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In the French Kitchen Garden: The Joys of Cultivating a Potager Hardcover – Bargain Price, October, 1998
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One of the main features of a potager is that it is intended as a year-round garden, rather than just a summer, or harvest, garden. To that end, Brennan explains which plants do well in different seasons and how to stagger the plantings during seasonal transition periods so as to use the space efficiently throughout the year. The garden itself can be quite small--9 feet by 12 feet can keep a family of four in fresh produce. Like a potager, this guide is small and sweet. It's attractively illustrated with Melissa Sweet's watercolors, and includes 25 easy recipes that make stars of simple, fresh ingredients. --Barrie Trinkle --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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In this book Brennan does something unusal that you do not usually find in gardening books, especially ones that are geared for begining gardeners. There are no lists of 10 fool proof plants, nor strict instructions to plant something a specific way on an absolute date or face certain failure. (Honestly, why Martha thinks you have to plant peas on St. Patrick's Day is beyond me.) Brennan instead wants you to understand the philosophy of the potager, and then make your own rules.
Brennan suggests what you might want to plant in each of the four seasons (wherever you happen to live) and tells you what typically would be planted in a true French potager at the same season; Brennan gives you sources to find these plants; Brennan even gives you an idea of what size pot you would need if you are restricted to balconey gardening. Very thoughtful. Though I have not tried any of the recipes in this book, they are similar to others you can find in her well-received cook books.
The book itself is small and well made; the paper is heavy. It feels good in your hand. The illustrations are charming without being too cute, and often they illustrate a garden layout that actually makes sense. And of course Brennan's writing is rich and clear.
This is a good book for a beginning gardener. You will not be dissappointed.
The concept of a year-round garden is European, and therefore a foreign idea for most Americans whose only spring crop consists of daffodils. So among other contributions, Brennan encourages the reader/gardener and/or novice potager to think differently about the use of space heretofore only used to grow a few tomato plants and pole beans. I have been a 3 season flower gardener most of my life (spring-summer-fall) but in recent years have attempted to have a good-looking winter garden. My winter "crop" has been more structural than not, consisting of dried grasses, dried sedum and other "interesting" plant forms that are decaying and bird friendly. Ms Brennan has inspired me to rethink my approach and seek out more information about four-season vegetable gardening. Winter for example is a great time to plant onion sets and grow leafy items in a cold frame. If you're thinking about growing the old-style Victory Garden, or want to know more about the soup garden, Brennan's book is a good place to begin.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this book. the watercolors are inspirational as well as instructional, and reading Georgeanne Brennan's description of her garden in winter, spring, summer and fall gives... Read morePublished 6 months ago by GardenMuse
Lovely book, great pictures, well written. I have gardened for many years but I learned quite a bit, little helps. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Elizabeth A.
If you are a dedicated gardener, you will love this book. It is a conversation about how to get the most out of your kitchen garden, or potager. Read morePublished on October 22, 2013 by T. Sherman
I thought this book would be more a potager instruction book (like Jennifer Bartley's books). Instead, it is kind of memoir/series of essays on this lady's life and her potagers... Read morePublished on July 23, 2013 by lighthome
This is a casually written description of one person's love of French gardening in the manner of the potager. Charming illustrations and ideas for seasonal plantings.Published on February 16, 2013 by Patricia Dallmann
This is one of the best books for the home food gardener - thoughtfully presented, and without many of the annoying assumptions and incorrect information found in so many gardening... Read morePublished on March 21, 2012 by Richard Ogden