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Potager Garden

Updated on December 31, 2014

Potager Garden Layout

The potager kitchen garden (pronounced poe-ta-zhay), initially developed by French monks, became popular in the 16th century in France. The potager was quite widespread, from large chateaus to the common farmyard. Strictly speaking, the potager is really just a kitchen garden, but it now often means a decorative vegetable garden. The traditional potager garden contains symmetrical, geometrical garden beds, with the vegetables planted in patterns or groups rather than in rows, often with flowers, herbs and fruit intermingled.

On this page, you will find some pictures of famous potager gardens and some garden plans based on these potagers. I hope this inspires you to create your own kitchen garden.

Potager picture credit: denisema4 on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


Potager Gardens at Chateau Villandry

The potager gardens at Chateau Villandry, France, are a spectacular example of some of different garden layouts available for a large scale potager. There are nine different potager garden layouts at Villandry, all the same size, surrounded by a small fence. These potagers can each by symmetrically divided into four quarters. Each garden bed within the potager is bordered by short hedges.

On this page, I have used some vegetable garden planning software to create potager garden layouts based on these potagers at Villandy and another garden, but on a much smaller scale, more suitable for an ordinary backyard.

The potagers at Château Villandry are bordered by low hedges, but in your own potager, you could use a border of flowers (eg marigolds), herbs (eg parsley), another vegetable (eg lettuce) or no border at all.

See more pictures of the Chateau Villandry and its gardens.

Picture above right: © Copyright cookipediachef (CC BY 2.0)

Villandry Potagers - An aerial view of the garden layouts

If you use the zoom in button (+) below the arrows on the top left of the map, you can see the nine Villandry potager gardens arranged in a 3 x 3 square below the marker and slightly to the left.

A marker7 rue principale, 37510 villandry, france -
7 rue principale, 37510 villandry, france
get directions

The potager garden layouts pictured below were all produced using this useful garden planning software.

Potager Garden Layout 1 - One of the 9 Villandry potager gardens

potager garden 1
potager garden 1 | Source

© Copyright caspermoller (CC BY 2.0)

potager garden plan
potager garden plan

Potager Garden Layout 2 - Another of the 9 Villandry potager gardens

potager garden plan 2
potager garden plan 2 | Source

© Copyright Joe Shlabotnik (CC BY 2.0)

potager garden layout 2
potager garden layout 2

Potager Garden Layout 3 - One quarter of one of the 9 Villandry potager gardens

potager garden plan
potager garden plan | Source

© Copyright ell brown (CC BY 2.0)

potager garden layout 3
potager garden layout 3

(Contains cucumbers, peppers (capsicums), lettuces, tomatoes, carrots, beans, sweetcorn, flowers)

Potager Garden Layouts 4 and 5 - One quarter of one of the 9 Villandry potager gardens


© Copyright ell brown (CC BY 2.0)

Summer Potager Plan

potager garden layout 4
potager garden layout 4

(Contains basil, chives, lettuces (2 varieties) oregano, parsley, peppers, summer squash, sweetcorn, cherry tomatoes and a dwarf apple tree)

Fall / Winter Potager Plan

Fall - Winter potager garden layout
Fall - Winter potager garden layout

(Contains broad beans, beetroots, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, leeks, peas, spinach, swiss chard (silver beet), turnips and a dwarf apple tree in the center.)

Potager Garden Layout 6 - Chateau du Grand Jardin, Joinville, Haute-Marne


© Copyright A3X (CC BY-SA 2.0)

potager garden layout 6
potager garden layout 6

(Contains sweet corn, lettuces, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, chives, beetroot, parsley, Swiss chard, phacelia (a flowering plant which attracts bees and other beneficial insects) and rhubarb in the center.)

Potager Garden Layouts 7 and 8 - Château de Gruyère, Switerland


© Copyright pratensis (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Left-most garden bed in the picture

Chateau de Gruyere garden design potager
Chateau de Gruyere garden design potager

(Contains cornflower, aubergine (eggplant), pepper (capsicum), sweetcorn, tomato, basil, parsley, sage, oregano, echinacea, cosmos)

Middle garden bed

Chateau de Gruyere, Suisse potager2
Chateau de Gruyere, Suisse potager2

(Contains poached eggplant, black currant, blueberry, swiss chard (silver beet), letuce, carrot, celery, rhubarb, cosmos)

Have you ever tried a potager garden design? - Leave your green thumb print here to let me know you dropped by

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    • paulahite profile image

      Paula Hite 3 years ago from Virginia

      I've been to Villandry, and its stunning! I shared your lens on our Facebook page today! Come and check it out!

    • websitescolumbu profile image

      websitescolumbu 3 years ago

      I really enjoyed reading your lens. Thank you!

    • BowWowBear profile image

      BowWowBear 4 years ago

      Beautiful, but not ready for that one! Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      laurenrich 4 years ago

      I have never tried a potager garden design, but it does look interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      LadyDuck 4 years ago

      Great lens, the "Jardins Potager" are very common in France and sometimes they are really gorgeous. I like the mix of flowers and colored vegetables, very pleasant.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am beginning to plan a potager for my backyard in So Ca.... and love looking at established ones!

