Saying Goodbye to my Potager… The Beginning

Jul 12, 2012 | Gardening, Potager, Potager 101 | 24 comments

I am in a strange chapter.
The house is on the market…
it’s like we are giving it away.

But that’s O.K.
It’s for the best.
Who knows what is going to happen with our country, we don’t, but we are willing to make some drastic changes 
to come out on top in a couple years.

In the meantime there is my potager.
Carved out with my own blood, sweat and tears.

I am very discouraged.

With the heat it’s been so hard to keep in tip-top shape – (in many ways I have given up on the front gardens.)  Emotionally, it’s so bizarre.  I am trying to really disconnect from it.  
It’s going to be the nicest garden I have for some years,
but I have to begin to let it go (in my heart).  This house may sell tomorrow, it may sell next year, but I have to get ready for it not being “my potager” any more.

I won’t be doing a drive by for at least a decade.

I love my Potager, but I must confess, this year it’s not the same.  My heart swells out there… but just a little.  
The disconnecting has surely begun and it’s very sad.

I just keep telling myself about our plan… 
-rent and live way below the radar as we save and save
-buy that farm when the market drops out in a couple years
-design a bigger, better potager and live happily ever after 🙂

Help me with this will you?
It’s mid-July.
Let’s say by late September the house has not sold… What do I do?
See, I want to take a bunch of stuff with us.  A handful of roses and other perennials that I can easily divide.
So, what if it sells when the ground is frozen 
and I can’t get at what I want?  
Could I buy rubbermaid bins and “plant” these things in my garage for the winter?
Should I?
It’s such a gamble!
What if it hasn’t sold by spring… then do I throw everything back in the ground… and dig it up when/if it sells next summer?

 I can’t stand it!

In the meantime… I still walk my garden… but not as much.
With this slight break in the heat I have committed to myself to really get out there and savor it with the kids but I can’t love it like I used to… I can’t make plans for it as I fall asleep at night…

It’s just too sad and I have to let it go.

My apple trees that I planted when they were sprigs… Now tied together making a lovely arch at the end of this path.  I have a chair under one and I sit in the shade and watch the kids in their tree fort.

The big addition looking into the original potager.
I “heart” pea gravel.

My original design.  Little steps going down off our terrace to the potager.
You can see it from Google Maps 🙂

My pond.
We re-did it this year.
I’ll have to show you someday…
My mulberry tree (the kids second tree fort) now touches the edge of the pond… I have carved out the branches so they make a tunnel down a portion of the path.  
I am going to put Christmas lights in there like I did last  year.

The entrance to the former Chicken Run.  You can thank me saying goodbye to My Ladies to the people in the gray house!!!

My four fairy roses – one for each child – That I am going to dig up even if they scratch me to death.  
Our arbor that we got married under 17 years ago.

Purple globe thistle – bestill my heart.
I’ll be taking some of that too!

Daisy’s from my Aunt Julee’s garden.

A tribute to our someday farm… a little galvanized windmill.

Savez-vous planter les chou?

Thanks for letting me get it out girls.

Oh, and someone recently emailed me and asked if I was on Facebook and Twitter –
Mais oui.
I was reluctant but here’s the lowdown—

Pinterest – just click the link on my sidebar.

Parisienne Farmgirl is on Facebook – 
come and put in a friend request.

On Twitter — @theParisienneFG

The magazine is too…
On Facebook – Parisienne Farmgirl Magazine 
(help us hit 1,000 likes!)

On Twitter — @ParisienneFarmg

Happy Pinning, Tweeting and FBing!



  1. sweetvintageofmine

    It must be in the air…the unsurety of things around us…My hubby and I have went round and round about selling out too. Renting for a while, then see whats are not alone in your thinking or doing, then feeling overwhelmed about leaving my real wood floors or in your case,your potager. When the timing is right (GODS timing)everything will fall into place,you will have your flowers and the things you LOVE around you. It is hard to let go-but you will know, when that time comes……From one sweetie to another….Roxie

  2. Jennifer Rizzo

    Why don’t you plant some of the stuff you really want to keep at your Mom’s house? Then when you are ready to put it in it’s new home, it will be waiting.

  3. Sherri B.

    How about if you ask your family and friends if you can bring some plants over and let them live at their homes until you move. Certainly everyone can spare a foot or two in a corner of their yard or behind the garage. xo

  4. Chris

    I do not do well with change, or what is called progress. Enjoying where I am, I admire what you are doing very much. Your potager, yard and pond are gorgeous and would be so difficult to leave. They represent milestones in your family history…So hard to envision leaving. You could pot the roses and take down the arch and save them for your new home? Just a thought…I can picture your kids on a farm, animals to care for and love and the MOST beautiful garden…larger, growing produce and flowers, and maybe seeds, all to sell…I really can see it!

