When I typed the word "Potager" in google, I found a number of definitions, all of them basically the same. A potager is a French styled, country- kitchen garden. In other words, a vegetable garden. What makes it different than any basic vegetable garden is that the plants are not simply planted in rows.
I've seen some beautiful vegetable gardens, the only one that would officially fit the description of a Potager is at Stonecrop which is in Cold Spring New York.
Our garden club went there to see their alpine and trough collections. I had no idea they had a potager there and was totally blown away when we stepped into this area.
Visiting Chanticleer in the Philadelphia Pennsylvania area, I saw some beautiful vegetable gardens but I wouldn't classify them as a "potager". This row of Asparagus sure was beautiful but I don't have a crew of gardeners to help me maitain something like this.
As I went through my photos for this post I was surprised that I didn't have more that showed pretty vegetable gardens. In fact, I had no more photos of vegetables at all!
Here in my own garden I have an area that has undergone a few changes. It started as a seedling bed when I was hybridizing daylilies. The daylily seedlings were grown in straight rows and other than during daylily bloom season it was very blah.
In 2006 we were a tour garden for the National convention of the American Hemerocallis Society (that's daylilies) and I totally changed this area. It became an herb garden that also incorporated spider-style daylilies.
Over the past two years I've been moving the daylilies out of this area. Just over the fence is a grouping of Black Walnut trees (Juglans nigra) and they emit a toxic product (jugulone) from their roots and my daylilies just don't grow well near them. Other plants though seem to grow just fine there, it's a trial and error kind of thing.
On Wednesday we had two yards of aged horse manure dropped off here. This weekend we'll be moving loads of it to this spot in our garden. I'll be moving out and potting up those spider daylilies for sale and we'll back fill the garden with the old manure.
Guess what I'll be planting?
Did you guess vegetables?
This just might be the year that I finally have a potager!