A potager is a French term for an ornamental vegetable or kitchen garden. The French named their kitchen gardens 'Jardin Potager'. The historical design precedent originated from the Gardens of the French Renaissance and Baroque eras. T
The arrangement of the crops is just as important as the production of food. These herbs and vegetables are often interpolated with flowering plants and shrubs, but the main features are the vegetables. Non-food plants play a supporting role in the potager but never take centre stage.
Potagers are formal in design, often conforming to geometric patterns and beds are typically enclosed by dwarf hedging. Often the paths are gravel or stone. Arches often run across paths and are covered with runner beans, grapes and roses.
Plants are grown in groups for maximum effect. Ornamental vegetables are grown as specimens amongst the beds. Vegetables are set out in beds to contrast with each other with regards to form, texture and colour. Swiss chard, with its white veins and stalks, or red varieties of celery and brussel sprouts make unusual plating combinations. The ferny leaves of the carrot, the red stalks of beetroot and yellow marjoram all contrast well. This is an opportunity to showcase vegetables in a formal garden style to dazzling effect.
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