  5. Splenderosa

    I have moved many times, and once I’m out the door and on to a new place I never look back. Plan your work, and work your plan. Life is very short in the grand scheme of things, concentrate on what’s important, and let all the rest go. You can do it.

  6. Noël

    Your yard is…AMAZING!!! I would be sad to leave it too, but your plan is a great one. Save, save, save. A wonderful motto. Your future farm awaits, Lord willing, and all this will be sooo worth it in the end. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures. Inspiring.

  7. Shingle Cottage

    Oh so sad 🙁 your potager is beautiful!
    Get out the spade my dear and take those that you love,we planted our favorite things in pots and they sat there getting a little scraggy and didn’t look too great but they soon come back when we planted them at our cottage.
    I love your long term plan,it sounds dreamy and dreams come true 😉 x

  8. Lady Courtney

    I left what I always called my homestead 11 years ago. There were so many heirloom plants, boxwoods, that my grandmother started for me, my great grandmother’s hydrangeas, antique roses, my other grandmother’s iris…I brought them all. Find a good friend, or mother (that’s what I did)we dug up and planted, or put in large pots, I even had Iris’ that were growing for two year in plastic bags. But I could not leave them behind, they were like my children. So dig up a little bit of the plants that tug at your heart, bring or store the hardscape stuff that you have to have. The next potager will be even better!!! donna 🙂

  9. celkalee

    Life’s challenges, but growth only occurs with change. That said, your gardens are stunning. I have no idea how to effectively collect specimens for future use but I would contact a professional. Have you ever followed P. Allen Smith? He is a wealth of knowledge and may have some grand wisdom for you. Since you have such an amazing presence here, in Web World, it might be possible. His site is pallensmith dot com.

  10. Christi

    Oh sweet Angela… how hard it must be! Your potager is beautiful & beyond that, a piece of you & your history. I know! I was in the same shape 3 years ago, leaving the home we’d built, that my babies were brought home to – and that is right next door to the home I live in now. I have to watch someone else living there.

    You CAN do it!

    You have been and will always be an inspiration to me, especially as I continue to build my (loosely called) potager & I look forward to seeing the amazing things you do in he future!


  11. savvycityfarmer

    there’s a spot for them there roses!

    Believe me, ladies, when I say, this was blood sweat and now tears!

  12. Jules

    Your fairy roses look so beautiful. Mine get so pathetic looking every July. Do you do anything special to them?

  13. cestMoi Sandy

    Oh my dear Angela,
    I am crying with you gal!
    When I see your photo’s of your beautiful gardens… (swoon) you probably wonder constanty: “should I?” Should we and what ifs?
    And then having a ton of strangers walking through your “home”.
    Girl I hear yah!
    I think most of us have been there.

    Does it sound corny if I say that there is always something better after this? And that it is for the “best”?

    Well, a lady that owns a nursery here in town advised me to put some of the dear plants in big enough pots. Also when I was moving from my last home I decided to put certain plants in pots… “that way it was okay to take with me” You can’t sell it and after the offer take all the plants you want out of the garden – No? No? Darn!

    Well, so now is the right time.
    I also read that a lady that went through a horrid divorce took out all of her plants and transferred them in pots to move with her to her next home. (95% survived)
    She had a gorgeous garden that she had put 20 years into.

    Start taking some out now.

    Praying for comfort and all that good stuff for you!


  14. cestMoi Sandy

    Oh, and by the way…
    I myself have still not driven by my “old home” for 5 years now.
    Where I gave birth (in that home) to 2 of my boys! The first home we started building as a home when we had just moved from Holland.
    It is all part of growing… even though it hurts. You will be so strong in the end.

    And it is alright to cry! And scream! The blood sweet and tears!
    You “can” do it again!



  15. RWestie

    Tend to your beautiful potager til the bitter end, whenever that may be. Appreciate every moment of your time with it. Leave it perfectly in tact to bless another’s life. Don’t look back. Start completely over when you get to where you are going, you may have entirely different ideas with new eyes and an unburdened heart. See the dream, live it, breath it, create it in your minds eye but leave room for God’s thoughts too. Walk around your new potager inside your mind and start packing. Your new life awaits… however long it takes to arrive and Im willing to bet, it will be better than you can possibly imagine right now. 🙂 Hugs and blessings…

  16. Papa, Mama and Buniq

    Take your favorites, and transplant them at your mothers. Then you can get them when you are ready.
    Paula in Alaska

  17. janet

    I would plant them at your relatives and friends..But I am sure ya thought of that..It will be hard I am sure but it is all in getting the farm you want..It will all be worth it in the end..The economy is scary and downsizing is the way to do it I feel..My husband and I have had many conversations on this same subject..
    Wishing you a wonderful week..

