Skip to main content

'The Potager Plan'

Inspired by the kitchen garden book I mentioned a few posts back, I have officially begun to implement my 'Potager Plan'.  The perennial garden next to my patio is going to become a rectangular potager with wooden boxes as raised beds for growing veggies. 

I have always been annoyed with the garden next to our patio but wasn't sure why.  I widened it to fit some more plants in, then widened it some more and curved the edge to make for easier mowing along it, and still it just looks, I don't know, like a really boring perennial garden.  Now I think it's not the garden that's the problem, but actually the giant, square, stamped-concrete behemoth of a patio next to it.  It doesn't fit into the scheme of curvy foundation beds around the house. Since it's a little tougher so change concrete, I've decided to try changing the garden instead. 

I wanted veggies growing closer to the house, and I can't get much closer here!  The potager will be bordered by the patio on one side, the back of the house on another, and eventually a sweet little picket fence on the two outside edges, complete with a cedar arbor covered w/ climbing roses as another entrance to the space.  I think the straight lines of the potager layout will be a nice complement to the patio shape.  And after all this time designing and promoting curving bed lines and gardens that try to emulate the randomness of nature, I am craving a space with some easy, logical order and definite borders.  An 'everything-in-its-place' garden.  A 'let's pretend I'm actually in control of these plants' garden. 

So, the plan is to build 4'x4' square boxes out of 2"x10"x8' western red cedar boards.  Due to lumber costs I am still debating on how many, somewhere between 4-6, but time to hem and haw is running out as spring is finally here!   Also am debating on making one box in the design a sandbox or saving on lumber and going w/ a super-fancy green plastic turtle sandbox in it's place since it would have an equally fancy turtle shell cover to keep the sand dry.

A sketch of the potager plan: 

I know what you're thinkin', "She's a landscape designer?"  Well, pipe down, it's a SKETCH, dude.

Anywho, meantime I need to transplant a crapload of plants out of this space to new homes. Over the weekend I moved out the shrubs, 3 Annabelle Hydrangeas and 3 Goldmound spirea, adding them to the now expanding shrub border along the west edge of the yard.  Perennials are just starting to peek their heads out so I wanted to give them more time to show themselves so I know where to dig.  Plus, I don't know where they're all going to end up yet.  Today I raked off the mulch so I could see the remaining plants better.  Probably a mistake since we're expecting freezing rain/snow again in a couple of days, oopsies. Mother Nature fooled me again.


Popular Posts

Broccoli Land Speed Record

I'm behind in posting my seed starting progress.  On Wed, March 16th, about 8 weeks till last predicted frost, I started my pepper seeds.  I planted two cells of Jalapeno, two of green bell peppers and 5 of the colorful Carnival Mix bells.  I always plant 2-3 seeds per cell and then thin to the strongest survivor.  So they are all up and happy now: I was planning to start my tomato and broccoli seeds a week ago on Tues, March 29th (6 weeks till last frost) but didn't get around to it until Friday, April 1st.  Close enough.  Mother Nature's behind this spring too if you ask me.  It snowed last week, for pete's sake! Last night, I went down to water and check on things, and the Romanesco Broccoli seeds are already up!  That's got to be a broccoli land speed record, right?  Three days?  The package says they emerge in 10-21 days so I am feeling pretty dang good about my wicked horticultural skillz.  Here's a pic of my eager little broccoli seedlings:

Go Home

I haven't left my corner of the world past the mailbox in a week. I haven't blogged in, I don't know, years? Coronavirus is here. Our spring break turned into 'social distancing' instead of visiting Grandma and Grandpa.  Regardless of human anxiety and fear, spring has the guts to show up. Snow piles are almost melted, birds are chatty in the cottonwood tree and the rhubarb is peeking out of the ground near the chicken coop. Seeds have the audacity to grow. Do I?

Night gardening deserves a quiet night

One evening this week, Monday, June 20th to be exact, my Hubby and I planted our new blueberry hedge around the two outside edges of the potager.  I ended up deciding on 'Northblue' plants since they looked nice at the nursery and Auntie Linda, who grows just a tiny ACRE of these blue beauties, gave her seal of approval to the performance of this northern-hardy variety.  Apparently they've only failed to produce once in twenty years for her, that's a pretty solid record in my book.  I don't really have it in the 'budget' to buy eleven #1 gallon blueberry plants, so Hubby and I declared them his Father's Day gift, pretty much making them a necessity.  That's how we roll. I wanted to act like a sober gardener and plant in straight rows for once, so I actually measured and marked the rows w/ paint before digging.  They are planted on center 4' away from the outside veggie boxes.  'Northblue' is supposed to get about 3' wide so theoreti