Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Potager 101

Potager: A Potager garden is no mere vegetable patch—with a perfect blend of aesthetics and utility, it's a stylish garden offering both edible and visual delights. The fruits, flowers, herbs, and vegetables you grow and harvest there will feed you and your family—and your spirits. (Inspired definition from here.)

You've got to start somewhere, but this is what I am hoping our front yard veggie garden could one day look like:

Pretty, no? I love that it doesn't scream veggie garden at you, but if you look close, you can see the yummy stuff mixed in with the ornamentals. Both gardens are by Michelle Derviss, a Marin-based landscape architect that you can read more about here.

She bordered both gardens in boxwood to define the space, mixing in edibles and decorative plants around the gravel walkways to create beautiful yet functional front-yard gardens. I really love how both pics have a plotted plant in the center for some vertical visual interest. I can almost picture a bench off to one side. You can definitely pick up on the English kitchen garden roots that these potager gardens grew out of. (Pun intended.)

This idea of taking back the front yard is gaining momentum. Many landscape architects are urging Americans to rethink the traditional lawn as front yard, including Fritz Haeg, whose "Edible Estates" program is discussed both in the link above and the resources below.

I still have to dig into many of these links and books (the puns just keep on coming, I tell ya!), but I have skimmed them and am dying to find the time to really educate myself.

This article is my favorite that I have run across so far on this growing trend: http://www.chow.com/food-news/54388/eat-your-lawn/

Here are some other sites I have been perusing in the last couple days:
Lastly, here's some books I would love to get my gardening gloves on:

Amazon.com might just be getting a small chunk of my paycheck this month. These are by no means an exhaustive list of resources. That said, I would *love* to check out any other resources or ideas you have, so drop me a comment if you feel so inclined.


  1. Looks gorgeous, but what's with the random hand sticking out of the bush in the first photo?

  2. Wow- somehow I managed to NOT see that the first time.

  3. I wouldn't do the hand myself, but it's more funny than creepy to me. Maybe it's just me...