Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pottering in the Potager

One of my favourite places to be is my potager. I love pottering around there all day long. Lately we've been having quite a few sunny days and I've made the most of them. In the Netherlands we almost never know what the weather will be like the next hour, let alone the next day. So when the sun is out, I'm out too.
Because of all that sunshine and temperatures around 20 C everything is growing like mad in the kitchen garden, not only the veggies, fruits and flowers but also the weeds. There is a lot to do in the potager in April. I've planted out leeks, onions and broccoli and have done a lot of weeding.
The lettuce I'd sown in a cold frame last February is ready to be picked. It's a pick and come again variety. I prefer those to lettuces that form heads.
I've been harvesting radishes for weeks now and today I harvested another bunch. They taste much better than shop bought ones, the latter have hardly any taste at all.
The potager is looking better day by day.
Last year I'd sown some forget-me-nots and this year they have come up all over my kitchen garden. It's such a lovely sight to see those gorgeous blue and pink flowers. BTW Barbara, I've found 1 white forget-me-not, so they have self seeded too, only 1 seedling, but hey, it's a start.
The primulas are flowering their little hearts out, bless,
and so is my pretty yellow Columbine. I'm going to save her seeds so I will have more plants next year for my yellow border to be.
The lovely sunny weather has it drawbacks too, the earth was so dry and we were scraping the barrel, the water barrel that is, as you can see here.
But last Sunday evening it started to rain, it rained some more yesterday and we had some showers today as well so the barrels are now nicely filled up again. I've been planting out so many seedlings in the potager and as they need a bit of pampering their first week or two out in the garden, I used quite a lot of rainwater to give them a good soak when they needed it.
My raspberry is growing very fast and is already forming buds. It won't be long now before it starts to flower. I planted it last year and had a very modest crop of raspberries then but the way things are looking now Pippa (my fruit loving Russian Blue cat)
Pretty Pippa foto Scheffer

and I will be enjoying lots of raspberries this year. Something we both look forward too.
There will also be white currants, pears, grapes and apples later this year. And we seem to be in berry heaven here at Bliss with all the gooseberries, strawberries, black berries, elder berries and blue berries that will be ready for picking in the not too distant future. Simply wonderful as I'm so keen on fruit, just like Pippa.
Before you start thinking that I have an humongous kitchen garden; I have not. Mine is about 90 square meters, is all! Then how do I manage to grow so many different kinds of fruits? It's really simple, most of my berries are grown on standards and take a good hard look at my giant apple tree here.
It's called a Ballerina tree; it's an apple tree with very short branches, and it grows only to 2.5 meters high. I have two of those and hope to train them into an arch once they are tall enough to graft them together. It's amazing the amount of apples you can get from such tiny trees like these. They don't take up much space; you can even grow them in a pot on a balcony. So even if you only have a very small space for gardening, that is no excuse for not having your own gardengrown apples. Go on, give it a try!
copyright 2008 Y.E.W. Heuzen

What plant we in this apple-tree?
A world of blossoms for the bee,
Flowers for the sick girl's silent room,
For the glad infant sprigs of bloom,
We plant with the apple-tree.
William Cullen Bryant, 'The Planting of the Apple-Tree'


Libbys Blog said...

I like fruit too but also like you have not alot of room. Raspberries are my favourite, I did have some raspberry canes in but they started popping up everywhere!!!! So out they came!!!
I thought you would like to know that my neighbours have commented on how beautiful my tubs of tulips our! So I am passing on my thanks to you as it was your idea in the first place!!!

Kylee said...

Wow, Yolanda, that apple tree is amazing! I'd not heard of that. One of our apple trees is nearly ready to fall over. I'm not sure what we're going to do, but it leans more each year.

Gail said...

I love the word potager and yours is beautiful filled with lettuce, radish and raspberries. Cracked earth...we have it, too....time for this Tennessean to get my rain barrels hooked up!


Brimstone said...

Wat leuk om te zien en te lezen wat je allemaal kan gaan oogsten van zo'n relatief klein stukje grond.
Ik ben verder gegaan met het kweken van fruit in potten. Het ziet er al veel belovend uit. Deze zomer heb ik misschien wel frambrozen, kruisbessen, aardbeien en tomaten uit de pottentuin.

Frances, said...

