Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Courtyard Potager Garden Design ~ Revised

Well Folks, I'd like to hear what you think.
So Far!
From the time I was young and dust was new,
I was taught that you don't show incomplete projects.
For the most part, I've kept pretty true to that teaching.
Where it originated?  and why?
Maybe it's one more effect of media showing us everything from start to finish
 in 20 minutes or a 4 page spread.
I know not.
This was taken the first or second year we had the garden back here.

In the last post, I mentioned that we usually have one or two larger projects going at any one time as well as multiple smaller projects.
That got me to thinking.
So many little, huge, ginormous pockets of our time are spent on these projects, not sharing seems wrong.
After all, life itself is just one big unfinished project.
Isn't it better to show the progress and set backs and share encouragement, joy and sorrow then to hide it all away to the end?
The string lines are difficult to see but that's how much the paths migrated.

With that said, I'm throwing caution to the wind, breaking the rules, and
showing you one of our unfinished projects.
When I initially laid out our current garden design,
I used a traditional courtyard layout with grass paths.
I loved it for maybe that first year.
After that, it became a nuisance to mow, and 
the grass wouldn't stay out of the garden plots.
Over the course of a few years, the paths "migrated,"
so the plots were no longer square and even.
Back to the drawing board I went.
We had a huge pile of salvaged regular red bricks.
It couldn't be just a red brick road.
The artsy side of me can't do that.
This is as far as we got last fall.

I came up with a design and worked 16" pebble covered grey bricks into the path with the red bricks in a basket weave design to fill in.
We began last fall, then it froze and sat all winter incomplete.
And here I must mention,
I have an absolutely wonderful husband.
He has done this project for me.  
Other than packing a brick or two or fetching a tool, he has done the work.
I draw up a design and he builds/constructs etc.
Tilled the whole thing in order to cut the path.

All the full bricks are in place and he has been cutting bricks to fill in the edges.
That part is a slower, more tedious process
which is why most folks don't do it.
I figure if we are going to do it, we might as well have something we really like.
And yes, he likes it too.
So now, even though it's not complete, I'm loving it.
Can you see how nicely those bricks follow the string line?

I'm also looking forward to not having to mow around a circle while trying not to run over lettuce or beans, etc.
I am excited to be in the garden again and have planted a few things, but
it's only April, and weather can be sketchy so I'm trying to mind myself
and be good.
But oooh, those winter, store-bought tomatoes are disgraceful
and make me want to plant early. ~but I digress~
There is a bed of gravel under the bricks.

I'll keep you posted and share when the filler bricks are cut and in place.
I would love to know what you think - do you like to see works in progress
or prefer finished projects?


PS~ These first two books are in my home library.  The Courtyard book is wonderful and offers great inspiration for various styles.


  1. a major project going on here it will be good to watch your progress best of luck!

  2. Amazing!! Good job and can't wait to see all of it! Love Potagers, just something so relaxing about them and so pretty.
    Have fun!

  3. Oh yes - definitely want to see progress pictures! Curious to know - what's going in the areas that are dirt now? Grass - veggies - flowers? Curious minds (well, mind) wants to know!

    1. It's our veggie garden ~ mostly tomatoes, green beans, carrots, beets, basil (oh I love my basil:)

  4. This is going to look wonderful! I am not artistic and would have probably done straight bricks without thinking but yours will come out looking like quilt blocks! That is wonderful!!! :) I do appreciate the WIP pictures too. We need to do something similar on a muddy path in our yard and I think this will provide inspiration.

  5. Oh this is right up my alley! I want an herb garden in this design. And I think such a big and time consuming project should show all the stages. If it was a day project then ok. But a few months, we need to see it happening!

    1. Thank you. I had not thought of it in reference to length of time other than a lot of time spent on it. Also maybe I won't post about taking three days to fold laundry;)

  6. That is really nice! Looks like a lot of work will pay off in the end.