The Potager: Kitchen Gardens

A kitchen garden is a space to grow food with herbs and edible and non-edible flowers mixed in. In France, a kitchen garden is called a ‘potager’ (pow-tuh-jei). When I think of the word ‘potager’ I envision a small edible garden that’s pretty, organized, and a welcoming space.

A kitchen garden should be fun and exciting. It does not have to resemble a big rectangular plot we till and plant rows of crops in every year. It can be small, stylish, and planted in any pattern.

Helpful Link: Brooklyn Botanic Garden- Potager Gardens

A cut flower bouquet from my kitchen garden

Growing your own food right at home can be a satisfying experience. Besides growing nutritious fresh food, it has other benefits to health. It’s a reason to get outside, get some light some exercise, and focus on something that requires you to be in the moment.

There are plenty of chances for creativity while growing a kitchen garden, such as figuring how to arrange the plants and what to do with all the food, herbs, and flowers after harvest. Too much fresh sage? Learn how to dry it and save it to make Thanksgiving stuffing.

Herbs are easy to incorporate since most are smaller and shorter than the fruiting plants. A kitchen garden could be planted with herbs alone. I built an herb spiral for one of my clients, where many different types herbs could be planted.

An herb spiral I built for a client

A kitchen garden is a way to spruce up a potentially unused area around your house. It can be located in an outdoor space near your kitchen, but can be anywhere as long as it’s easy to access. Raised beds make edible gardening easier, but the garden can be grown in the ground too.

Intermixing fruiting plants with herbs and flowers has other benefits. Flowers can be cut for bouquets to liven up the kitchen table. All the flowers from the plants invite bees, butterflies, and beetles, which we want to pollinate our food. Even though I don’t use much basil, I grow tons of it each year, just to simply please the pollinators.

EARTHeim offers consultations and garden coaching if you’d like to learn how to set up your own kitchen garden as a diy-er. I also offer design and installation services for kitchen gardens.

An upcoming book you may be interested in, ‘Kitchen Garden Revival’ will be coming out in April, written by Nicole Burke. Read the Article on Southern Living Here about her.

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