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Quote of the Day: Joy Larkom

May 21st, 2017

“Potagers, ornamental vegetable gardens, call them what you will, are seductive masters. Create one of your own, and it draws you to it like a magnet. There’s a deep satisfaction in a beautiful, purposeful garden. Beware though, if you are serious about producing vegetables, of forfeiting productivity to the easy charms of herbs, self-seeding flowers and topiary shrubs. ‘There’s nowhere left to plant’ is not an uncommon cry, and ironically, the larger the garden, the worse that problem can be.”

Joy Larkcom in Creative Vegetable Gardening

It’s no secret that growing vegetables is my passion, but I also love a beautiful garden. Even though the tidy, neat rows of a classic food plot in the back yard is quite lovely, I much prefer the potager type look, where vegetables and flowers are mixed together in creative ways.

I’m finally at the point in my garden here in Maine, that I’m starting to add the hardscape features and plan the layouts of the gardens. Hedges are being planned, walkways are being set out, edges are being defined. Funny enough, the above quote is true, the larger my gardens are the less space I feel I have left for the vegetables.

The best way I have found to combat this is to grow a bit less, since I almost always end up with way more vegetables than I need, scaling back the amount is the best way to find space for everything I want to grow. I’d rather have artichokes and green beans instead of just green beans. I’d rather have onions and carrots than just onions. It’s like a puzzle to plan a garden, a little time spent defining edges and planning in the beginning help make everything fit in the end.

Do you find your vegetable garden always too small?

2 Comments to “Quote of the Day: Joy Larkom”
  1. Jodiana on May 21, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    My garden is always too small! No matter what I start out with I always try to cram too much into the space. I need to do better planning.
    I noticed you mentioned artichokes, do you have good luck growing them? I saw some at the nursery today and was very tempted to get them but I wasn’t sure if they would be worth it.

    Reply to Jodiana's comment

  2. Nebraska Dave on May 22, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    Susy, I haven’t run out of space at Terra Nova Gardens yet. if I do there’s a prime piece of land next to mine that I could creep over into and I doubt anyone would care. It belongs to some one in Montana for years hasn’t been seen nor does he take care of it. So if nothing else the neighborhood would welcome just keeping the weeds down. I have several years ahead before my own land gets fully developed. When the garden itself gets finished then I’ll start on a fully enclosed berry patch. With the wooded areas near my garden a fully screened in berry patch would have to be a must.

    Have a great hardscape day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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