The English Potager Garden
Growing sustainable food with style

One Day Course
(Level: Beginner)
Course Dates:

Saturday 1 June 2024 (10am-4pm))

Saturday 29 June 2024 (10am-4pm)

Saturday 7 Sept  2024 (10am-4pm)

Price per person: £120

(Max 8 people)

This one-day course is aimed at those new to gardening who want to start growing their own food, yet also want to create something more unique than a traditional veg patch. It teaches you how to design and create your own ornamental  ‘potager’ garden using attractive designs in which to grow nutritious food surrounded by beautiful companion herbs and flowers

It is taught by Charlotte Parton, a horticulturalist, garden designer and nutritional therapist, who has a post-grad in Sustainable Food & Natural Resources and 15 years experience creating beautiful and productive gardens.

The course takes place at The Sustainable Garden, a peaceful seven-acre smallholding in South Devon, at the heart of which is The English Potager Garden, where the freshest salads, fruit and vegetables thrive surrounded by herbs and flowers.

The course covers the basics of how to:

  • Design a potager garden.
  • Choose vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruit that work well together.
  • Use the lunar calendar to maximise crop health.
  • Use beneficial companion planting techniques to avoid chemical pesticides and fertilisers
  • Make your own compost.
  • Practise no-dig methods.
  • Nourish your soil.

We show you how you can bring all these together to create a beautiful naturalistic, productive garden.

Potager gardens offer the opportunity to grow healthy food in a way that is not only beautiful, but sustainable.

The day starts with an overview of the important role of ecological biodiversity in any sustainable garden, taking a walk around the pond, wildflower meadows, apple orchards, native hedgerows and nuttery.

We’ll discuss the importance of protecting natural resources and how you can make the most of them to improve the ecology and sustainability of your own garden.

This is followed by an introduction to some principles of good garden design including how to enhance your “genius loci” or “the spirit of the place”, before discussing the history and ethos of potager gardens from their origins in French monasteries, to the formal Renaissance vegetable gardens at Villandry palace to the present-day style of potagers in both France and England.

Using our own potager garden the course considers different layouts and styles of raised-beds that give style and flow to the garden, the structures that add vertical interest as well as supporting growing vegetables, and ways of combining shapes, textures and colours of plants to maximise the ornamental effect within the garden.

You’ll then have the opportunity to draw up a plan for a potager garden design of your own, using measurements you bring from home and on graph paper we will provide.

After a delicious home-grown lunch from our very own potager garden we will look at the practical actions you need to take to grow your own healthy food.

The course also teaches how to use the lunar calendar to plan the most beneficial days to sow seeds or harvest crops, and the importance of a healthy soil -showing you the basics of home composting, mulching and no-dig methods and why they matter.

It examines the benefits of herb and flower companion planting which, used in combination with good soil health and biodiversity levels, means you can avoid using commercial pesticides and fertilisers and still produce amazing harvests that are both bountiful and beautiful.

During the day you’ll also learn about the nutritional value of healthy home-grown food like this, versus those with chemical inputs, plastic wrapping and food-miles.

By learning how to design and create a potager garden you can grow fruit, vegetables and herbs among flowering companion plants that’ll not only supply you with healthy food but enhance the beauty and sustainability of your garden.

As well as being inspired to make your own potager garden we hope you will find your day with us provides both a feast for the eyes and food for the soul.

Located in one of most beautiful and peaceful areas in Devon, there are plenty of places to stay nearby if you want to make a weekend of it.

Book your place online, or for more information email [email protected] or call 07951 946489