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Quote of the Day: La Quintinye (Louis XIV’s gardener)

June 17th, 2012

Where a potager should be located with respect to the house? If there is enough space, the area nearest should be kept for flowers and parterres and the potager should be on the best ground beyond that is still readily accessible. But if one can have but one garden, it would be far better to employ fruits & legumes than in box & grass” La Quintinye (Louis XIV’s gardener)
The Art of French Vegetable Gardening

I had to laugh when I read this quote, too funny with the current cultural norms in our society where the opposite is the case. Here at Chiot’s Run we have both box and grass alongside edibles. We definitely have more edible plants than ornamental, but I find many edibles to be highly ornamental. Of course back when this was said one would have to choose edible over ornamental if you weren’t wealthy and wanted to eat.

Stan Hywet in Akron has both ornamental and edible gardens. As does Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania and many other botanical gardens.

While I love my edibles, I still really appreciate the beauty of box, grass, and other non-edible species. My efforts will never be solely spent on growing edibles, for I find just as much nourishment, though of a different kind, from a fragrant peony and hydrangeas, to shaped green boxwood. In fact I’ve always dreamed of having boxwoods in pots by the door and just recently added some (read my post on the Your Day Blog about it).

What’s your favorite non-edible plant(s) for the garden?

Front Foundation Gardens

July 12th, 2009

I don’t often post all-around garden photos that show large areas of our gardens. Right now is when I love the way our front foundation gardens look. They’re full of color and bursting at the seams with vegetables, flowers and herbs. I thought I’d share some overall photos of them.
These garden beds are pretty most of the warm months, they’re full of things that bloom throughout the season, bulbs for spring, flowers for summer and fall and kale for winter interest. July, however is my favorite season in the front foundation garden.
These gardens change every year. I plant new things and move old ones, or get rid of plants that I don’t like. This year I gave my mom a bright pink tall phlox and next year I think I’ll be getting rid of the daylillies.
They’re still a work in progress, this year I’m adding the rock edging along the front, and I also added a lot of edible plants (can you spot them?). I have bluberries, cabbage, broccoli, sweet potatoes, dill, thyme, chives, basil and hyssop growing in these beds.
I’d really like to keep all bloom colors in the purple and white category with perhaps the occasional pink or green thrown in. I’m slowing working my way towards that goal.

What’s your favorite time for your ornamental gardens?

Reading & Watching

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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.