Page 1


gardening pg 60 - Recipes for success Stunning combinations for summer pots pg 71 - Worry-free watering Three great ways to keep your containers and hanging baskets well hydrated pg 77 - Sarah Raven Pot Collections Indulge in these colourful collections and get exclusive FREE P&P worth ÂŁ4.95 pg 79 - On the road to tasty pots A selection of herb-filled containers to inspire edible ideas pg 86 - Lots of pots Take your pick of containers for your garden, from traditional to contemporary and classic to quirky

spring 2014 the english garden 59

container ideas

for success recipes

In the second instalment of her container feature, Ursula Cholmeley of Easton Walled Gardens in Lincolnshire shares yet more stunning combinations for pots and top growing tips PHOTOGRAPHS JASON INGRAM

LEFT Containers can be placed on grass, but informal lawns are far easier as you avoid the issue of mowing.


ontainers offer each and every one of us the chance to experiment with colour and form without committing to changing more permanent borders. I have enjoyed playing with plants and mixing and matching them to create unique containers to share with you. The gardens here are open to the public, so it is vital there is interest and colour on show, and containers are so useful for filling unexpected gaps in borders or for accentuating an area. From last year’s plantings, I have learnt that shrubs and perennials are worth the investment, and happily live in a container for a couple of years. They are then simply moved to a new and more permanent home. It is also heartening to know that so many plants can be grown from seeds or cuttings, which keeps the cost of

creating container displays down. On the issue of cost, you only need to buy the containers once. Look for frostproof pots, and your initial investment will give you years of enjoyment. Apart from choosing the right compost and ensuring that you feed and water pots correctly, the most vital part of container gardening is placement. Small pots often offer more impact when grouped together, and larger ones can be used in place of a sculpture or garden art. Before planting, think about what you hope the container will do for your garden. Could it be that you need to add height, scent or extra colour, or want the pots to guide people through to another area of the garden? The possibilities are endless, and every gardener can enjoy experimenting with plants in pots.

Before planting, think about what you hope the container will do for your garden. Could it be that you need to add height, scent or extra colour?

High expectations This large pot graces my meadow area and offers two seasons of interest. The bright orange of thunbergia and the electric blue of salvia look amazing together. Where to place: Where height is required. Works well as a pair.

- 2 x Thunbergia alata from seed - 2 x Salvia patens from cuttings - 1 x Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ Suppliers: ● Pot from Rasell’s Nursey, Grantham: ● Support from Secret Gardens Furniture: ● Gilia from Chiltern Seeds: ● Clematis from Thorncroft Clematis:

Ingredients: - 8 x white petunias from local nursery - 3 x Gilia tricolor - 4 x phacelia grown from seed

spring 2014 the english garden 61

container ideas

On a pedestal BELOW & RIGHT Pelargoniums are deadheaded throughout summer to encourage a second flush of flowers and to keep containers looking shipshape. FAR RIGHT This combination of roses and annuals would be a real showstopper in any garden.

This urn is mounted on a pedestal so that the base appears flush with the hedge. The look will appeal to gardeners hoping to create a traditional feel. It is on the edge of our cut-flower garden, and the area lacked a focus once the early spring-flowering osmanthus and spring perennials had flowered. Behind the hedge is a small border where spring bulbs like snowdrops and alliums grow. From this side, the big block of colour and the ornate container are designed to draw the eye away from the ground and towards the wider garden. I set myself the challenge of creating a retro feel with a nod to the Victorian bedding that once proliferated here. As you can see, from this angle it worked; but with hindsight, it would have worked even better in front of an evergreen hedge like yew or against a wall. Where to place: Perfect for Victorian schemes or for adding to a border that peaks in June. Works well against an evergreen hedge. Ingredients: - 6 x good, deep-red pelargoniums from cuttings - Queen Anne urn and pedestal Suppliers: ● Queen Anne urn and pedestal from Capital Garden Products:

Wow factor I loved planting this water tank. Everything went in together for an instant hit of sensory pleasure. The whole design is really an elaborate bedding scheme. Just before flowering, the young plants and perennials went straight from their plastic pots into this big container. The cleome grew taller than the roses and added colour and height when the roses were resting. Nicotiana and roses provided scent. Flowers and foliage filled the space right down to the pelargoniums spilling over the edge of this beautiful container. Due to its size and impact, I can imagine this potted display being a real showstopper if placed at the end of a vista. If you want to pull out all the stops, this is the way to do it. Where to place: Suitable for a big English garden. Ideal as a statement planting in stone courtyards. Perfect for high summer weddings. Ingredients: - 1 x Rosa Lady of Shallott - 2 x Rosa The Lady Gardener - 4 x Pelargonium ‘Barbe Bleu’ - 10 x Nicotiana ‘Eau de Cologne Mixed’ - 3 x Salvia patens - home-collected seed or from cuttings - 6 x Cleome ‘Rose Queen’ - 8 x Petunia Surfinia Sky Blue, or similar

