How to Design a Potager, or Kitchen Garden, in Your Backyard

How to Design a Potager, or Kitchen Garden, in Your Backyard

A kitchen backyard combines veggies and decorative plants in lovely techniques for a room that is both equally charming and handy. Often known as a potager from the French ‘jardin potage,’ or ‘soup garden,’ this fashion has been a section of historic estates, place homes, and informal cottage gardens in the course of history in France and in quite a few other cultures. “What’s so enchanting about a potager is that there is an aspect of strong architectural sort, these as tightly clipped boxwoods, mixed with loose, billowing bouquets in bloom, which produces an interesting distinction,” states Linda Vater, writer of The Tasteful & Edible Backyard: Layout a Desire Kitchen area Backyard garden to In shape Your Temperament, Wishes and Way of living, and host of a well-known YouTube gardening channel. “A potager engages all your senses. It must be visually appealing but also have components of texture and fragrance to build fairytale attraction and a sense of peace.”

How to Style a Potager Garden

Commence modest.

Any dimension plot performs for a kitchen area backyard. If you are new to gardening, it is best to get started little and fully grasp the time commitment just before excavating your complete side yard so that you won’t get discouraged and sense overcome. Following all, this is meant to be satisfying! You can plant a potager in a selection of window containers, containers or pots on your patio or balcony, as well, if that is the only room accessible, suggests Vater. Pots also can be positioned strategically in the course of backyard garden beds to insert peak this permits you to shift them, if essential, to accommodate altering styles of sunlight as the season progresses.


The Classy & Edible Garden

Choose the correct spot.

Although a potager is traditionally put near the door closest to the kitchen, you need to look at the atmosphere in your have garden. Vegetables need full sunlight, which is 6 or far more hours of direct sunlight for each working day. Make your mind up where your potager will get the right publicity, then strategy accordingly, even if it indicates the yard is placed farther absent from the household. But make sure drinking water is obtainable, much too, so you’re not struggling with thirsty vegetation through a July heatwave.

Plant plenty of unique herbs.

Herbs are an fantastic basis for your potager, suggests Vater. Quite a few perennial herbs, this sort of as lavender, thyme, sage, and oregano, are simple to grow and will return year right after calendar year. Enable your herbs to flower, which attracts pollinators that are vital for edibles, this kind of as squash, to produce fruit.

Herbs are incredibly multipurpose, also. Vegetation this kind of as dill and sage make gorgeous bouquets for the kitchen counter, lavender can be floated in beverages or employed to increase fragrance to your bathwater, and chamomile can be steeped fresh new or dried for a comforting tea. Natural topiaries are nevertheless another way to infuse texture, appeal and fascination to your potager.

Incorporate very, effortless-treatment edibles.

Lots of edibles are wonderful in their possess suitable, such as rainbow-hued Swiss chard, the deep blue-environmentally friendly leaves of Tuscan kale, and colorful lettuces. Uncomplicated-to-expand veggies to look at consist of cayenne peppers, which can be used refreshing or dried cherry tomatoes, which appear in a wide range of hues and very small eggplants, which are suited for containers. In simple fact, numerous new vegetables have been produced to be additional compact for escalating in containers. Yet another alternative is to produce a themed back garden, this kind of as a spaghetti yard with tomatoes and basil or a cocktail garden with garnishes these types of as mint and rosemary.

potager full view

The Elegant & Edible Backyard garden

Mingle ornamental crops during your potager backyard garden.

Both equally once-a-year and perennial bouquets have a spot in a potager. Pansies and nasturtiums are pretty annuals, and they’re edible, much too. Perennials and shrubs this kind of as roses, lavender, salvia, coneflowers, and black-eyed Susans draw in pollinators and insert colour, texture, and fragrance. You also can incorporate cutting garden favorites these as larkspur, cosmos, zinnia, dahlias, sunflowers, mums, and asters for coloration throughout the time.

Determine the room.

Your potager should have a feeling of enclosure, which can be achieved with a framework of raised beds, fencing, or a border of clipped boxwood hedges. The plan is to offer a feeling of intimacy, security, and privateness, as perfectly as to divide the garden into workable place for upkeep, reinforce the idea of backyard “rooms,” and define the tone of the room, says Vater. Enclosures also transform your potager into a welcoming spot to take it easy or entertain visitors.

Produce paths.

Paths not only allow you to wander by the backyard to admire the switching sights, but they’re also important so you can kneel down to weed or harvest your veggies and herbs. A path doesn’t have to be vast, but it does have to have to leave adequate room so you can get to in and do the job with your vegetation without stepping into the bed and compacting the soil or wrenching your again, claims Vater.

potager entry

The Stylish & Edible Back garden

Incorporate garden structures.

Garden structures these as a tuteurs, trellises, or arbors give a focal issue in the backyard but also deliver surfaces for vegetation to climb. “If you really don’t have a large amount of room, you have to increase upward, not out,” claims Vater. These structures provide help for vegetables these as cute tiny pattypan squashes, climbing beans these as the heirloom scarlet runners, nasturtiums of all hues, and rambling roses. There needn’t be a separation of edible and ornamental vegetation in point, a potager is most delightful when these plantings are intertwined.

Just take chances.

No matter if you’re a new gardener or have been digging in the dust for yrs, do not be scared to experiment. It’s also handy to jot a couple notes in a backyard journal or snap some shots of your garden to remember when specified plants budded or bloomed or what did especially nicely (or not so perfectly!) this calendar year.

Ultimately, be patient: Crops will die, irrespective of your ideal efforts, mainly because nature is fickle. But it is all so really worth it! “A backyard garden is a dynamic area that stirs creativeness and feeds the soul,” states Vater. “It takes time to establish and continually variations and evolves, which is aspect of the journey.”