Reading broadens the mind, and I’ve read too many gardening books to remain satisfied with a plain old vegetable garden. I of course have a potager, which (from what I’ve heard) is a vegetable garden but fancier, with vegetables but designed and mixed with flowers and supposedly a nicer place to sit around in than the dirt paths and rows of beans of your common vegetable garden. Plus it’s a French word, and here in America anything with a french name is fancier. Case in point: baguette vs ‘long loaf of bread’… fancier… and now I rest my case with just one argument, since neither my argument nor the fanciness of my potager will likely stand up to any in depth scrutiny 🙂
Just a few thoughts on Hollyhocks(Alcea) before we go to the potager. I was hoping a few rust-resistant plants might show up as I try to mix in a few “rust-resistant” species, but so far no luck. Rust is not a good look and of course I’m far too lazy to spray.
So I’m 99% sure that starting off with me sharing my disease problems is not the path to fancy, but I’m going to try and save this. The best thing in the potager this week are the larkspur and oxeye daisies.
Some people might point out that Larkspur and daisies are more abandoned farm field than they are high style, but right now I love them, and I’m not even going to mention they’re actually the result of not weeding rather than any planned style initiative.
The actual efforts at design are much less impressive. Roses and clematis to climb the ‘structure’ are still two or three years from breathtaking.
Any real potager needs a few vegetables, and so far lettuce and cole crops are the only things looking productive since the tomatoes and squash have only just gone in.
So as usual I have an excuse for being late. Rabbits made their nest in the middle of the tulip patch. Somehow six cottontails had to grow up before I could dig the tulips. I couldn’t transplant the chrysanthemums until the tulips were out, and then dahlias had to go into the bed where the chrysanthemums were. I think following chrysanthemums with a dahlia planting is called crop rotation, and all the fanciest gardeners practice crop rotation.
Some of the other tulip plantings were followed by tomatoes, and I’ll show them as well but they need a few weeks before they and the rest of the new potager plantings begin to look nice. In the meantime I need pear advice. Last year a late freeze killed off nearly every flower save three, this year every flower made it. I have dozens and dozens of little pears and I need to know if I should drag out the ladder and thin them, or if they will naturally thin themselves. To me the answer is already pretty obvious, but of course I’d love for someone with more experience to tell me I don’t have to thin them.
It doesn’t look like a few French words will fool anyone, and those are pretty much all the highlights of the potager in mid June. With the bubble burst, I might as well take you around the rest of the even less fancy parts of the back garden.
Weeds along the back of the property and now an overgrown snowdrop bed. Finally after years of tinkering this bed is becoming more stable and I think (a little)less weedy.
There’s so little design and zero fancy to this side of the yard. As the years pass it’s becoming more of a snowdrop garden and the other plantings have to take second billing, even if they do occupy the ground for about 11 months compared to the 1 month of white. Of course I cannot explain myself on this addiction.
Hopefully this end of the garden gets some attention this weekend. It’s always the last job, and for as ‘finishing’ as that sounds it really only means I go right back to the start and begin it all again, this time with more weeding and less planting…
Maybe on the next go around things will change. All the weeds will go out, some thoughtful design will go in, some rough edges cleaned up? I think not. It’s firefly season and they love all the rough edges and I love having them light up the evening garden, and for as much as I’m tempted to weed-whack the berm or mow the meadow it’s not happening this month. I’m sure I’ll get over it and it also wouldn’t hurt if I found something better to do 😉
Bonjour, and I hope you have a fancy week!