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Designing the New Kitchen Garden: An American Potager Handbook

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  161 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Most gardeners know how rewarding it is to harvest ripe, sun-warmed tomatoes or pungent herbs straight from the garden. But those pleasures can be multiplied a hundredfold by creating a garden that is not only productive, but also a beautiful, well-integrated part of the home landscape. In this handsome volume, Jennifer Bartley shows how the traditional features of the cla ...more
Hardcover, 222 pages
Published May 8th 2006 by Timber Press (first published May 1st 2006)
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Mar 25, 2011 Lisa rated it it was amazing
I never thought I would read a gardening book cover to cover, but I loved this book. She gives a great history of the kitchen garden and some inspiring ideas for creating your own kitchen garden. It has lists of different types of plants to use, but doesn't give a lot of detail on the actual techinicalities of planting a garden.
Apr 26, 2011 jess rated it really liked it
Shelves: growing, 2011
I don't consider myself much of a Francophile, but this book really captured my attention with the photos of French potagers. The focus here is garden design, which is why I picked it up. I know a lot about the mechanics of gardening but my knowledge is lacking in design considerations and principles. Bartley provides good background and guidance for creating beautiful, aesthetically pleasing, functional kitchen gardens that look as good as they taste. The neat lay-out of design principles was u ...more
Jan 23, 2017 Carrie rated it liked it
Shelves: gardening
This book laid out some thorough research on the history of kitchen gardens, complete with photos of recreations, historical images, and pictures and designs of modern gardens based on potagers of the past. It would be useful for anyone looking to design a permanent garden to make growing edible plants fit in with a more decorative garden space.
Feb 14, 2011 robyn rated it liked it
Shelves: gardens
I gave this book two stars because it isn't precisely a how-to book, though it does give some solid advice and suggestions. Nor is it strictly a picture book, though it does contain some beautiful pictures of old and/or famous gardens as well as some modern-day ones.

Eh, thinking about it, I gave it three stars after all. It's a lovely book, just not what I was looking for. What I wanted was direction on HOW to create a kitchen garden, and this is more of a series of articles about other peoples
Mar 16, 2013 Erica rated it really liked it
Shelves: gardening
This book deserves 4.5 stars. Very useful, with detailed and lovely maps and pictures. I also appreciated the basic history of potagers included in the first chapters. (She even includes a sub-section on my most favorite potager in all the world: the Potager du Roi at Versailles.) I'm sure I'll return to this book again and again--a lovely escape in a long winter, with good plans and lists of plants.

Just two fairly small critiques: first, a couple of the garden designs at the back of the book a
Dec 04, 2016 January rated it liked it
Shelves: gardening
Disappointing. If you're an experienced vegetable gardener, most of this book will be tiresome talk of gardening basics like cool-season vs. warm-season crops and the difference between annuals and perennials and the virtues of compost.

I did very much enjoy the education and photos in the first chapter describing historical examples of kitchen gardens and the few examples of modern kitchen gardens later on. The photos were too small and low quality to make too much out, though. Sadly, I think I
Jun 11, 2010 Megan rated it liked it
This author has the vegetable garden of my dreams...brick paths, raised beds, pretty fence, cute gate...oh how I pine for that garden sometimes.

This book has some great designs and illustrations for gardens. As someone who designs gardens for people it's always fun to read other people's takes on the process. She has an interesting intro about the history of potager gardens in Europe - time for a study tour!

But, 'tis the season of garden work, not garden reading, so I think I am done with garden
May 30, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it
Amazingly beautiful pictures in this book. This doesn't cover growing techniques, but it focuses on the design of the garden. It has a ton of great ideas, and layouts. It also shows pictures of real "potagers" - kitchen gardens.

This book got me excited about gardening, and that is a very difficult thing to do. I think when we are ready to plant a garden, it will definitely model one of these gardens.
May 22, 2011 Mandi rated it really liked it
Gorgeous book of garden ideas! I am sooo inspired to not only set up my garden following some of her designs, but to also incorporate the idea of making the garden beautiful and useful all at the same time. The designs are a nice fit with Mel Bartholemew's 'Square Foot Gardening'. This is an idea book more than a how-to book, though there is some useful how-to information sprinkled here and there, as well as a great crop rotation plan for one of the designs.
Jul 18, 2015 Pam rated it liked it
Interesting book that explores the history of kitchen gardens, potagers, and then proceeds to describe how to create one including specific principles to follow. I found the book, very interesting although much I was already familiar with. At the end the author explores several contemporary examples and how they were created and their specific features. I was very happy to be reminded of "Principle #3; Consider the bird's eye view"!
This is the best gardening book I've read this year. I met Jennifer Bartley while at the Garden Writers Assoc. symposium, and she told me a bit about the book's background. It began as her Master's Thesis, and you can tell it from the depth of her writing. I loved the history of the gardens and am making plans to move my vegetable garden and reshape it because of this book. Worth every penny.
penny shima glanz
Oct 26, 2010 penny shima glanz rated it really liked it
Combine a gardening history book with gorgeous photos and useful hints and summary charts and you will receive 222 pages of hard covered inspiration. This is not a book for the gardener looking for an easy fill in the blank guide. This is an educational resource that will help you learn and design the kitchen garden that works for you and your space.
Mar 11, 2012 Lise rated it it was amazing
Shelves: garden
Loved it! Bartley's beautiful 'Designing the New Kitchen Garden' inspired the design of my own potager and sparked a new obsession with vegetable gardening. See the pictures of my kitchen garden at this link:
Mar 31, 2010 Ginger rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gardening
This is fantastic for those wanting help in designing a lovely space. I'm all for the no grass/ yes path type of garden. Since we eat maily veggies and fruits the ideas for transforming an empty space into a useful, beautiful garden is very appealing.
Mar 02, 2009 Macy rated it really liked it
Shelves: house-garden
This was a wonderful book. There is a great overview of the history of kitchen gardens as well as modern examples. Some of the things would be prohibitively expensive for most people, but inspiring nonetheless.
Definitely more of a "read it" than a "flip through it" book.

Includes mockups for gardens, but nothing that can be translated for a container garden. Would be better for people with large plots of land to work with.
Jul 02, 2010 Anri rated it really liked it
"Potager" means "kitchen garden" in French. For someone who is interested in gardening, especially edible gardens, this is a great book to learn about how to design formal vegetable gardens and their history.
Feb 27, 2008 Katie rated it really liked it
This is one of the more complete gardening books that I've encountered. I'm big on the idea of using edibles as ornamentals, and this author takes you from start to finish--the pages are filled with fascinating history, design advice, and how-to's from seed to frost. Beautiful!
May 17, 2012 Joni rated it it was ok
Shelves: gardening, 2012
It was just okay; just a few inspiring diagrams and photographs when I was expecting much more variety. Basic gardening info.
Kylin Larsson
Nov 11, 2009 Kylin Larsson rated it liked it
Very pretty book with lots of history on the origin of the kitchen garden. Not very useful for the beginner on how to take a big plot of land and um, turn it into a kitchen garden. Oh well.
Jan 21, 2009 Tammy rated it really liked it
Great design ideas; I liked the practicality of taking pieces of what I liked to incorporate it into my garden.
Rebekah rated it really liked it
Mar 28, 2011
Sonya Brown
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May 12, 2010
Susan rated it it was amazing
Nov 13, 2011
Shannon Stroobandt
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