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Potager Garden

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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.

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 plan

potager garden plan

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

potager garden plan 2

potager garden plan 2

© 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

Scroll to Continue

© 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)

Book: The Garden Lover's Guide to France

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

Paula Hite from Virginia on July 09, 2014:

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

websitescolumbu on September 23, 2013:

I really enjoyed reading your lens. Thank you!

BowWowBear on April 21, 2013:

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

laurenrich on March 16, 2013:

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

LadyDuck on February 21, 2013:

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.

anonymous on February 17, 2013:

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

lionmom100 on January 11, 2013:

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 on October 19, 2012:

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

RyanBlock on October 01, 2012:

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 on June 29, 2012:

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

casquid on May 31, 2012:

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!

anonymous on May 06, 2012:

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.

Chazz from New York on April 20, 2012:

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

gatornic15 on April 09, 2012:

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

Hope from Skokie, Illinois on April 09, 2012:

Gorgeous! Thank you!

StaCslns on March 15, 2012:

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

anonymous on March 12, 2012:

So beautiful. I wish my garden looked like that.

Rosaquid on March 05, 2012:

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

Miha Gasper from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU on March 04, 2012:

They look astonishing! Thumbs up!

Renaissance Woman from Colorado on January 28, 2012:

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 on January 09, 2012:

Love this its great

RaisedVegetableG on November 29, 2011:

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.

anonymous on November 06, 2011:

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. : )

BillSimmons on September 28, 2011:

Those look amazing!!!

E L Seaton from Virginia on September 16, 2011:

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.

Chazz from New York on August 14, 2011:

Wish I had the room to do this!

bassetmonkey on August 11, 2011:

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!

anonymous on July 30, 2011:

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. :)



Bellezza-Decor from Canada on June 30, 2011:

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

ForestBear LM on June 25, 2011:

I enjoyed visiting your lens, thank you!

justholidays on May 29, 2011:

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

sallemange on May 11, 2011:

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

Vicki from USA on March 30, 2011:

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

anonymous on March 24, 2011:

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

EmmaCooper LM on February 14, 2011:

Potagers are so cool :)

EpiphanyLondon on February 02, 2011:

Really lovely lens - thanks! :-D

JJNW from USA on October 24, 2010:

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

anonymous on July 12, 2010:

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.

Susanna Duffy from Melbourne Australia on May 09, 2010:

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

anonymous on April 23, 2010:

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.

anonymous on April 23, 2010:

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.

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