Thursday, March 18, 2010

Potager Fun: Mix and Match

Potagers are fun, anything goes. You can mix vegetables with flowers and herbs and fruit trees and whatever else you care to throw into the pot of potage (soup). Mix and match people, don't be scared, simply mix and match.
Kitchen (victory) gardens have become all the rage lately but not every (would be) gardener is the proud possessor of vast acres. Many have to make do with just a tiny plot of land. Potagers are the right choice if you want to grow your own veg, fruit, flowers and herbs but want your smallish garden/yard to look pretty at the same time. 

A potager is a kitchen garden, an ornamental one. Most people love flowers (ooh pretty!) so do add flowers to your potager. They will not only look good, both in the potager and in a vase, but will also attract loads of insects which is a real bonus. Apart from that you'll save loads of money as you don't have to buy those poisonous bunches of scentless flowers from the shop. 

There are quite a few misconceptions about the potager concept; some people think it's mostly a kitchen garden which it is not as the pretty aspect of it is also of the importance that is very. Some think that potagers are mainly about annuals but again with the no. You can pretty much bung everything in; trees, flowers, bulbs, shrubs, veg and even the kitchen sink if you feel inclined to do so. Another thing not widely understood is that the pretty is not only provided by flowers as vegetables, fruit and herbs can look awfully pretty too. See those black peppers? Gorgeous or what? I rest my case.


So go forth and potager away with gay and colourful abandon. Plant roses next to your garlic, have cabbages together with bulbs. Plunk that kitchen sink smack in the middle of your potager and plant it up with whatever takes your fancy. Be brave, be bold, have fun! Have a potager feast for all your senses, you know you want to.

copyright 2010 Y.E.W. Heuzen

29 comments:

Ewa said...

I agree with you! be brave and bold in the garden!
your potager is the sweet one - I love it :) I am going to do more vegetable gardening this year :)
Greetings,

Lia Leendertz said...

What a lovely potager you have! It really is very pretty (and productive) indeed.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Ooh, love those dark "green" peppers. I've gotten some called mini chocolate or something this year--yummy! The reason I use the potager style isn't because I don't have a lot of growing space--which I do, but because the amount fo space I have that gets 6 or more hours of sun (required for most veg & herbs) is extremely limited. I started off as an ornamental gardener and then integrated herbs and veg. I created a new veggie bed in a side used and forgotten corner (that happens to be sunny enough (ish)) last year. I only planted veg but thought it looked so dull, I'm definitely added annuals this year.
P.S. Hope you and Mac are both on the mend!

Deb said...

I want to make one for the front garden. Yours looks lovely!

MrBrownThumb said...

Very nice. I like the way your garden is set up in grids. I wish I would've done something like that to maximize space.

greenme said...

hi friends .. I like this article very helpful for me,,,,
what about link exchange..??

James A-S said...

Those are, indeed, particularly handsome peppers and what a remarkably striking specimen that pinky object is in your first picture: nestling amongst what I can only suppose are onions.
A person who potters in potagers has to a potagiste or maybe a potergeist.
Get well soon.

the casbah kitten said...

How lovely and orderly! All of my beds are pottagers and I'm especially fond of edging flower beds with lettuces. Mine, however, are not NEARLY as neat and orderly as yours.

*Ulrike* said...

Way to go! Yours is really, really pretty. Of course I'd love to have that kind of dirt too!

Green thumb said...

Yes, that is how a potager should be - neat, clean, orderly and interesting.
I will try to follow your perspective on a potager as in my case, probably because of availability of space, orderliness got a bit compromised.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I always like to follow your potager through the seasons. It is a beauty and so full of yummy for the tummy as well.

fairegarden said...

Yours is the most beautiful of potagers, YE, you are the queen of the potager! I was thinking of you and your realm yesterday as we planted the lettuce out, trying to make it as attractive an arrangement as possible. It never comes out that way, but the effort was made. Maybe a few nastursium seeds in there when the soil warms enough will help. Cabbages with bulbs? Do you leave the tulips in all year, or dig them up?
Frances

Gail said...

I love the potager in your garden YE! But more so after reading this sentence~"You can pretty much bung everything in; trees, flowers, bulbs, shrubs, veg and even the kitchen sink if you feel inclined to do so." That is how I garden! gail ps I wish we had the time on our Malvern trip to see the potager in person!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I'm into the potager idea. I have even less sunny space than you do, so it's lettuces jammed up against Geraniums, peppers in pots and garlic wherever it'll fit. Food can look as good as it tastes, as your garden so well demonstrates.
(The word verification is "compupst." Is that compost for pups, or made from pups?)

healingmagichands said...

I have definitely joined the potager fun since we put the pavers and bed liners into the vegetable garden at the Havens. But it never occurred to me to put in bulbs. I'll be rectifying that AT ONCE.

Beautiful post. Happy spring.

Connie said...

Great post! I love mixing and matching....but the flowers sometimes overtake the veggies if I'm not careful. :-)

A wildlife gardener said...

Beautiful tulips in your Spring Header...

Beautifully ordered potager with a delightful array of crops to nourish the body and soul...a great example of how it can be done and encouragement to one and all :)

Helen at summerhouse said...

I've always liked the idea of mixing veggies and flowers. Just seems right somehow. Your potager looks lovely.

HappyMouffetard said...

Not only pretty, but a hit with the bees, I should think.

RainGardener said...

Beautiful - I love the idea. Yours is especially attractive. Thanks so much for this informative post.

虎年 said...
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Heather said...

Thank you for teaching me about potager gardens. I guess that is what I was doing but I didn't know it had a name! Happy Spring!

platform bed said...

Your garden is so nice! They are all in order! Thumbs uP!

Njut i din trädgård said...

I love this Post! I have read it again and again and again!!!

Have a nice weekend!
Caroline

Naturegirl said...

Yolanda I love your ideas for planting a potager with a mx of flowers veggies and herbs! Love what you show..oh my those black peppers look like chocolate!!
I hear from one of your blogging buddies that you are off to England!! Enjoy your time.
Happy Spring to you!!

Kerri said...

Potaging with gay abandon - a lovely idea! I love your potager, Yolander. It expresses you so well.
Those black peppers are truly beautiful.
Happy spring!

Kylee from Our Little Acre said...

You are the true garden fairy, Yolanda! Everything you touch in the garden turns to color and lush goodness. I simply must get there to see it in person. What are you doing next summer? Mom has decided that maybe it's time for a trip across the ocean and she specifically mentioned your name.

Kirsten said...

What a beautiful potager! I definitely agree that you can mix any kind of plant in there although, for me, now that we're renting a house, I plant my annuals in the ground and keep my perennials in containers; that way, if/when we move, I won't have to disturb my plants too much.

Theater Seats said...

You have a great looking garden!