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 ChÃ¢teau 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.
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.
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
© Copyright caspermoller (CC BY 2.0)
Potager Garden Layout 2 - Another of the 9 Villandry potager gardens
© Copyright Joe Shlabotnik (CC BY 2.0)
Potager Garden Layout 3 - One quarter of one of the 9 Villandry potager gardens
(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
Summer Potager Plan
(Contains basil, chives, lettuces (2 varieties) oregano, parsley, peppers, summer squash, sweetcorn, cherry tomatoes and a dwarf apple tree)
Fall / Winter Potager Plan
(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)
(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 - ChÃ¢teau de GruyÃ¨re, Switerland
© Copyright pratensis (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Left-most garden bed in the picture
(Contains cornflower, aubergine (eggplant), pepper (capsicum), sweetcorn, tomato, basil, parsley, sage, oregano, echinacea, cosmos)
Middle garden bed
(Contains poached eggplant, black currant, blueberry, swiss chard (silver beet), letuce, carrot, celery, rhubarb, cosmos)