Friday, August 21, 2009

A Closer Look

raised beds 3
Here is a closer look at my raised beds. I've prepared 8 so far and have 4 waiting to be worked on. Initially, I was planning on adding more beds to these rows until I reached the other side of fence, but lately, I've been having second thoughts about that. You see, I've been reading up on the traditional European-style "potager" (or what we would refer to as the "kitchen garden") and have become a bit fixated on the colors, geometric patterns and classic aesthetics associated with them. I think every gardener gets to a point in their planning where they have to weigh the benefits of form versus function. The goal of the traditional kitchen gardener was to marry both elements deemed equally important, making the potager something that was not only pleasing to the master's eye but also to the chef's needs. As a result, I think I'll stop at 12 of these raised beds (4 to each row) for now and try to think outside of the box when laying out the rest of the garden. Since fall is close at hand here in New England, at least I know I'll have time to think about it before spring rolls around. For now, I'll continue to turn the soil and sow my green manure.

raised beds 4
Planted (from top left): Asian greens, beans and beets, peas and more Asian greens, zucchini, radishes and mesclun mix. Center: carrots.


  1. Amazing progress each week! I couldn't believe how great it looked in person and I hope your little guy still loves the books! take care...

  2. I too love the potager, it was the inspiration to my graden. Of coarse I started out with a stunning bed design, but once reality set in and space constraints became the real issue my pretty designs went out the window. I did however try to incorporate flowers through out the garden for viewing pleasure.

    Some of European Kitchen Gardens are just gorgous aren't they? You deserve a break after all you have done so far!

  3. So true. It's a question of form vs. function. But, ultimately, cultivation is lovely no matter the setting. From a community garden's hodgepodge jumble to a more structured potager. It's all lovely because life grows there, food grows there. Your backyard and setup are splendid, btw. Clearly, design and meticulousness are inherent in you, both of which transpire in your superb photographs.

    While on the subject, though, I'd like to share one backyard potager I found rather outstanding. Maybe you care to have a glance.