Santa Ana-Based Heirloom Potager Designs Culinary Gardens for O.C. Residents and Restaurants

Owner Ashley Irene’s showcase garden is on the property of a 1920s French Tudor home in Santa Ana’s historic Floral Park.
Photograph by Emily J. Davis

What inspired Heirloom Potager?
Part of the name came from the idea of history. I love to grow heirloom varieties, which are seeds that are older than 50 years. And potager is the French word for kitchen garden. It’s the idea of being able to eat fresh from your garden every day and how that could transform not only your relationship with food, but also your health, well-being, and mindset.

How do you custom-build gardens for your clients?
I love to incorporate details from the home’s architecture and personal details from my client’s memories. We usually start people off with a lot of fresh herbs and greens, and we help build their confidence as a gardener and suggest new varieties. That way, they can customize what’s in their garden every season and expand their culinary horizons.

Photograph by Emily J. Davis

Tips for planting an edible garden?
Grow things that you really love and want to eat, and write down your experience as you go. We give all of our clients a garden journal and encourage them to take meticulous notes. This month, I recommend planting avocado, carrots, melons, summer squash, watermelon, arugula, lavender, sage, and tomatoes.

What are some ways you focus on sustainability and philanthropy?
We choose to use California-sourced redwood for our wooden garden beds. One tree can provide so much, and in addition, they have a really long life span. I also take out a percentage of proceeds to give back.

Favorite plants to grow?
I really enjoy growing everything, but tomatoes are my all-time favorite. This year, we’re growing 20 varieties of tomatoes—from pea-size spoon tomatoes to 2-pound bright-orange accordion tomatoes.

Facebook Comments