Suppliers: ● Roses from David Austin Roses: ● Pelargoniums from Fibrex: ● Nicotianas and petunias from Thompson & Morgan: ● Cleome from Easton Walled Gardens: ● Faux-lead fibreglass James II water tank from Capital Garden Products:


the english garden spring 2014

Sweet peas make excellent plants for tall container arrangements. If you’ve never sown sweet peas before, visit the videos page at to watch our simple steps film

container ideas

Long tom style There is something very satisfying about this pot. I think it might be the way its proportions mimic a floral bouquet. The pelargoniums grew very big over the summer and did their best to oust the other plants. They are not a very floriferous form, but they have deliciously scented leaves. I set my pot on a wall so that I could easily crush the leaves a little with my hands and release the scent. The variegation on the mint leaves lifts the dark green and, as I discovered, throughout summer the violas add elegance to the scheme. I can imagine this pot working well on a plinth surrounded by lavender and clipped box. Where to place: Scented gardens, sophisticated French-style plantings, balustrades and low walls. Ingredients: - 1 x pineapple mint - 2 x Perlargonium ‘Brunswick’ - 2 x Viola ‘Winifred Jones’

Layer cake Here is an example of stacking pots to achieve impact and height. The upper pot shown is a faux terracotta plastic pot filled with one salvia, which lives there permanently through summer. In winter, it is brought into a frost-free greenhouse. The plastic is realistic, but even so it was necessary to get plenty of growth around it to distract attention. Salvias are entrancing plants, but are better looked at close up, and the height of this pot means they catch the eye. It was important not to introduce big flowers, such as dahlias, into the pot. You can see from the single white flower in the background how much they would have distracted from the subtle airy effect of this combination.

LEFT Ursula grows many sweet pea varieties - visit her garden between 29 June and 6 July to enjoy her sweet pea week.

Suppliers: ● Pineapple mint Available from most garden centres ● Pelargonium ‘Brunswick’ from Thislteton Herb Nursery: ● Violas from Victorian Violas: ● Giant long tom pot from Whichford Pottery:

Where to place: It is very easy to create long-flowering schemes with this method. Ideal to frame an entrance when planted as a pair. Ingredients: - 1 x Salvia x jamensis ‘Hot Lips’ (top pot) - 18 x orange diascias taken as cuttings from a friend’s plant Suppliers: ● Salvia from Thistleton Herb Nursery: ● Lower pot - Ursula’s own ● Upper plastic pot - Similar generally available from

garden centres

spring 2014 the english garden 65

A pot for two seasons ABOVE It takes thought to plan a container that offers colour through more than one season.

There is a lot going on in this pot, and the plants have to fight it out among themselves for attention. The result is an even colour throughout the season, but not a big statement. The yellows and browns are best used in a planting scheme for late summer when yellow and mauve hues predominate. The escallonia is a permanent feature of this pot and I have snowdrops and ophiopogon planted beneath it in spring for yet another season of interest. This container would fit well in a garden where subtle colours are the preferred palette. The planting offers structure in high summer right on into autumn. Where to place: This combination is ideal for the kitchen garden, and can also be used to fill a gap in a late-summer display. It will carry interest on until autumn.


the english garden spring 2014

Ingredients: - 1 x Escallonia ‘Apple Blossom’ - widely available - 4 x Alyssum ‘Snow Carpet’ - 5 x Amaranthus paniculatus ‘Autumn Palette’ - 2 x Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’ (bronze fennel) home-collected seed - 6 x Gilia tricolor - home-collected seed - 2 x Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ - widely available - 6 x Tagetes patula ‘Striped Marvel’ - 3 x yellow bacopa - sold as bedding at local nursery Suppliers: ● Alyssum ‘Snow Carpet’ from Sutton Seeds: ● Amaranthus paniculatus ‘Autumn Palette’ from Chilterns Seeds: ● Tagetes patula ‘Striped Marvel’ from Thompson & Morgan:

container ideas

All-round elegance Where to place: Perfect for a low-maintenance garden. Looks stunning in a courtyard or paved area. Ingredients: - 4 x bronze fennel: home-collected seed and plants - 8 x clumps of white violas or white bacopa or snowdrops - 1 x Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’ grown as a half standard - 4 x Carex oshimensis Suppliers: ● Photinia from Barcham Trees: ● Carex from Easton Walled Gardens: ● ● Tapered fibreglass/resin planters:

BELOW Photinia offers year-round interest. When planted in a border it won’t need much watering, but in a pot make sure you don’t let the soil dry out.

