's happening inside your greenhouse! Seed starting in there?

Frances at Faire Garden

Karin A said...

Your potager looks beautiful even in early Februar! Here in Sweden it's much dampness at the moment. But sunny days you can really notice how the bulbs are growing. But I can't see any daffodils yet. :) The primulas are beautiful too. Have you planted them now? Always nice to see what's going on in your garden. I will do a garden up-date later on this week. Take care and kram! :)

kate said...

This was a great tour ... I love the way you mix flowers with veggies as well as fruit. There is much happening already in your potager.

The Victorian greenhouse looks spiffy with its clean and shiny windows. I agree with you about how good the arches look, no matter the season.

I'm looking forward to seeing what surprises we'll discover here!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Even in the winter, my yard wants to be like your yard when it grows up. I just love it and would never tire of seeing it.
I know it takes a lot of work to have a beautiful potager like yours, but oh, the satisfaction that must come from that labor.

theysaywordscanbleed said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Strawberry Lane said...

You are an inspiration! Perhaps my garden will thrive this year because of you.

Carol said...

Your garden is indeed starting to wake up from your brief winter. It is a beautiful place and I look forward to seeing it through this second year of your blog.

Perhaps, we should have another little "fashion comparison", you and I?

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Piondröm said...

Youlanda you have change my thoughts about kitchengarden.
We only have some strawberrys and appletrees, but I think you have done a great job in your kitchengarden.
And speak about your victorian gardenhous..whow that I like.

Kylee said...

I can almost feel the spring in your photos! Makes me even more anxious for spring here! But it will be at least six weeks or more.

I started interplanting veggies and flowers last year and I want to do more of it this year. It makes all parts of the garden so much more interesting for a longer period of time.

Love your garden, as usual! :-)

stadtgarten said...

Dear Yolanda, first - a little bit belated - happy birthday to your blog!!!!!
When I just read that it is only 1 year old now, I couldn't believe it, I would have thought your are already blogging for a longer time.
Your posts are always so inspiring!
And, as I have mentioned, many times before, I absolutely love your kitchen garden!!!
Groetjes, Monika

Pam/Digging said...

As lovely and instructive as ever.

The winter photos reveal the beauty of your tall, green hedges more than ever. They are one of the features I admire most about your garden. They look very European to me. We don't see hedges like that so often here in the States.

I'd love for you to do a post about them. How long ago they were planted, spacing, how you keep those giants trimmed, etc.

Ana Maria B said...

I just visited your blog and liked it very much. I love cats too and Jane Austen books. I read a lot of them when I was young.
I'll add you to my blog list if you don't mind.

Hanneles paradise said...


lenie said...

ik heb niet van die mooie versiering op mijn kas hoor ;) maar hij is wel schoon hihihihi, had ik voor de winter al gedaan en is mooi schoon gebleven ...;) je bollen staan me akelig mooi te zijn zeg , ik ben al blij met 1 krokus ...en die ik heb gefliepst (morgen op log) kwam ik nog buiten de tuin tegen ....zucht !
(mooi dat je aan het pennen ben , geef je wel bijtijds door over welke vogels je het gaat hebben ??
voor het zelfde geld heb ik die niet en moet ik driftig gaan spotten ) ;)))))))))

Curtis said...

Great shots from around your garden. Not dull at all in the least. I am inspired by your garden.

Libbys Blog said...

As always when ever I come over here you always inspire me. Thank you so much for sharing your garden with us!

quu said...

Yours winter feels and looks like our spring time :)

Angelina said...

Your potager reminds me a lot of one I built in my last garden and miss. So I'm going to do a similar treatment in my new yard. Except that all of my beds will have to be raised, we have heavy clay here too but it's also quite acidic because of our very wet climate.

I think kitchen gardens can be the most beautiful of all garden spaces. But I'm biased because I love to grow food so much.