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Potager Progress

My vegetable garden expansion took place last spring. Farmboy was busy farming, the ground was workable and I had the skid steer! My exisiting vegetable garden was a series of 9 raised beds about 3 ft wide by 5 ft. long running north to south. My sister kindly pointed out that it looked like a graveyard. I’m not a rectangle with rows kind of gal. I need paths. A destination. It needs to charm me, enchant me… maybe I just wanted a place for the kids to play without stepping all over everything. I needed paths. I digress.

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View of old garden raised beds (early spring). Note playset in background… picture two-story state of the art chicken condo in a couple of years. Don’t tell the kids.

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New area to the left.

I started my expansion by layering composted horse manure from the barn and topsoil. Hmmm. If I had planned it on paper I wouldn’t have made a giant raised rectangle. It was supposed to be left until Fall but I COULD NOT leave it alone. I had to see structure, shape, green plants… and paths. Out of that huge rectangle, I dug out my little paths. Ahhh. Structure. Geometry. A destination. I worked like a crazyperson. It had to be done. I couldn’t garden in half of that space and watch the weeds take over the other half.

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I added a bench to sit and rest from my path making madness. On Mother’s Day I was given a lovely birdbath/fountain to add as the focal point of my emerging potager. I added an apple tree to each side of the bench as well as Little Gem globe arborvite to mark the entrance and termination of the two main paths.

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View to the west through the pea trellises.

Once the paths were established I added landscape fabric and mulch to keep the weeds at bay.  Along the raised edges I planted nasturtiums to keep the weeds down. They were very prolific and effective. Note to self: plant dwarf varieties next year.

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View through side perennial garden and arbor into the potager (towards south).

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View of potager (mid summer) from house.

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View to east through center axis.

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View to west from bistro set.

The bistro set was a welcome addition to the potager. La La and the Bean enjoyed breakfast out there on numerous occasions. Junebug (my mom) and I contemplated life, gardening and much more while watching the sunset and having a glass of wine. LaLa often brought us appetizers of chives, broccoli, mint and fresh green peppers.

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Mid summer view to the south with oats in background.

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View from studio in late fall.

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First snow 2009. (view from studio)

Next year I hope to add two more fruit trees. One on either side of the bistro set as well as some type of fencing. I am entertaining the idea of a picket fence. One day perhaps the paths will be in some sort of stone. I think I’m ready to add permanence to the shape. My main quandary at this time is where to hide the compost pile.: )


2 Comments so far
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I enjoyed viewing your photo series, your vegie garden reminds me a little of mine. I have a post and rail fence with arbors on each end. I like the idea of a picket fence it will make it feel/look more like a “room”. Very cute so far have fun as you move forward.

Hi Sue-

Thank you for your comment! Do you have pictures of your potager? I would love to see it. The post and rail fence sounds very nice. It is a challenge to create a room feeling and intimacy in my gardens since we live on a hill in the middle of a previous hay field- I think a fence would help too! I love the look of box lined beds. Unfortunately we get blasted with wind and I think zone 4 could be a stretch for boxwood. Are your beds lined in boxwood, wood, or brick?

Thanks again for stopping by!
Michelle

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ABOUT

Hi, I'm Michelle. I am an artist/designer specializing in unique topiary themed illustrations for the Home & Gardener. I live on a farm in Upstate New York with my husband, aka Farmboy, my two children affectionately known as "La La" and "the Bean" and a small petting zoo of other family members.

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