This container is designed to look good all year round. Fluffy fennel foliage and strappy bicoloured leaves are highlighted by the smooth lines of the aluminiumeffect container. Only the white part of the colour scheme needs replacing with the seasons. In late winter, use snowdrops for colour; replace with violas in spring; and add bacopa in summer. Large containers are best in modern materials because they are so light. Drill holes in the bottom to allow excess water to escape or your plants are in danger of becoming waterlogged. Fill one third with lightweight polystyrene. Use grit and soil in the middle level and put 30cm of compost on the top. Cut down the fennel when it starts to look messy at the end of summer. This grouping offers a long season of interest.

Drill holes in the bottom of your container to allow excess water to escape, or your plants are in danger of becoming waterlogged

spring 2014 the english garden 67

Change the look of your garden every week by planting your favourites in individual pots that can be easily moved. Some plants, like dahlias, will need staking

container ideas

URSULA’S TOP CONTAINER PLANTING TIPS ● Use slow-release fertiliser pellets in your initial compost mix, and then add them to the surface of the

pot later in the season. Each time you water, you will add an extra nutrient hit. ● Leave room for plants to grow. It is tempting to pack in lots of plants at planting time, but plants will

live longer, and cope with dry weather better, if they have room to grow. A pot packed with roots will need lots of watering and perennials may suffer. ● If you do use tall plants, remember to stake them well. The supports can be decorative in their own right throughout winter. ● Position your pot before filling it. Some pots get so heavy when full that they need machinery to move them. To keep your pots movable, choose contemporary materials. Recycled plastic and fibreglass containers are excellent alternatives to lead and terracotta. ● Watering really thoroughly once every few days is far more effective than a light watering every day. In summer, water in the evening if you can.

Beginner’s luck OPPOSITE Ursula plants up pots individually and places them in groups for impact. This works really well and allows you to easily change the look of the display. ABOVE Sometimes a simple one-plant pot is the best idea. RIGHT This combination gives longlasting interest and colour.

Magenta and blue is a lovely colour combination, and this planting is easy to achieve. I began with a large penstemon and filled in around the edges with the petunias and lobelia - these are both excellent, long-lasting annuals. In the middle, I added nicotiana, but not until they had begun to flower, as I wanted to select only the darkest colours from the mix. Finally, I took some cut tings from last year’s verbena (overwintered in an unheated greenhouse) and added them close to the middle. When the penstemon took a break from flowering, the lofty verbena took over. Three small violas added a splash of orange to create contrast. These were grown from seed - sow anytime between February and June. Where to place: Ideal for terraces and the perfect starter pot for the beginner gardener. Ingredients: - 1 x Penstemon ‘Raven’ from a home cutting - 4 x Nicotiana ‘Eau de Cologne’ mixed - purples selected. - 3 x Verbena bonariensis from home cuttings - 5 x Lobelia ‘Waterfall Blue Ice’ - 3 x Petunia Surfinia Purple or similar - 3 x Viola ‘Chantreyland’ Suppliers: ● Nicotiana, lobelia and petunias from Thompson

& Morgan: ● Viola ‘Chantreyland’ from Chiltern Seeds: ● Pot from Italian Terrace: ◆


Okeford planter image by David Holme Garden Design

Planters Vases Benches Fountains Balustrade 01258 472685

70 The English Garden SPRING 2014

Worry-free watering â–˛



mark spring 2014 the english garden 71

the wise guys: containers One QUESTION Three ANSWERS

How can I stop containers from drying out?