Oh Yolanda, I love it when you potter in the potager and take us with you. That is funny that Pippa, so lovely, eats raspberries. Hope you will have enough for you both. Our red raspberries, new this year are at the exact same stage of bud. What do you mean when you say you grow them as standards, with one cane with a stake to hold it up?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your potager is a beautiful as Pippa. It is nice you can share your raspberries with Pippa too.

lenie said...

oefff wat een lekkernijen bij jou !! krijg gelijk honger ;)
je appeltje zag ik dubbel ...en de vergeetmenietjes ..staan hier inmiddels door héél de tuin , dus vergeten doe je ze nooit meer ;))
een fijne dag vandaag , ik trek er op uit om een flinke kuier te maken ...dus alles gereed ...dan gaan we ;))

Maeve said...

Thank you for sharing so many lovely photos of your potager. What an inspiration to other gardeners! :)

Lis said...

Toll sieht das bei dir schon aus und Glückwunsch zu den ersten eigenen Radieschen! Wir haben dieses Jahr selber Tomaten ausgesät, aber sie wollen einfach nicht wachsen. Ich sehe schon kommen dass wir doch wieder Pflanzen kaufen müssen, sonst wird das nie was mit einer Ernte.
Salat habe ich gestern auch gesetzt und falls es nochmal kalt werden sollte, wird er einfach mit Vlies abgedeckt.
Am Samstag bin ich übrigens in den NL in einer Hostagärtnerei, ich kenne nur leider den Namen nicht und weiss auch nicht wo sie ist. Aber ich werde Fotos machen die ich dann in meinem Blog veröffentlichen werde.
Schönes Wochenende schon mal!
LG Lis

Cheryl said...

I love your garden Yolanda, the yellow columbine is beautiful.

I am a berry fan to, I have elderberries, blackberries, and yummy alpine strawberries.
I am also fortunate to have plums, pears and a very old apple tree.

Your cat Pippa is an absolute beauty. The photograph is amazing.

For the amount of space you have Yolanda, you do an amazing job. It is a total credit to you.

Poppins said...

It looks so lovely in your garden! I envy your rasperries but I have got a small plant. Hopefully it will give me some.
love Poppins

Ewa said...

This is great potager on 90 m2 - that's the best example that there is no excuse.
Thank you for inspiration - I will think how to add some other berries to my garden :)

Anonymous said...

What an amazing garden you have. I can tell you love what you do. Thank you for inspiring me.

Layanee said...

YE: You surely know how to maximize your space and with such delightful visual and culinary results!

Ruth Welter said...

Yolanda, I love seeing photos of your beautiful garden and you equally lovely cats....I was just outside today, taking photos of emerging growth in my garden, so many things waiting to come into bloom. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos.

Nicole said...

Your potager looks sooo enticing. I agree with you on the radishes-I wonder whether they actually grow on purpose tasteless radishes because thats what many people prefer. Cant wait to get back to my garden to put in radishes and salad and cooking greens.

Reflection Through The Seasons said...

Hello Yolanda....

What a productive kitchen garden you have, I have really enjoyed looking around. Isn’t it a busy time right now! and like you, I battled on between the wind and rain and enjoy so much those precious days of sun shine.

Last year I was amazed to discover some raspberry canes growing on our river bank, I had not planted them, they even had a few fruit too. I wonder if they grew from seeds that birds had dropped, that is the only explanation I can think of.

Its holiday weekend coming up, you know for certain where I will be.....

Best Wishes - Marion

No Rain said...

The photos are lovely. Did you take the photo of Pippa? It looks like a professionally posed photo!

Andrea said...

hey Yolanda, schöne Bilder aus deinem Küchengarten. Um die Radieschen beneide ich dich. 90 m² .. nur? Mein gesamter Garten ist "nur" ca. 250 m². Der Apfelbaum ist herrlich. Ich mag die Blüten davon so gern und freu mich immer im Frühjahr, wenn ich sie bei anderen in den Gärten sehe - wie die Kirschbaumblüte auch. LG Andrea

Katarina i Kullavik said...

Your potager looks just great! I can understand why you like to linger there...

Marian said...

Wat is er lekkerder dan een radijsje uit eigen tuin? Nog veel meer radijsjes! ;-)
Heerlijk op een witte boterham met roomboter en dan een klein beetje zou er op, mmm!
Hier ontdekte ik gisteren ook één wit vergeetmenietje tussen een zee van blauw!
De regentonnen lopen inmiddels behoorlijk over.
Pippa is al net zo'n "fruitvliegje" als onze Mosi,
hij lust er wel pàp van!(wij ook trouwens)
Geweldig zo'n 'hoogstam' appelboom, heb je er ook een speciale plukladder bij? ;-)
groetjes, Marian

Barbara said...

