The Kitchen Garden — An Ode to Cooks and non-Cooks Alike

Even if you are not a chef, or an avid cook, you can enjoy the beauty of a kitchen garden. A few herb plants placed together into a pot, or an immense expanse of castle property such as that of France’s Versailles can serve as a kitchen garden.

One could argue that the very “first” garden may have been a kitchen garden. Throughout early history of this Earth, our ancestors were known to cultivate vegetable, fruit and herb plants. According to biblical reference, Eve gave Adam an apple in the Garden of Eden. (Was it an apple or actually a tomato? That was an interesting debate when I took Intro to Philosophy class in college.)

The early European settlers of America brought plants from their native lands. Remember the first Thanksgiving at Harvest time when pilgrims were said to have shared their bounty with the native American Indians? Kitchen gardens have been with us throughout the years.

My current kitchen garden at my Virginia home is encompassed in a collection of pots as shown in the photo below. I love that the herb garden is “moveable” and I can contain the mint and other travelling herbs. Of course, my kitchen garden is small compared to many that I’ve visited throughout the years.

One of the most premier destination gardens with an exceptional kitchen garden is that of the Palace of Versailles in Paris, France. My first visit to Versailles was on a school field trip with a number of other American students. The Versailles gardens made a great impression on me although I was only a young teenager at the time. I remember statues, very large trees, lovely flowers, and an expansive kitchen garden including an orangerie. The “potager,” as the kitchen garden is called, stretched out over about 22 acres in its original perimeter.

The King's Garden at Versailles (Courtesy versailles-tourisme.com)

Previously, I have written about Barboursville Vineyards and their lovely kitchen garden located in Barboursville, Virginia near Charlottesville and the lovely Blue Ridge Mountains. I had the opportunity to have lunch at their Palladio Restaurant recently and snapped these photos of their 2012 kitchen garden. Note the square timber-lined beds which provide a clean look.

The Kitchen Garden at Virginia's Barboursville Vineyards -- note the Barboursville ruins in the distance
Another view of the kitchen gardens at Barboursville Vineyards

One of my favorite books on kitchen gardens is by Richard Bird. Click on the book image to obtain a copy of your own. You will love it!

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An avid gardener and owner of this site.

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