USE BUCKET-SHAPED BASKETS One of the reasons that many hanging baskets dry out in summer is because the volume of compost inside them is too small. I always use bucket-shaped baskets, as opposed to the ones that are shaped like First World War helmets. They are 35cm wide across the top, and with the extra root room, summer bedding and foliage plants get big and the bigger the roots, the more self-sufficient they are. Having plenty of width encourages the stems to round and spill in a graceful way over the sides, which looks far better than when plants are stuffed root first through holes in the sides and base of the hanging basket liner; holes from which water escapes as though you were pouring it into a sieve. When I go away for a few days in summer, I move my containers into the shade and give them a good drink. Out of direct sunshine, they stay looking perky for days and are still in good shape to welcome me when I get home.


the english garden SPRING 2014


In my experience, drip bottle tops are the only things that can really keep pots and hanging baskets well watered, and they are completely convenient. Widely available online, drip bottle tops screw onto most plastic water bottles, so that when the bottle is inverted, water feeds slowly down into the compost. As well as overcoming the need for my failing memory to remember when to water, using drip bottle tops avoids the drench-drought cycle that comes with most other forms of watering. The compost never dries out, which is much better for the plants. Added to that, little water is lost to evaporation or overflow, and none is wasted. Most brands, including Garden Selections or Aquadrip, have an adjustable drip rate to suit whatever you are growing. It’s also a great way to reuse empty plastic bottles. I find them really good for tomatoes, chillies and other thirsty polytunnel plants too.

Using drip bottle tops avoids the drench-drought cycle that comes with most other forms of watering TOM PETHERICK:



Many people like to go the swell gel route in trying to prevent their containers and hanging baskets from drying out. It is effective, but you do have to be careful about the type you use. Some are biodegradable and non-toxic, but others may not have such honourable properties. Hanging baskets can remain moist, or will at least use a lot less water if they are planted using a moistureretentive compost. The best material for this is undoubtedly home-made compost, which, due to the high level of fertility that it has, will dry out much more slowly. Most composts from the garden centre, even the recycled ones, will dry out quickly, because they have added rather than natural nutrition. Your living compost will stay damp for much longer. Make sure that the compost is topped up as though it were a mulch.

the english garden 73

● TOBY BUCKLAND Nurseryman

How do I take cuttings from my pelargonium?

● TOM PETHERICK Biodynamics specialist

● MARK DIACONO Climate-change grower

Is it worth using a sticky strip to catch insects in a greenhouse?

What’s the best way to deal with a vine weevil?

If your pelargonium is growing, cuttings are easy to take. Look over the plant for straight and green stems that are about the thickness of a pencil and roughly 12cm long. Snip from the plant and then snap off leaves from the lower half. Use a sharp knife to trim the cutting just below its bottom bud, and push into pots of moist cutting compost, so the leaves sit just proud of the surface. Flower buds inhibit rooting, so if you can, choose cuttings that are flower free. One more thing: never cover pelargoniums with a plastic bag or a propagator lid, as they will rot. Keep them on a bright windowsill out of direct sunlight and they will root within a few weeks.

Sticky strips - whether in flexible, hanging form or as rectangles of stiff sticky card - are usually yellow, and reflect light at a wavelength that’s particularly attractive to insects, especially whitefly. As an early warning system to flag up pioneering colonisers of what might become an invasion, they are really effective. The trouble is, they are a little too effective, as they trap beneficial insects including pollinators and potential predators of the pests you’re trying to catch. I prefer to companion plant, attracting natural predators and keeping a natural balance.

This pest, which is the larva of the vine weevil beetle, is a menace, especially on potted plants in the greenhouse. The problem is that the adult is active at night and nowhere to be found during the day. You will notice nibble marks on leaf edges like those caused by the pea and bean weevil on broad beans. But the real problem is the grubs eating the roots. Tip pots out and remove the horrid white-bodied, brown-headed little monsters. You will likely find them around the top of the plant. There is a biological control in the form of a nematode, but it is prohibitively expensive for home gardeners.

Why are some of the leaves on my variegated euonymus plain green?

What can I grow inbetween my winter cabbages?

Is there an optimum time during the day to harvest herbs?

Most variegated plants are created by taking cuttings from regular green plants that have, for one reason or another, produced a more colourful shoot. For the most part, this new colour is stable, but every now and then stress from drought, waterlogging or over/under-feeding causes shoots of the colourful progeny to revert back to green. Whenever you see the all-green shoots, snip them off as they reflect greater concentrations of chlorophyll in their leaves, and if left, they will outgrow and completely take over the variegated plant.

Winter cabbages are sown in early spring to plant out in early summer, and harvested during the cold months. They are one of my favourite crops, and delicious and productive varieties include ‘January King’. Spacing them around 30cm from their neighbours means there’s plenty of room to grow something in-between. For me, the winners are nasturtiums. Growing quickly, nasturtiums smother weeds, retain soil moisture and prevent soil erosion and compaction during heavy rain. The flowers are delicious - a combination of rocket, honey and pepper - with the leaves being fine as bright peppery punctuations in a salad.