    • profile image

      lionmom100 4 years ago

      I have not tried one, but am envious of those who have the room to do so. I did just put in two raised beds for veggies.

    • GardenIdeasHub LM profile image

      GardenIdeasHub LM 4 years ago

      I have never tried a potager garden but yours are beautiful! What a fun and unique way to grow things.

    • RyanBlock profile image

      RyanBlock 4 years ago

      This is a type of gardening that previously I had not heard of, potager gardening is pretty interesting. I wonder what these gardens do in the winter, being so focused on decorative kitchen plants would make it hard to have a full yard in winter.

    • Go-Modern profile image

      Go-Modern 5 years ago

      Wow, I just love the symmetry of these - in fact Ive bookmarked this lens AND featured it on my modern garden lens!

    • casquid profile image

      casquid 5 years ago

      Remarkable footage of layouts to use. Too bad, there isn't enough room in my backyard to turn around without bumping into something. I do my gardening in pots and Topsy Turvy's. Great work on the lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi I'm in the planning stage have always had standard prairie garden but I'm looking at making rasised beds this year so I don't have to crawl to weed anymore.Love the look of potager gardens I have lots of room but will need to build wind break of some kind. Thanks for pictures and infor. I'll keep sketching.

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 5 years ago from New York

      I wish I had the room to do this. Hi Five -- I love the designs you presented.

    • gatornic15 profile image

      gatornic15 5 years ago

      These are some beautiful gardens. I have not tried it myself...wish I had the room to.

    • GollyGearHope profile image

      Hope 5 years ago from Skokie, Illinois

      Gorgeous! Thank you!

    • profile image

      StaCslns 5 years ago

      Oh my goodness! These are so beautiful! I never knew about them! Super lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      So beautiful. I wish my garden looked like that.

    • Rosaquid profile image

      Rosaquid 5 years ago

      Great lens! I enjoyed the info and the beautiful, informative illustrations.

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 5 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      They look astonishing! Thumbs up!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      These potager gardens are gorgeous. This is the Art of Gardening, for sure. Thanks for the link to the free garden planning software trial. Appreciated.

    • Vallygems1 profile image

      Vallygems1 5 years ago

      Love this its great

    • RaisedVegetableG profile image

      RaisedVegetableG 5 years ago

      I love potager gardens, especially in the front yard. I particularly like your design number 6, the unusual shapes and slightly less formal approach appeal to my more casual nature.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I am doing a project on this place and I absolutely love this! I have to make a model, so... this is going to help me a lot. : )

    • profile image

      BillSimmons 5 years ago

      Those look amazing!!!

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 5 years ago from Virginia

      This is one of my favorite lenses. Thanks for sharing. I never saw a garden like this when we got shore leave in France. This give me some retirement gardening ideas for the years to come. The gardens are truly magnificent, an no I have never attempted anything quite like this. Outstanding job of lens building.

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 6 years ago from New York

      Wish I had the room to do this!

    • bassetmonkey profile image

      bassetmonkey 6 years ago

      Not on the scale pictured here but I have tried the ... uh ... intense grouping that is considered here. What I need is a full time gardener, I think! LOL ... Really great job with this lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Hi GonnaFly,

      I enjoyed your Lense. Very beautiful gardens!

      I planted a Thyme Clock Garden many years ago, that was a lot of fun. The designing aspect was part of the fun too. :)


      N T T

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 6 years ago from Canada

      I've only done a raised garden, but nothing that looks like these raised French gardens! Well done.

    • ForestBear LM profile image

      ForestBear LM 6 years ago

      I enjoyed visiting your lens, thank you!

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 6 years ago

      This is proof that we can create a wonderful classic garden with vegetables! Excellent lens! Blessed, of course.

    • sallemange profile image

      sallemange 6 years ago

      I'd not heard of these. How interesting. Relates to my interest in Forest Gardening.

    • Retro Loco profile image

      Vicki 6 years ago from USA

      Potager gardens are so pretty. (thank you for providing the pronunciation!!) Another great lens you created!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Been looking all over for good potager layouts...thank you for having some great designs for inspiration!

    • EmmaCooper LM profile image

      EmmaCooper LM 6 years ago

      Potagers are so cool :)

    • profile image

      EpiphanyLondon 6 years ago

      Really lovely lens - thanks! :-D

    • JJNW profile image

      JJNW 6 years ago from USA

      No, I haven't, but I am inspired!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I am planning my potager garden right away! I am very excited and inspired. I will pray first and ask that God will bless my hard work and harvest.Cant wait.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Oh my, if only I had the room for a potager. My garden is mainly pots!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I have built a Tuscan-styled home and want some formality in my vegetable/fruit/flower gardens. I very much lie the poteger gardens. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I have built a Tuscan-styled home and want some formality in my vegetable/fruit/flower gardens. I very much lie the poteger gardens. Thanks for the inspiration.