My “potager” or kitchen garden is underway! I wanted somewhere close to the house where I could grow herbs, salads, vegetables and fruit. It had to be both functional and pleasing to the eye. Here are some of my inspirations, from Pinterest:
I was lucky enough to be able to allocate almost a quarter of the terrace to my potager, appropriating an area that was originally lawn, (pink concrete) path, and an agapanthus bed. It’s mostly south-facing, backing onto the house and edged by three liquidambar trees and a rather overgrown hedge (which is next on the list to tackle!). Not the ideal site, but much better than my original scatter of herbs in pots!
The long bed at the back is for salads and vegetables, with globe artichokes as a focal point. The square bed, closest to the house is for herbs. Currently I have parsley, coriander (cilantro), basil and chervil, with a bay tree in the centre. More to follow!
Mint, another favourite, is very invasive, so I’m under-planting the mulberry tree in the tall pot with a few different types to keep them contained. The fig tree in the big pot is under-planted with calendulas and nasturtiums.
The smaller pots that divide the potager from the rest of the terrace are citrus: a kaffir lime (indispensable for Thai cookery), a blood orange, a mandarin and a limetta.
I’ve used gravel for ground cover, with high desert flag stepping stones. Planted around the edges and between the stepping stones are aromatic plants such as corsican mint, sage, thyme and garlic chives, which I hope will further deter critters, as well as looking and smelling nice!
Along the wall a boring bed of agapanthus has been replaced by fruit – two apples and two apriums – which I may or may not espalier. I plan to put blackberries and gooseberries between them later in the year. I’m undecided as to what to plant beneath – perhaps strawberries or blueberries…what would you plant there? Currently I’m going with ornamental kale!
Once the hedge is tidy I may add another tile-edged bed and grow some more shade-tolerant edibles. Suggestions would be welcome!
What do you grow in your kitchen garden (however small!)? What were your sources of inspiration?