All herbs and vegetables, especially leafy ones, should be harvested first thing in the morning, never last thing in the evening, however much you think it’s best to harvest close to cooking. The reason for this is that plants, like the soil, breathe in at night, and out during the hours of daylight. In doing so, they are losing moisture during the day. Harvest some tarragon for your roast chicken first thing, and notice how fresh the cut herbs remain when you come to cook in the evening. Compare this to some cut at 5pm, and see how much they have wilted a few hours later.

Never cover pelargonium cuttings with a plastic bag or a propagator lid, as they will rot 74

the english garden SPRING 2014

for over 40 years SPECIALISTS IN: mature trees, instant hedging, specimen shrubs and conifers. We have a fabulous selection of topiary and cloud plants. Please phone for an appointment with one of our horticultural advisors.

Phone: 01777 702422 email:

SPRING 2014 The English Garden 75


Climatised coatings are a superb range of external wall coatings that are tough, flexible, durable and weatherproof

Step into Spring at Blarney Castle & Gardens. Spend a few hours in the extensive grounds and gardens of Blarney Castle. Get lost in tranquil surroundings around the lake and woodland walks. View prehistoric plants from around the world in the Fern Garden. Dare to enter our Poison Garden and view Harry Potter's Mandrake and other deadly and dangerous plants in cages! Explore the Rock Close with its druidic stones, caves and dolmen, and make a wish on the famous wishing steps while the waterfall cascades alongside you.

• • • • • •

But don't forget we also have the famous Blarney Stone. So make sure you leave enough time to get your kiss!

High build breathing coating suitable for all types of external walls All latest colourings available Nationwide service with 30 years experience Guaranteed not to flake, peel or chip for 10 years Not affected by acid rain or a salt laden atmosphere Breathing Coating

This resurfacing is applied by high pressure spray by our own fully trained staff All our work is done by our own highly trained personnel,to an exceptionally high standard of detail, rarely seen these days.

Name . Address

.......................................................... .......................................................... ............................................................... Telephone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . To: Climatised Coatings (UK) Ltd, Freepost, Chester CH2 1ZZ or telephone Chester (01244) 378488

BLARNEY CASTLE & GARDENS, Blarney, Co.Cork, Ireland. Tel: 021-4385252 Email: Web:

76 The English Garden spring 2014


Flower after flower from Sarah Raven FREE P&P


Blue, Pink & Silver Pot Collection This trio of flowers dominates its place with incredible, long-lasting drama right through summer and into late autumn. With the pelargonium, you’ve got the scent too. This collection contains: Pelargonium ‘Attar of Roses’, Argyranthemum ‘Cherry Red’ and Anagallis monellii. Code 190136 7 plugs 1 pelargonium + 3 aryranthemum +3 anagallis - for one large pot: £10.95 13 plugs 3 pelargoniums + 5 aryranthemum + 5 anagallis - for two large pots: £19.95

Sarah has put together these winning collections so you can fill your pots with plants that are guaranteed to flower throughout summer. The English Garden readers enjoy free postage

Purple Pot Collection

White Pot Collection

A brilliant, scented, knockout trio, which includes: Lavandula multifida ‘Spanish Eyes’, Heliotrope ‘Marine’ and Phlox ‘21st Century Blue’. Sarah highly rates this collection. Deadheaded two or three times through the season, the display looks full of vitality and abundance until the depths of winter. Code 190296 9 plugs: £9.95 15 plugs: £15.95 30 plugs: £27.50

Pots for a white garden or for adding cheery whiteness and brightness to any dull corner. Think of a line of these along a wall or path or around a terrace or pool. This collection includes: Cosmos ‘Sonata White’, Osteospurmum F1 ‘Akila White Purple Eye’ and Phlox ‘21st Century White’. Code 190299 9 plugs: £9.95 15 plugs: £15.95 30 plugs: £27.50

HOW TO ORDER To order and receive exclusive free P&P, call 0845 0920283 and quote offer code TEG14SPR OR order online at and enter offer code TEG14SPR at checkout TERMS & CONDITIONS These seedlings will be dispatched from late April 2014 with planting instructions. Offer valid until 30 April 2014. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount.



Tel: 01733 270 580 French Farm, French Drove, Thorney, Peterborough, PE6 0PQ

Cleft oak fencing and gates for gardens large and small.

