The Art of French vegetable gardening

Louisa Jones

Book - 1995

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 712.6/Jones Checked In
New York : Artisan c1995.
Physical Description
xi, 195 p. : col. ill
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Main Author
Louisa Jones (-)
Other Authors
Gilles LeScanff (-), Joëlle Caroline Mayer
Review by Library Journal Reviews

Jones (Gardens of Provence, Abbeville, 1992) has been gardening in France since 1975. Here she presents the potager (the kitchen garden or vegetable plot) as an art form, with culinary use as a secondary consideration. Alluding to garden references by Colette, Henry James, Rousseau, and others, she discusses vegetable gardens in the dimensions of space and time. Jones explains that French gardens are enclosed by walls or hedges and lined with espaliered fruit trees or vines; pathways establish the outlines, with water and vertical features filling in. Appendixes give ideas for designing a potager, seed sources, public gardens, books consulted, and recipe suggestions. Equally important are the 175 full-color photographs, which are simply gorgeous. Le Scanff and Mayer have been photographing gardens for 20 years, and their work appears regularly in European gardening and food magazines. This beautiful book is recommended for public libraries and horticulture collections.?Carol Cubberley, Univ. of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In America and England, they are known as kitchen gardens. In France they are called potagers. But the difference lies in more than a name, Gertrude Stein notwithstanding. It's a matter of style, of transforming a utilitarian plot into a thing of beauty that will please the eye as well as fill the table. Jones, an expatriate Canadian who has lived and gardened in the south of France for 20 years, offers a charming glimpse into gardens both humble and grand in which common vegetables rub shoulders with flowers, fruit trees and herbs. Following the history of the potager from the self-sufficient medieval cloisters to today's seemingly haphazard melange, she details garden design and such structures as walls and fences and the various plants that bring it all to life. Appendixes note French gardens that welcome visitors and offer 80 recipes for classic French home-cooked dishes and seed sources for the American gardener. The text is embellished with 175 handsome color photographs of gardens and their fruits. BOMC selection. (Sept.) Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

The French, who are known for their style in all things, have long brought their artistry to bear on vegetable gardening, turning plots that could be merely utilitarian into gardens of real beauty. The Art of French Vegetable Gardening explores this rich and varied tradition in a way that is both inspirational and practical. Combining 175 color photographs shot throughout France with an informative text, The Art of French Vegetable Gardening explains how to create different styles of decorative vegetable gardens, from the strict geometries of formal tradition to the happy-intermingling of vegetables with flowers, herbs, and fruit trees beloved by organic gardeners. Each chapter offers useful advice and suggestions—applicable to gardens anywhere—while evoking the rich cultural context of the French potager as lovingly described by Colette, Proust, Gertrude Stein, and many others. Elements of garden design—including layout, hedging, walls, benches, and vertical accents—are detailed, as are specific vegetables that can provide both beauty and flavor. Other topics include companion planting using herbs and flowers, heirloom and collectors' varieties, and even the vegetable garden in winter. An extensive appendix offers 80 classic Frnech recipes for vegetables, lists of plants American seed sources, and French vegetable gardens open to the public. Practical as well as beautiful, The Art of French Vegetable Gardening is an invaluable sourcebook to return to again and again.