This garden is Lesley's pet project and is both pretty and productive - an ornamental kitchen garden. Every year Lesley sows and plants a gorgeous range of annual flowers and vegetables intermingled with one another to give a charming display as well as produce a useful vegetable crop through the season. The garden is very small (approximately 17' x 17') so the plants grown in this area have to be carefully chosen. It is enclosed on two sides with a miniature box hedge and a low wall on the other two sides.
This style of gardening is stolen from the French and uses vegetables grown in patterns to be attractive. It can be informal and cottagey or very formal like a knot garden. Ours is somewhere in between, and it changes each year depending on what plants are grown. Our potager has very narrow borders, so Lesley usually uses one crop to create 'walls' in the beds to form smaller compartments - anything from leeks to parsley to lettuce - and then within the compartments other crops are grown. A larger potager might have each bed bordered by a low hedge and then grow one crop within each bed.
Lesley has tried different themes over the years, including purple vegetables or Italian varieties. She also uses a lot of companion planting in this garden, which means planting flowers or herbs with the vegetables to help avoid pests. For instance, dill attracts hover flies that eat aphids and also help with pollination.
Another fun aspect of the potager is planting edible flowers. Nasturtium 'Empress of India' or calendula can add a lot of colour to a salad, and make it a real talking point.