Hand crafted from English oak in the Home Counties, shipped nationwide and abroad.

78 The English Garden spring 2014

07813 760763

For those who want to

encourage beneficial pollinators, enjoy a mixture


of , add stunning flavours to your cooking or just have a nibble as you garden, then

containers of herbs are perfect for you

On the road to


If you want to create containers that double up as delicious treats, you’ll enjoy these mouth-watering ideas



here are few people who know how to put on a show of herbs better than Kim Hurst. Kim and her husband Rob have been running The Cottage Herbery nursery in Shropshire for 38 years, and have learnt by trial and error which plants will thrive in which situations. They are keen for every garden to be home to a collection of herbs, so planting in containers enables even those with the smallest plots to have the pleasure of a potted display of edibles. Last summer, there was a plentiful collection of containers at the nursery. Vintage containers were positioned around the outside of the house, as Kim is in the process of creating a garden, so for now relies on displays of pots to put her creative skills to good use. ‘There are a couple of rules when growing herbs in pots,’ says Kim. ‘Always pick the herbs to keep them compact; and if in doubt, place them in a sunny spot.’ Kim uses Fertile Fibre to grow her herbs. This is a peat-free, organic compost made of coconut husks. If you are using a multipurpose compost, add in some extra grit to help drainage, as this is the key to success. By growing herbs in pots, you are able to control the spread of invasive plants such as horseradish and mint. For those who want to encourage beneficial pollinators, enjoy a mixture of scents, add stunning flavours to your cooking, or just have a nibble as you garden, then containers of herbs are the perfect solution.

spring 2014 the english garden 79

LEFT Planting this display in a container with handles means that moving it will not be an issue. Don’t overfill with compost as this makes watering messy and tricky. BELOW A good alternative to calendula ‘Italian Prince’ is this other pot marigold, ‘Pink Surprise’.

LOW-GROWING GEMS The height in this display is provided by calendula, which is easily grown from seed every year. The petals have a peppery taste, and work well in a mixed salad. The other flowers in the pot belong to Thymus serpyllum ‘Goldstream’, which is a useful low grower for the front of a pot. Thymus serpyllum ‘Snowdrift’ is an alternative with white flowers, and it offers a really neat cushion of foliage. The vintage washtub is the perfect container, but only if holes are drilled in the bottom for drainage. Most herbs will suffer if their roots are allowed to sit in water for too long. Water well less often, and allow the container to slightly dry out before watering again.

POT CONTAINS: Origanum vulgare (oregano) Thymus serpyllum ‘Goldstream’ Thymus serpyllum ‘Snowdrift’ Calendula officinalis ‘Indian Prince’ or ‘Pink Surprise’.

In the kitchen Thyme is one of the main ingredients of a bouquet garni, along with bay. Sprigs can be added to meat dishes for a wonderful herby flavour.

Calendula petals have a

peppery taste

and work well in a mixed 80

the english garden spring 2014


herb containers


fennel will

end up being the tallest in the



BELOW Nasturtium seeds can be sown directly into containers in spring for easy colour. The leaves of salad burnet appear early in the year and keep going all through the season.

This large oval pan is ideal for a happy mix of herbs, but again only if there are drainage holes in the bottom. The fennel will end up being the tallest of the group as it can reach 1.8m. Being a perennial, it can be moved to a herb garden after a year in the pot, but make sure you place it at the back of a border. Taking up the majority of the pot is French tarragon, which is a half-hardy perennial, and in front of the fennel are the rounded toothed leaflets that belong to perennial salad burnet, which is sometimes grown as an annual. This plant has a cucumber scent and is in the same family as strawberries and roses. You will also note that this container features calendulas, nasturtiums and chives - all of which have edible flowers.

POT CONTAINS: Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’ (bronze fennel) Artemisia dracunculus French (French tarragon) Sanguisorba minor (salad burnet) Petroselinum crispum ‘Frise Vert Fonce’ Petroselinum crispum var. neapolitanum (Italian or flat-leaved parsley) Origanum vulgare ‘Country Cream’ Anthriscus cerefolium (plain-leaved chervil) Allium schoenoprasum (chives) Nasturtium Calendula

In the kitchen Bronze fennel has a milder flavour than green fennel. Use whole fronds to make a bed on which to bake fish, and then remove before serving.

Turn over for more pot ideas

spring 2014 the english garden 81

LEFT If you prefer simple foliage planting, herbs are the answer. However, if you pick herbs regularly, they won’t flower anyway. BELOW The flowers of chives can also be used in salads.

