The Herb Potager.

Bet you can’t guess which area I’m talking about!

Sometimes, I find, it takes a while to come up with a suitable plan for an open space. And by ‘a while’ I usually mean something close to 15-18 months. At that rate, we should be done in about another 25 years? But in all honesty, I need to walk around and through a space when the sun is shining to sort of sear it into my brain. Then I need to stew in ideas over the winter. And then, if I’m lucky, I’ll have an idea that is all fleshed out and ready to go come spring. In theory anyway.

We put the greenhouse up in the summer of 2016, and its location was much studied (in my slightly obsessive-nerdy way). It had to be close enough to the Veg Garden, not too far from the compost bins, and fairly easy to saunter off to. Blah blah blah- so many variables! In placing it where we did (a decision I’m still pleased with), it left an area about 12′ deep and 16′ wide between it and an edge of the Main Garden. A space big enough to do SOMETHING with, but what? We weren’t sure. For the time being, our design decision has been to smother it in black plastic. Classy!


Its tentatively called “Modern Study of Garbage and Quack Grass”.

First it was going to be an outdoor potting area.
Then it was going to be a water feature.
Then a seating area.
Then a formal knot garden.
Then I thought a simple potager/parterre would fit the bill and it could be filled with the herbs that I never make room for anywhere else. That was the idea that finally suck.

I played around with shapes and designs and how the area would be most useful and most attractive. I’m always seduced by the elaborate curves and twists and shapes of the classic French parterres but seriously doubt our ability to execute one that doesn’t look like a bit like a bad acid trip. I stuck to simple shapes (squares, triangles, circles) and played around with some options. The husband weighed in with his favorites and I dialed it in from there.


We eventually settled on one with 4 central diamonds on point, surrounded by triangles. Like so.img-4530.jpg

You can see my notes (this is in my Garden Journal that I talked about keeping around to contain your late night musings and lessons you’d rather not repeat) and the diagram that will serve as the blueprint (complete with lumber calculations!). I’ve listed out the plants I plan to use- both herbs and flowers- and how various potted plants (like our banana, the bottle palm, the fig and the orange (this will be the name of my new band).


Hopefully we can break ground on this space fairly early on this Spring. I’ll be sure to post updates once the dirt is flying.

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