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Potager preference

By Penny Stine

I wrote about potager gardening (pronounced more like protégé than pot o’ germs) in the home improvement section that came out in March of this year. The word "potager" is a French term for an English kitchen garden or an American annual/perennial flower/herb/vegetable garden with pathways. No wonder the French say potager.

To help customers understand this type of gardening, Bookcliff Gardens created a demonstration potager garden this season. Ann from Bookcliff invited me out recently to see their garden, which is absolutely gorgeous and worth visiting, if you haven’t been out there recently.

Here’s a few shots of Bookcliff’s potager:

I have also been busy this year trying to turn my old garden into a potager garden and started a brand new potager garden in another area of my lawn.

My pathways aren’t as pristine (and in some areas, aren’t even visible!), my tomatillos are adding to the overall jungle-like atmosphere, and while some of my planting beds are overcrowded, some are sparse, since either the bugs decimated plants as soon as they poked their leaves above ground or the shade is stunting their growth. Overall, though, I’m tickled with my potager experiment and will do it again next year.

Bookcliff had a garden visitor while I was there; I was happy to take the pic, but equally happy that he’s visiting the Bookcliff potager and not mine.

And, it was with a small degree of consolation that I took this photo: this is a shady area in the Bookcliff demo garden. I somehow felt better that even the pros can’t seem to grow much in the shade.


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