How To Design A Potager Garden

Potager Style Garden Full Of Plants
potager garden
(Image credit: firina)

Over the past few years potager gardens have become extremely popular in the garden design world. Many people wonder how to design a potager garden for their home. Designing a potager garden is easy if you just know a few things about them.

What are Potager Gardens?

Potager gardens combine the utilitarian nature of the English kitchen garden with the style and grace of French fashion. It is basically an ornamental vegetable garden. Plants are chosen for both their edible and ornamental natures and are put together in such a way that it looks pretty while still providing food for the household.

What is a Potager Design?

There is no one potager design. There are many different potager designs. Some favor the style of knot gardens or designs that repeat a certain pattern or a symmetrical shape. While these designs are typically true of potager garden designs, this is not the only way to design potager gardens. A traditional cottage garden design, which tends to be a little less formal, can also make a nice potager garden.

How to Design a Potager Garden

When thinking about how to design a potager garden, you are best off starting out with just a piece of paper. Consider the space you have in your garden and the plants you wish to grow. Draw all of your potager design plans out on paper before you put anything in the ground.

What are French Garden Plants?

In French style potager gardens, the only plants you need to have are ones that look good. Since you are designing a French garden, you will want to take into consideration the ornamental value of each plant, even the vegetables. Some vegetables are ornamental all on their own, while with others, you will want to look for more ornamental looking varieties. For example, instead of just plain green cabbage, try growing purple varieties. Instead of just regular red varieties of tomatoes, look into some of the many varieties of heirloom tomatoes that exist with come in colors ranging from white to near black. Color coordination and shape are also key when designing a French garden. Consider the color and shape of the plants you choose for your potager design. Remember that many long, low growing vegetables can be trained to grow vertically as well. Flowers are also essential French garden plants. Consider flowers that would match the size, shape and color of your chosen vegetables. Potager gardens do not need to be fussy things. Your potager design can be as complicated or as simple as you wish it to be. The key to how to design a potager garden is simply to make it look as nice as it tastes.

Heather Rhoades
Founder of Gardening Know How

Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007. She holds degrees from Cleveland State University and Northern Kentucky University. She is an avid gardener with a passion for community, and is a recipient of the Master Gardeners of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award.