A potager is a kitchen garden with an emphasis on a mixture of vegetables, herbs, and fruits. It’s a wonderful concept as a replacement for the typical wasteland of a green lawn, and usually involves a raised bed format with mulched aisles. I’ve planned to turn the south side of my front yard into an informal potager–it’s slow process since I’m out farming during much of the season.
I did a little research online and found one that’s really impressive here. But the other thing I noticed about this particular front yard potager is there’s no sidewalks in the neighborhood where this garden is built.
Not that I have anything against sidewalks (in fact, I’m all for pedestrians rather than cars), but I’ve noticed that having sidewalks brings lots of undesirables, too: people walking their dogs and allowing them to run through (and defecate in) the gardens, trash dropped by pedestrians, drunks taking a whiz, kids whose parents haven’t taught them about running through other people’s gardens.
All these are big issues if you want to build a garden in your front yard that you actually expect to eat out of. I live in one of the nicer neighborhoods in the Verm, but these are all still problems, and they make me incredibly hesitant to sow lettuce in the newly-amended bed under my apple trees, as much as that spot is ripe for growing a nice little bed of greens.
There’s a couple on the next block who have some lovely gardens set up in their yard (very Victorian, with sculpture and the like). They’re very sweet people, but they’ve erected a pretty forbidding black iron fence around their yard. When I first saw it, I thought it was a bit of overkill, but now that I’m trying to figure out how to keep the kids and drunks and dogs out of my own gardens, I can completely see their point.
My garden won’t be as formal as the linked-to garden–the beds will be less structured and use mostly local stone from the farm rock pile (in addition to the big hunks of slate I scored from the Black Hills). I like a more informal and contoured feel to the beds instead of straight lines and hard angles.
But before I go much further in my plans and construction, it has become clear to me that I need to fence in that part of the yard–and not just because of the aforementioned issues. It’s also because of how my blood boils when those things happen.
I don’t want to have a stroke about it, nor be that woman–the one constantly shouting and chasing kids out of the yard. Better to just fence it and relax a little than constantly be freaking out!