French for “kitchen garden,” a jardin potager is an ornamental vegetable garden that combines edible herbs and vegetables with flowers and other aesthetic elements to create a garden that is both functional and beautiful.
Here’s how to design a traditional kitchen garden.
Build Raised Beds — Design your kitchen garden as a series of raised beds or garden containers with gravel or mulch paths in between to allow easy access. Build your raised beds to allow for a minimum of six inches of soil depth, up to three feet or higher.
Design Plant Groupings — Decide which vegetables you want to grow and plant in companion groupings with one group in each raised bed. This will allow for easy crop rotation, which helps keep the soil fertile and protects against diseases and pests.
Add Color and Form — Plant edible herbs and flowers in between your vegetable clusters, making sure to arrange by height. Includenatural pest controllers such as marigolds, nasturtiums, lavender, clover and chrysanthemums.
Include Vertical Elements — Use tepees and trellises to support plants and add an aesthetic element to your garden space. Vegetables that benefit from vertical gardening include tomatoes, peas and beans, cucumbers, squashes and melons.
Create Enjoyment Areas — Don’t forget to build in a place to sit and enjoy your beautiful kitchen garden. Build an arbor to create a shaded area for afternoon tea or tuck a park bench into a quiet corner.