The Old Potager is rather difficult as a Mediterranean vegetable garden. It is hot in the summer, but shaded by several olive trees on surrounding terraces. The soil is extremely free draining, so it needs frequent watering. It is orientated towards the east north east.
Twenty years’ experience here have made us understand that it is perfect for Mediterranean shrubby herbs, soft herbs, early and late salads and brassicas. Runner beans do reasonable well, but bush beans are not so happy.
The three central beds were well prepared and manured at the beginning of the year and planted as shown on the diagram. The planting strip on the outside of the curve is backed by a beautiful old stone wall, where we have allowed ferns to naturalise in the shadier part; and mint, thyme and any attractive wild flowers to settle in the sunnier part. In the strip we have planted Cavolo nero, the Italian black kale. In between these, and supported in some cases on the reclaimed iron pergola, is a haphazard mixture of sunflowers and climbing beans, squash and cucumbers.
On the inside of the curve, we have existing thornless blackberries and some raspberries, edged with sarriette (summer savory).