The strappy leaves belong

garlic chive, which has a far

to the

more garlicky


than regular chives

EXOTIC TOUCH Looking for a bit of fun? If so, try and grow something new. Wasabi enjoys a more shady situation and a moist soil. Here, it is partnered with Vietnamese coriander that also prefers a warm and damp situation, unlike the majority of herbs. The strappy leaves in the pot belong to the garlic chive, which has a far more garlicky taste than regular chives (right). It is a perennial, so treat it as you would traditional chives. The African blue basil is one of the few types of basil that are perennial. Some people find its flavour too strong, but it does make a very attractive ornamental.

POT CONTAINS: Wasabia japonica (Japanese horseradish) Persicaria odorata (Vietnamese coriander) Cryptotaenia japonica f. atropurpurea (Japanese purple parsley) Allium tuberosum (garlic chives) Ocimum ‘African Blue’ (African blue basil)

In the kitchen ▲

Once cut, you can store garlic chives for up to a week in a small freezer bag in the fridge. Use as you would regular chives.

spring 2014 the english garden 83

TEA TIME Planted in a vintage tea chest, all these herbs can be used to make tea. Finding vintage containers isn’t always easy. It is just a case of rummaging around antique fairs, and keeping your eyes peeled at car boot sales. Lemon verbena offers the most dominant scent in the mix. This perennial herb will grow up to 3m in open ground, but can be kept small with regular picking. The Morrocan mint will have a spearmint scent, and in winter will lose its leaves. Being perennial, it will appear the following year, so you can either overwinter it in this container or plant it out in a border. The double chamomile provides low-level interest in the tea chest, and releases its scent when touched. Expect pretty white flowers for most of June and July from this popular plant. If you want to ward cats off from the garden, you might like this pot, as this nepeta is not at all tempting to felines.

POT CONTAINS: Aloysia triphylla (lemon verbena) Citrus bergamia (bergamot) Mentha spicata var. crispa ‘Moroccan’ (Moroccan mint) Nepeta cataria ‘Citriodora’ (lemon catmint) Chamaemelum nobile ‘Flore Pleno’ (double chamomile)

In the kitchen The popular lemon verbena can be used as a replacement for lemon zest in fish and pasta dishes.

The double

chamomile provides low-level interest in the


tea chest

the english garden spring 2014

ABOVE Line the sides of wooden containers with plastic to avoid watermarks on the outside.

herb containers

Parsley is an essential garnish, and the more you

pick it, the better the plant

BACK DOOR BEAUTY With so many herbs in this pot, daily watering may be essential. Nasturtium ‘Red Wonder’ offers a splash of red at the front of the container, while to the left is parsley. Parsley is an essential garnish, and the more you pick it, the better the plant. Although a biennial, it is often grown as an annual, and if growing from seed, don’t be surprised if the plant takes three to four weeks to germinate. The tallest plant in the pot is French tarragon (milder in flavour than the Russian form). Tarragon rarely flowers in the UK, but you are not missing out as the flowers are inconsequential.

POT CONTAINS: Artemisia dracunculus French (French tarragon) Nasturtium ‘Red Wonder’ Rumex scutatus (Buckler-leaved sorrel) Mentha spicata ‘Tashkent’ (mint) Petroselinum crispum (parsley) Allium tuberosum (garlic chives)

In the kitchen You can freeze parsley if you have a glut. Parsley is one of the best sources of vitamin C, so if you need a boost when gardening, take a nibble.

RIGHT Don’t be tempted to overfeed containers featuring nasturtiums, or you will end up with the foliage swamping the flowers.

The Cottage Herbery The nursery is not generally open to the public but does regularly feature at shows and plant fairs. To buy seeds by mail order or find out more, visit or tel: +44 (0)1584 781575.

Spring 2014 the english garden 85


: 42cm ailable in small PLANTERS Av NC ZI ED IS £139; ), GALVAN (D) x 42cm (H medium: 53cm 9; £8 ), (H 300. cm 25 (D) x 33 . Tel: 0845 40 50cm (H), £199 x ) (D cm 66 : and large www.harrodho

LETTER-TILE STYLE BUCKETS Available in four sizes. Prices start from £3.95. Tel: 0845 2591359.

a nt

in e


for your garden f

ro m

PACIFAE TERRACOTTA POT Two sizes available. 25cm (H) x 50cm (W), £85; or 35cm (H) x 60cm (W), £130. Tel: +44 (0)1342 714793.

