Lawn and Garden

My Potager Garden + The Story Behind the ‘Secret Garden’ Sign

May 29, 2024

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I'm Heather, an Old House Lover, DIY Addict, Gardener Wannabe, and Crazy Dog Lady. I have renovated historic houses for over 20 years now with an emphasize on preservation over a quick flip. Now, I take great joy in teaching others the ins and outs of the renovation world.

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Potager Garden and the Secret Garden Sign

At the beginning of the year I set out to turn the unused area behind my office into a Potager Garden. I first ran across the term Potager Garden when I was pinning ideas to my Pinterest board. It’s a mix of vegetables, herbs and cut flowers in a well designed and efficient way.

Rooted in traditional French gardens, its style combines and celebrates the beautiful and the useful by marrying edibles with ornamentals in order to create an abundant space teeming with life. I got that definition from a quick search of course.

I began by drafting a sketch of what I wanted followed by using a free tool by The Old Farmer’s Almanac Garden Planner to help with spacing of the plants.

Potager Garden Sketch
Potager Garden Planting Guide

Once the rough plan was ready, I got to work on building a picket fence and the raised garden beds.

Potager Garden Framework

The original plan called for five raised garden beds but once I started building them, I quickly realized I didn’t have enough room. So I improvised and just built four using 2×6 cedar boards for the two larger beds and 1×6 cedar boards for the two smaller. While I realized I’ll have to replace the smaller beds in a few years, it was a financial decision since the 2×6 cedar boards are pricey.

Once all of the structural pieces were in place, I added tons of vegetables, herbs, a few fruits, and lots of seeds for cut flowers. While everything is still growing and many still have several weeks before they bloom, I already love how it’s shaping up.

Raised Garden Beds
Raised Garden Beds

The Story Behind the ‘Secret Garden’ Sign

Recently I decided to relocate two old decorative posts I had on either side of the entrance to the garden. I added a a couple of 1x6s in a gable design so that I would have the perfect place to hang an old garden sign I’ve been holding onto for a while.

Secret Garden Sign

Last year when we were clearing out the yard of the Corner Cottage, I removed an old ‘Secret Garden’ sign that was barely hanging onto the dilapidated fence. The previous homeowners were like so many couples where she had the green thumb and he was good with small projects. Or at least that’s what I believe to be the case. If I had to guess I’d say he made this sign for her so I knew I had to save it.

Secret Garden Sign

Originally the plan was to install it somewhere on the property before I sold it but in a last minute decision I decided to take it home with me. And I knew exactly where it would be going eventually.

Secret Garden Sign

Sometimes you have to start with the vision and build the design around it as you go. My favorite part is that it’s not only perfect for my Potager Garden but it’s also a special way to honor one of our long time neighbors.

Potager Garden

I’ll keep you posted on how the garden fills in this summer.

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