A Potager of sorts

 At the entrance to our garden there is a courtyard.  In it a  raised  square flowerbed edged in green oak.  The design reason was to cut down on the square meters of bricks that we laid out in the garden as pathways and to provide a sunny terrace.


The design reason was to cut down on the square meters of bricks that we laid out in the garden as pathways and to provide a sunny terrace.

The bed is 4 and a half square meters and varies in season between spring bulb display  and a mini potager.  I suppose it is a bit like on over-sized window box:  it is in full view and has a duty to look alluring for as long as possible. 

The winter is quite simple, it is filled with bulbs and anticipation is the pleasure.  Last autumn, I copied a planting from the Keukenhoff: 12 different tulips, anemone blanda, mascari, hyacinths and alliums.  Their website gave a recipe of how many to plant to the m2.   As you can see, I divided the bed up into blocks to make the task easier.  A lot of bulbs  gave an long successional display.  Expensive too. 

But what to do next?  The seed sowing in the greenhouse started in March and annuals and small amounts of vegetables were sown and potted on.    Ready to plant when the bulbs get ripped out. 

The alliums linger on and so I have taken the unseemly leaves off and stuck 12 hazel poles in the middle.  Climbing french beans at each station.  I am intending to sow another lot of beans to extend the eating and looking at.

Yesterday these went in with 3 dahlias, cosmos and an annual panicum.  Round the edges of the bed salad leaf crops had been put in earlier along with self seeded nasturtiums.  At the moment all is a promise.  I can certainly see why vegetables are sown in rows.  As I put the small plants in, it was a challenge to keep remembering what space will get taken up, when crops and flowers will mature and when certain crops will be over. 

Part of the self-set challenge is to see how much edible stuff we can grow in a small space.  I gave up my allotment two years back and that spurred this experiment on.  Last summer squash plants went into gaps in the borders.  I marked them with canes and they writhed around the perennials and provided a good crop. 

Must stop now and go and sow some radishes.  French breakfast 3 – what I wonder are 1 and 2. 

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