SELECTION OF POTS From left to right: large copper, £875; antique terracotta pots from £2-£22; small copper, £275; English stone trough, £3,300. Tel: +44 (0)1905 381679.


the english garden spring 2014

stic selection

t co the perfec

WALL PLANTER & BIRD HOUSE £17.99. Tel: 0844 5572233.

hi sf ant a



CRINKLE POTS Made from recycled paper by a project in Sri Lanka to help working mothers. 100% waterproof. Available in small, £12; medium, £15; and large, £19. Tel: +44 (0)1844 217060.


MAXI MANGER TROUGH PLANTER Available in four lengths, prices start from £99. Tel: 0845 4025300.

CIRCULAR ST EEL PLANTERS Available in two sizes. 40cm (H) x 46cm (D), £250; or 43cm (H) x 61cm (D), £295. Tel: +4 4 (0)1225 851577. www .garden-requ

TERRACOTTA TEA CUP & SAUCER PLANTER Available in medium, £15; and large, £18.50. Tel: +44 (0)207 4315553.

GRIGIO PLAN TER MEDIUM 50cm (W ) x 50 cm (D) x 50cm (H). £135. Tel: +44 (0)127 3 486400. ww

LARGE TERRACOTTA BEE POT Also available in small and mini. £49.95. Tel: 0845 5214342.

CERAMIC SKY PLANTER £28. Tel: 0845 2591359.

BASSANO PLANTER Available in three sizes. Prices start from £40. Tel: 0845 6084448.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM Availble in four sizes. Prices start from £25. Tel: +44 (0)1608 684416.

NC TROUGHS TWO AGED ZI 8580744. £45. Tel: 0844 www.coxandc

THE WOLFSON Made in oak or hardwood for painting. Available in three sizes. Prices start from £445. Tel: +44 (0)1608 683022.

POMPEII PLANTERS Made from iron with a distressed mock-stone effect, and carry handles. Small, £45; large, £65. Tel: +44 (0)1630 695779.

KEW LOW PLANTER Available in grapegreen and burgundy. Medium, £29.99; large, £44.99. Tel: 0845 2591359.

VASO ARCHI - TERRACOTTA GARDEN POT Available in six sizes with prices starting at £45, ranging to £895. Tel: +44 (0)1284 789666.


VERTI-PLANT Each planter has three pockets. The top two pockets feature drainage holes that help to water the plants below. Available in a variety of colours. £9.95 for a 2-pack. Tel: +44 (0)1142 338262.

EASTWELL URN Cast stone available in Portland (above), Bath and terracotta. £299. Tel: +44 (0)1604 770711.


LISED PO TATO PLA NTER BOX 36cm (L) x CR ATE 36cm (W ) x 38cm (H Tel: +44 (0 ). £38.95. )1392 829 977.

www.plan k

HERB POTS ON TRAY, MIXED COLOURS £20. Tel: 0845 6084448.

RATTAN PLANTER 50cm (H) x 79cm (W) x 31cm (D). £120. Tel: 0844 8580744.

HERB PLANTER Made from a recycled steel oil drum. £30. Tel: +44 (0)1844 217060.

OAK PLANTER Three sizes available with prices starting from £425. Tel: 0845 4025300.

AND AURICULA ST 0920283. £99. Tel: 0845 Holds 15 pots. www.sarahrav


the english garden spring 2014

POPPY BOWL Available in hammered slate or rusty (above) finish. POA. Tel: +44 (0)1759 373839.

RECYCLED PLANTER WITH STAINLESS STEEL HANDLES Made from 100% recycled tyres with Kevlar stitching for super-strong seams. £54.99. Tel: 0845 2591359.


Special Offer for Readers of The English Garden

The Winter’s Tale Planter Celebrate the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth with this new design by Whichford Pottery, makers of top quality, handmade, frostproof flowerpots. Each pot is inscribed with words from The Winter’s Tale (Act 4, Scene 3) using the original First Folio typeface.

Free delivery (saving £29.50) £79.00 each Special price of £140 for a pair (saving a further £18) Each pot measures 31cm high x 28cm wide Free delivery applies to mainland UK only. Pairs of pots must be delivered to the same address. Offer ends 31st May 2014 and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Offer not available online.

Whichford Pottery, Whichford, Nr. Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire, CV36 5PG

To order please call: 01608 684416 quoting EG4

SPRING 2014 The English Garden 89

Container Gardening  

Artículo publicado en la revista The English Garden y compartido en El Blog de La Tabla

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you