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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

French Heirloom Potager

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

How do you beat the winter blues when the wind howls, 
skies are overcast, and rain or worse, snow, ice, and sleet, 
keep you captive inside? 

How about dreaming of and planning a vegetable garden? 
Browsing through seed catalogs full of promise 
of sunny days and abundant crops? 
Better yet, how about dreaming about a 

French Heirloom Potager?
(potager ~ vegetable garden)

French food is legendary. 
A country renowned for chefs, not cooks, also trains 
chefs for the best restaurants throughout the world. 
Most of us know about Cordon Bleu. 
Yet regardless of how well trained a chef may be, 
without fresh flavorful ingredients, a meal will not be memorable. 

French potager growing in Beynac, France
For the average French household, fresh ingredients 
come from their very own kitchen potager,  
well-planned plots of carefully tended rows 
that reflect the French love for structured gardens. 

To chase away the winter blues, take 

A Moment in France

planning a French heirloom potager.

Tomato plants for sale in a Paris market

While we may not be able to travel to France to shop for tomate plants, 
we can buy French heirloom seeds from American seed companies. 

In addition to tomates, my heirloom potager will have 
haricots vertes (green beans), lettuce, squash, and melons. 

Burpee Seeds and John Scheepers Seeds 
have several varieties of heirloom French seeds from which to choose. 

Here is a summary of the ones that appeal to me. 

John Scheepers Seeds offers The French Garden Collection with
seven seed packets that they describe as the classic 

French kitchen potager. 

  • Maxi Haricot Verts Bush Beans (about 150 seeds)
  • Yaya Carrots (about 600 seeds)
  • Iona Petit Pois Peas (about 300 seeds)
  • Ambition Shallots (about 60 seeds)
  • Lincoln Leeks (about 125 seeds)
  • Rouge d'Hiver Romaine Lettuce (about 700 seeds)
  • Merveille des Quatre Saisons Lettuce (about 1,000 seeds)

  • Chase away the blues even more by planting 
    the French Garden Collection of seeds 
    in small French zinc seed pots. 

    A link to Burpee Seeds is at Heirloom French Seeds

    A link to John Scheepers Seeds is at Kitchen Garden Seeds Collection 

    What is your favorite vegetable to grow? 

    I did not receive compensation from any company, 
    just shared information for my readers who might enjoy knowing it. 


    1. What a fun way to chase away the winter blues, Judith. I'll be dreaming about this post. '-)

    2. Dreams are the best traveling mode to sweep us away from the winter blues. Soon those dreams will land in the best of places.....and this year, I plan to work my potager to make it the best it has ever been! GORGEOUS photos, Judith! Anita

    3. A dream of mine to grow fresh veggies once again, but one that cannot come true here... unless we build a greenhouse.
      Beautiful post once again, dear Judith! Happy garden dreaming.

    4. Unfortunately, in Arizona, I have not had success growing vegetables. I know it can be done, but I must not be a dedicated enough gardener to provide the shade needed in our harsh, sunny climate. We tried in Alabama, but the deer dined on the veggies. I think we got a few peppers, but that was it! We always grew tomatoes, green beans, sweet corn and strawberries while living in the Midwest states we lived in. Nothing like fresh picked veggies and fruits from your own garden!

    5. Judith,
      Yes a perfect winter day dream ... French Heirloom Potager. Living in Philly everything is scaled down growing but containers work well. Zinc is perfect beauty! Your veggie choices sound wonderful. I love haricots vertes, I am going to try to buy the E'mérite Filet Pole bean seeds. Lovely post, lovely lady!

    6. A wonderful post. Love the potager. It is summer in South Africa and our potager is growing beautiful.
      Lots of blessings

    7. oh Judith,
      A garden here after my French heart.
      I plant to groom my garden plot this year with a potager of all things French this is my desire.
      You always tug and pull at the beauty of a french way of life and if not it sure feels like it.
      I need to check out the heirloom seeds co.

      Thank you beautiful for taking the time to visit me.
      Enjoy all the French inspiration ahead of you.



    8. About 5 years ago I visited a formal potager on South Whidbey Island, Washington. It was still winter, early March actually. All I could see was the structure but it was totally intriguing. My problem is that my entire lot slopes toward the bay and I can't picture a potager on a slope. I have sort of taken the 'pot' from potager Ha Ha. I garden in raised beds. While visiting Paris in the early 80's I brought back seed packets but they have long since disappeared. I love your ideas, your dreams and your inspiration.

    9. Hi Judith!
      I must say heirloom tomatoes are my favorite vegetable to grow. Last Summer we had the best crop ever, as our Summer weather was perfect.
      This post has given me such inspiration. I recently removed the mugs from my French bottle rack and filled it with vintage flower pots from The Hudson Valley in New York State.
      I have bookmarked this beautiful and helpful post!

    10. Makes me want to garden right now! Love your post!

    11. Oh this is my favorite type of veg garden!!! It is so romantic!! Love it! Thanks for linking up with Home Sweet Home!


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