Le Potagère, Red and Blanche

La Potagere, Red and Blanche

This post has been a long time coming because I had to keep redoing the walls of my raised beds. I couldn’t decide on the design, you can see from my initial post how I’ve changed, and I ended up finding big stones to sit on the bottom of the beds so it was more secure. The work has been back breaking. But I’m so pleased with the result.

I knew it would be expensive to fill the raised beds with soil, so I was waiting for a bargain.  Thankfully Lidl came to the rescue with a 20litre bag for 1,30€. I spent two days driving from Lidl to Lidl stocking up; I looked odd with shopping trollies full of soil. Overall I got 96 bags. Yes, you read it right. 96.

It sounds complete overkill, but two thirds of that went in these huge stone beds. The remainder will go in a third bed I’m planning, which will be a diamond shape in the middle (I’ve drawn it in in the image above). I’ve no doubt that the rest of the soil will be well used there.

You’ll notice how in the image above there is a pile of rocks. I nearly broke myself getting that in situ! I’ve placed them there as my folks gave us a sundial for christmas. It’s beautiful, but pointy and not great for children running round. So up high and out of the way seemed like a safer option. 

You can see that I’ve continued trimming the tree as this section of the garden continues. I’m plann on a little hedge of various herbs, or lavender where I’ve drawn the scribble hedge; but I’ll have to think carefully about that as they may not get the sun.

I’ve also filled one of the gaps that lead into this section of the garden. I’m making the other one wider as each is a little narrow, so this seems a sensible thing to do. My daughters, standing proudly beside the newly filled in gap, helped with this section a lot. You can see we’ve planted a shaped topiary there as well as some flowers we moved from the shaved off section. I hope the bush grows to fill in this gap more, making that section of the garden quite private from everywhere else.

The girls also enjoyed trampling down the newly placed dirt in the beds. It all seems to be holding up so far!

In the original post I told you how I’d removed a hydrangea bush from the circular section. I’m thinking of planting a small fruit tree there as it will add height and further enhance the seperate feeling to that area of the garden. 

So more work to do before we start the planting and I’ve been pretty exhausted by hauling bag after bag of earth, rocks and everything else around. So……I got a little crazy.

In the garden is a fenced in dog pen and…..well……

I’ll tell you more about them later.

Le Potager

The Groundwork For A New Way of Living

My body aches. I started the project yesterday and continued today; the family potagère, our kitchen garden. We have a walled section of garden just to the side and I thought it would be perfect for one, especially as I intend to focus on healthy eating this year. So, with the kiddos off school and little point in my starting internal projects, I thought this would be the perfect way to keep them occupied.

The day was crisp, but not overly cold, as I set to work lobbing branches from an evergreen that dominated the space. I’m afraid I can only show you pictures of the site once I’d started, as I was so eager to get going, but believe me just cutting of as much as I had made an enormous difference to the space and light. It now awaits my husband to get going with the chain saw on the weekend.

When he’s does there will be a tree stump as well as another previous one. As I won’t really be able to plant on this patch I’m hoping to put a chicken coop there one day – though that’s a dream at the moment.

Along the side wall had been a row of Hydrangea – I’ve managed to remove four, replanting one at the side fence (though I don’t know if it will stay there). All the back fence and side wall already have Hydrangea so I don’t feel it’s a loss to remove the others completely.

The area is surrounded in the main by walls as well as some open flower beds. The wall diving it from the rest of the garden is ancient and used to go to the main house. As sections of it have been removed the stones have been used to edge flower beds and created little walls throughout. There’s also a large pile of them next to our neighbours back wall.

When I started to research potegères there was some lovely examples of raised beds with stone edging. As I wanted raised beds this seemed like a good idea for ours.

I’ve made a preliminary plan for the layout based on the little research I’ve done; what to plant and how, bed rotation and sunlight availability and I’ve used this to start to mark put where the beds and paths are going to be. However I’m going to do some more research on other things like companion plants. I’ll write more on this later.

In the meantime it’s turning out to be a challenging, but hopefully rewarding, project for us as a family. The girls certainly like helping, for short periods of time anyway 😉.