Red valerian (Centranthus ruber) also known as Jupiter’s beard has been in bloom. Leaves and roots are edible but I haven’t tried eating them! 😄 It has no medicinal properties. Sometimes it’s confused with true valerian (Valeriana officinalis), a nervine that relieves tension, anxiety and helps with sleep. Red valerian is a beautiful perennial plant.
I’m inspired by the look of romantic English cottage gardens. They’re densely planted, lush and cozy, describing the garden of my dreams. This is my little cottage garden and potager (pronounced: po-ta-zhay). A potager is a French term for a garden filled with vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers.
The word potager means “for the soup pot,” referring to a kitchen garden that provides food dependent on the seasons. It’s to eat year-round as much as possible from the garden. Potager was first developed by French Monks for food and medicinal purposes then it became popular in the 15th century. Traditional potager was symmetrical and geometric in design.
In old England, many workers in small villages called peasants owned gardens, known as the English cottage gardens. Their small plot of land supplied food, medicine and some flowers. Gardening was necessary for survival. In the Elizabethan era, as families became prosperous, the cottagers grew more flowers for beauty.
Over the years I built a cottage style garden with flowers among the edibles. I love having both. I added cottage elements like an arbor for climbing roses, angel statue and bird baths. I plant flowers for pollinators and to enjoy. The garden is my place of solitude where I’m thankful, pray to God and bask in the wonders of His creation.
Do you grow flowers and vegetables only or both? What’s your gardening style?
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