Knowing that I wanted to grow lots of climbing plants in the potager, my initial plan called for arbors so they can grow vertically. I debated about material…wood, metal, resin, or plastic, but finally settled on metal. A local artist, Pat McAtee, had made the bottle trees that we sold at the farm and other pieces for me over the years. (Especially beloved is the rack that makes it easy for me to take off and put the camper top on my pick-up.) I sketched a simple design and gave him measurements, and asked that they be lightweight enough that I can move them for design purposes and also for crop rotation. As you can see above, they arrived, but had to be left on the driveway because recent rains made it impossible to unload them close to the potager. Pat put on an acid mixture to make a rusted patina, to blend with the brown fencing. I think am going to love them!
I’d planned to wait for it to dry out enough to load them into the truck, but yesterday I became impatient, and feeling muscular, I toted each one across the lawn, through the muck, and into the garden. There are six identical ones that fit the central 4′ paths. This season, I’ve decided to put them along the east-west path. Although I have 7 rows of raised beds, I didn’t want an arbor over the first row, feeling that it would be too enclosed as one just comes in the front gate. Here’s how they look in place:
Next year, they will go on the north-south path. Pat made a wider one to put over the small bench my father made for me years ago. I can already tell that the one thing my potager really lacks is shade! Even though I have a porch on the shed, it faces west, so it provides little shade except in the early morning. I know by summer, I will want a shady place to sit, so hopefully lots of vines of soft-salmon-colored “Sunset” scarlet runner beans will provide the perfect resting/viewing spot.
As you can see, the south interior border is yet to be planted….in fact, I’m on my way now to get yet another load of soil to begin to fill it. Then I can start to plant all the edible flowers, herbs, and veggies that are waiting on the benches outside the greenhouse. And then, I should give that old bench a coat of paint!