Lucky you! You've got seeded white forget-me-nots! I'll try to keep the mother plants as longs as possible and then I hope for next year. My actual potager consists of tow beds and some fruit bushes and various pots (for tomatoes). When once I should have plenty of time, I'll make a new potager :-) but it will never be as big as yours !! Enjoy your first harvests!

A wildlife gardener said...

I only grow strawberries in beds and raspberries in pots...and then lots of herbs...whereas you grow a multitude of fruit and veggies...wonderful potager, Yolanda :)

KC MO Garden Guy said...

Great work Yolanda!! Your potager is coming along wonderfully. Here we must be a couple weeks behing you as far as tempatures go. Things aren't as lush and green here.
I like what you are doing with your apple trees. I am trying to get one to grow next to the house and train 4 branches on each side to grow horizonally. I have hear those type of trees called esplaia(not sure on the spelling) Thanks for the tour. Cliff

guild-rez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
guild-rez said...

Hello Yolanda..
thank you for all your comments, I love to visit my blogger friends, but it takes a while. Right now, I am very excited to be in the garden and getting dirty fingernails.
Tulips, Daffodils and Primulas are in bloom. But your garden is way ahead of ours. We had snow in the west and north of Toronto with some overnight frost.

This year we have an invasion of rabbits and foxes.
The foxes tease the cat all the time and Max is not very happy.
I checked the site you referred to and found my blog content as well. But can I you do??

-Cheers Gisela

rusty in miami said...

Looking great, you have so much planted in so little place. I need to take a lesson from you

Curtis said...

Rasberries, ohh i want to grow some too. I love them. Your Kitchen Garden looks great and I love the apple tree.

Linda Lunda said...

Hi! Thank you for this nice part of your blogg! It was a werry nice reading!
I think your kitchengarden looks great!

Strawberry Lane said...

What a beautiful garden. You are certainly an inspiration. I really must learn to "potter in the potager". Afraid no one in So. California would know what I was doing. But what a delight to find out.

And Vita is just gorgeous!

Karin A said...

Thak you for the tour in the potager! Sounds like you're having a nice time there planting and already harvesting. :) In Sweden we've have lots of sun lately too and before the rain came on thursday the earth was so dry. But today we had great gardening weather and I was out there all day long. :)

I wish you'll have a pleasant weekend with lots of sun!

Kram Karin

shirl said...

Hi again Yolanda, sorry it's been so long since my last visit :-)

I do love to see what's going on in your potager garden. We could send you some rain! Although I don't think you would want the hail stones that is coming with it ;-D

Love the columbine - yours are quite far ahead of ours.

Have a great weekend :-D

Entangled said...

Isn't this a fabulous time of year? Our cold-frame radishes are almost gone, but the direct-sown ones are growing fast now. I'm hoping to see many more beautiful things from your garden this summer.

Hanneles paradis said...

I love springtime.

Green thumb said...

Your Potager Seems so inviting and with Sun out at 20 degree C, it is heaven!
My favorites there are the lettuces, such healthy green color.
You are right in that home grown radishes taste so good, unlike the shop bought ones. I guess it is the mass production with indiscriminate fertilzer use that robs the veggies of their taste.

Garden Wise Guy said...

Delightful post. I'm especially impressed by how much productivity you squeeze out of your yard. I love your approach!

jodi said...

Too windy up here to deal with growing apples on the hill (and the Annapolis Valley, which I border, does it so much better...) but I did plant a Makamik crabapple today, just for the birds and the colour!

Connie said...

I am also busy in my kitchen garden, and the perennial garden, as well. The sun finally decided to come out and help things grow. :-)
Your potager looks very nice. Wonderful assortment of fruit and berries!

The Garden Faerie said...

You're so right about the taste of fresh versus store-bought radishes--I never realized they had flavor until I tasted them out of the garden! Is the metal bucket hanging from one of the supprts for animals to drink, or for you to have easy access water at hand? I see you have rain barrels, too. I made my own a few years back--they're great!
~ Monica

Weed Whackin' Wenches said...

What a lovely tour. Thank you so much. We've been talking about how to include fruit in our potager. You have inspired us and given us plenty of new ideas. What fun! Pippa is such an elegant feline. We have a vegetarian who steals asparagus off the plate, a carnivore who is shameless about seafood and a baker's cat who adores brioche buns. None seem to like fruit. More for us. --Curmudgeon

Philip Bewley said...

Thank you for showing us around your garden. I love Pippa! :)