  18. lugarandcompany

    What a lovely garden and my heart goes out to your letting go but I am confident beauty will be at your fingertips, working, creating, imagining new things. It is the part of you that moves with you, wherever you live. Thanks for sharing your heart.

  19. à la parisienne


    Your potager is beautiful, and by the looks of these images it’s obvious that it’s been a long, time-consuming labor of love.
    And while the idea of starting over and having to wait years for your new garden to become mature as this one, at least this time around you will be a more experienced gardener.
    I totally agree with RWestie’s comment–tend to your beautiful potager till the day you hand over the keys to your house. Each weed you pull, seedling you plant, and vegetable you pick are actions that are beneficial to you (and your family) now and for the future homeowners of your house.
    I’m sure you started your potager for many important reasons, but one of the most gratifying results from gardening is how theraputic it is–It’s the opposite of harsh computer screens and such a great contrast to our technological world. Why withdraw from it now in the midst of your online magazine, blog, etc. If I were you, I’d need that time in my potager more than ever. (Of course, the months of July & August are never the most relaxing!)
    Whatever you do, try to keep everything in perspective. It’s disappointing to leave this gorgeous potager you have created, but the reason you’re leaving it is to chase a bigger dream…


  20. My Casa Bella

    Well, Angela, my heart goes out to you because I was in your shoes exactly 17 months ago. We put our house on the market last march, we worked so hard on our garden as well over the years and it hurt. When spring hit all my bulbs came up and looked pretty. Do I dig up my tulips that came from Holland as a gift from my BIL? My roses that I babyied, my daisies? What do I do? Well, I didn’t bother because I didn’t know where we would be living, will we rent or buy, where will I store my plantings. I just said good-bye and told myself I will start over and do things differently. It’ll be a blank canvas and exciting. I’m glad I didn’t dig them up because they wouldn’t of worked too well in our current home. It’s up to you in the end but after all that work of digging up and trying to save, they may not make it, it’ll just add stress to your move, which is stressful on its own, and with four kids you’ll have your hands full. But that’s my opinion. Maybe family and friends will gift you flowers in your next home….:) wish you all the best during this stressful time.

  21. Masha

    We gave our house back to the bank two years ago. For about 6 months I wept each time I saw it (My mom lives down the street from it). It was a dream of ours to own a home, but finances took a dive at the same time our daugghter was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. We were financially devistated. The good news is, we are recovering and living in a nice quiet area in a rental. I took many of my plants and keep them in pots for the next move. My Hollyhocks and Fig tree are little gypsies right now, but someday I hope I can give them a permanant home. Best of luck to you! Jodi

  22. RobinfromCA

    Oh so sad to say good-bye to something you love so much. We sold our beloved house in 2000 to move for a job. We moved back 3 years later (don’t get me started on that so-called “job”) and we decided to rent instead of spend the insane amount of money they are asking for homes in our area. We’ve been renting for 9 years and trying to get ourselves in financial shape for retirement – which the current economy seems determined to make impossible. All this to say…been there…don’t give up on your dreams. In the meantime, planting at your mom’s house sounds like a great idea!
    xo Robin

  23. A NEW DAY

    Stumbled upon your blog via pinterest — someone had pinned a picture of your garden, and I had to see more! Here I am! I totally feel for you — we went through a similiar situation in the 90’s — our house was literally worth half what we’d paid for it, we wanted to escape the burbs and get some elbow room before the kids started school — we desperately wanted to move to our own little paradise as well. We stayed put, saved our asses off, found our mini “fixer” farm (hey, it’s California, land ain’t cheap!), convinced the owner to accept our absurd offer, and then stopped making payments on our old house where we stayed for 6 months while we leased the “farm” back to the old owner while she found her new home (confused? ha)…so we ended up with essentially no payments for those 6months while the bank reposessed our old home. We were lucky, and it all timed out perfectly. What we lost on the old home we have more than seen in gains on the new — it has almost tripled in value despite the ups and downs of the current market. I only hope the savings of renting v. staying put are worth uprooting your family and leaving what you love. I’m sure it must be, or you wouldn’t be doing what you are! We have been pouring our energies into our home now for 16 years (it never ends…)and my baby boy is off to college in a week…and i will need a project to fill the void my heart will feel. Your garden is a motivation for my little (HUGE) endeavor! And haul those plants over to your mama’s, STAT! Best wishes and abundant prayers from a new follower and fan!


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