Over the last few weeks, I have roamed around my yard to find the best spot for my potager garden. Typically the potager garden is as close to the kitchen as you can get so that it’s easy to harvest fruits, vegetables and other delicious things for your dinner. With this in mind I kept pretty close to the back entry closest to my kitchen. One of the problems I found was the way my home is situated on the land, having the garden close to my kitchen wouldn’t give me the amount of continuous light that I would need for a healthy garden. If I moved it out a bit further but not so far that it’s a chore to get to, I will get the right amount of light, a slight slope to help with draining and it’s still very visible from all of the windows and doors on the back side of my house. It will entice me to spend time reflecting on life and enjoying the peace of my garden every day.
Having found the right spot for me, you can see the condition this spot is in. It’s an overgrown area that I had thought I would eventually do something with, but never really found the time for it because I didn’t know what to do with it. It gets continuous sun from sun up to sun down, which will help with the year-round growing and harvesting that I want to implement. Now I need to develop my plan. Using the typical potager garden plan I will need order, outlined or raised beds, pathways, a water feature and architectural elements. Because this has been an idea that I have been playing with for a while, I had spent time looking at a few historical and famous gardens online for ideas. I visited a few professionally cared for gardens too. They have some really beautiful and simple designs that I would like to use in my garden. Once I had decided on the spot, I then purchased a tablet of graph paper from my local store and started drawing. By drawing I mean putting squares and circles on the graph paper. I first went out to the space with a tape measure. I measured out what I thought would be the right size of space and placed a wooden stake into each of the four corners. This allowed me to physically see how big the space is going to be. When I picture my garden in my mind, it has beds with pathways large enough to allow a wheel barrow or wagon to move easily through, reaching at least one side of each bed. Some paths a little bit smaller, allowing me to walk between the beds to reach each side easily. I also wanted to have space to compost and have a water feature. To ensure that this is realistic, when I was gathering my ideas I would find samples of the idea and the dimensions needed to create those ideas. For example, my water feature idea is to use a small stock tank to make a small round pond. I looked online to see what size I would need and the measurements of that tank. I then went to the center of my garden, measured out that amount of space and then marked that on my graph paper.
Then I measured out the pathway next to that and added that to my plan. I then took each element that I wanted to add to the plan, measured it out and drew it on my plan. This allowed me to “walk” the space, picture it on paper, in my mind and know that the measurements would be the size I will need my overall space to be. Slowly building my garden in my mind, picturing each layer, each item and the place they would hold in the garden. I would then think about a small dwarf tree that I might want to add or a berry bush of some sort and if that meant I needed to add more space, I would measure that out to see if it would work. I know that what I have on paper is just the beginning and it’s still fluid as I can change it if I want, or I find a problem with what I have plotted out. Until I have the stones in place and the dirt well planted, it’s just an idea. Even then, I can always change it until it feels just right.
Next time, I believe that I will need to start deciding what to plant in my potager garden.