Planning a Potager Garden

It's almost Spring!!!  Hooray!  
Every year, my dear husband plants his garden.
This year, he is letting me take over and make a few changes to the overall layout before he starts planting.  
We are excited to get this process going.

As I map out a plan, I googled Images of a Potager Garden.  
This one by Douglas Vanderhorn Architects made me gasp...

Brick! Brick! Brick! and a darling little potting shed.  
Be still my heart!!

But alas, we don't have the space or the moolah for this, so we will have to figure out something a little more cost effective. 

This garden has more of an "Eleven Gables" feel.  I love the stacked stone wall, concrete planters spilling over with flowers, an open gate begging you inside, the crunch of a gravel path underfoot, clipped boxwood, and ivy climbing up an old potting shed.  It's the perfect English Garden to me. 

Here is the side yard that we will be transforming:

This view is where the entry to the garden will be.
Can't you just imagine a little pergola covered with roses leading you into a beautiful garden abundant with food and flowers?

This is the opposite end looking back toward the "entry."  At this back end will be a greenhouse some day.

We have approximately 90 feet total in length and 20 feet in width.

The only issue we really have is that the previous owners bought this little strip of land from the neighboring property years ago.  It juts into their property.  When the current owners built, they didn't follow code and drain to the street.  Instead, their entire property drains onto our property.  This has made for a very awkward and sticky relationship with the neighbors.  Anyway, it looks like we will have to incur the costs of rerouting their water so as to prevent further flooding to our property.  We could possibly attain this with french drains and retaining walls.  

As I ponder over the next steps, I want to share some of my inspiration I have found with you..

THIS edible garden design book shows you how to mix florals and edibles together in your landscape.

And THIS book is my very, very favorite gardening book of all time.  

There are only a few copies available at the time I am writing this....  hurry and pick one up! You won't be disappointed.  It is full of gorgeous images and ideas on what makes the perfect southern garden.  Buy a copy HERE!

Today, I have taken the time to get some of my thoughts/ideas on paper.  I always pull out the graph paper to begin my process.  This allows me to visualize the garden and get an idea for placement.  Every square represents one square foot.  I can start shopping for the appropriate sized raised beds and other accessories that will be needed in order to get this process started.  We can also figure out how we want to deal with the neighbor's water run off.

I'm going to ponder this over the weekend and see what my dear husband thinks of the direction we are heading.

I always love your thoughts and comments.

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My favorite faux topiary for Outside

Spring is right around the corner and I am busy planning our garden.  One of my little gardening secrets I want to let you in on is FAUX Boxwood Topiary.  Yes, I said it.  I'm sure it is frowned upon within the elite gardener groups, but here in Oklahoma, I can't seem to keep topiaries alive.  The dry winters and hot hot summers have killed my expensive topiary year after year. I'm sure it has nothing to do with my forgetting to water them.

My favorite topiary:

I ordered these five years ago and they have held up so well.  I will be placing another order for two more so I can keep two on either side of the bench and two on either side of the front door.  

You can purchase them
(as most of you know, if you purchase them through my links I get a commission.  Commissions don't increase the price to you, but allow me to make a small amount of income so that I can continue to blog.  Thank you for supporting me!)

When you receive your topiaries, they come in a box like this: 

See that tiny pot? That is simply for weight....

Just pop the topiary into a larger planter....
 I used THESE
They look like antique iron boxes for less than $50.00 each!

Place old rocks or bricks inside planter and around the small topiary pot to give weight and keep the topiary from blowing over.

I live in Oklahoma, so we get pretty windy over here... make sure the bricks keep the topiary from moving at all.

Finally, top the planter off with mulch or moss to hide the bricks inside.

Last but not least, FLUFF THOSE BRANCHES!! :)

I know the topiaries are a little pricey, but I really consider them an investment.  I have wasted so much money by throwing away dead boxwood topiaries.  
Another little thought... I don't know whether these perform well in full sun.  They are on my covered porch.  They do get some morning sun.  ***UPDATE*** I have had several reports from happy topiary owners who purchased these years ago saying that the faux topiaries are holding up wonderfully in full sun!!

What are your thoughts about FAUX plants?  I'd love to hear in the comments!

Be sure and watch my Instastories for Gardening tips and life with "the Girls of Eleven Gables"

Happy Gardening!!

xx,  Emily