HERBS can be used in borders, rock gardens, in space-conscious city gardens, on balconies, in pots and hanging baskets and even for hedging says gardening expert Peter Burks*.
Peter and the online garden centre www.potterandrest.co.uk are offering free advice this summer on how to grow herbs in small outdoor spaces with the best results.
He says: “Most herbs smell divine, have beautiful coloured and textured foliage and pleasant, bright, friendly flowers. Best of all, they are convenience plants. They are easy to care for and only require picking when you need them for a dish.
“If you wish to grow herbs in a window box outside your kitchen, select plants essential for cooking, for example Rosemary and Basil. Those with colourful leaves such as Purple Sage, Silver Thyme and Golden Balm and fragrant herbs like Pineapple Sage, Lemon Thyme and Sweet Marjoram make good choices.
“Make sure the window box has drainage holes and it is approximately 23cm deep to ensure healthy growth. It must be securely fitted to the wall, as a full window box, recently watered, can be weighty.
“A recipe for a herb collection in two or three pots or tubs, approximately 30cm square, for a patio might include: Parsley, Thyme and Bay in one pot and Rosemary, Chervil, Salad Burnet or Tarragon in another.
“It may be necessary to have the Bay in a pot on its own as it can overshadow other herbs. In the summer grow Basil, Dill, Chervil, Chives and Marigold to boost salad servings. In the winter select Salad Burnet, Sage, Welsh Onion and Rosemary to add to stews and casseroles.
“When buying herbs to plant in your garden, do not overestimate on the number you will require. Make a list before you leave home and take measurements of the area or container you wish to plant up. Garden centre staff should be able to advise you on the number of plants you will need. Pick plants that enjoy the same soil and weather conditions. Sun-lovers include the Mint family and shade-lovers Caraway, Cumin and Anise. Ask for advice or read labels carefully when making your collection.
“If you intend creating a herb hanging basket, look out for plants that trail and use them on the outside and check the potential height of upright plants that can be used as centre pieces.”
For further details, please visit www.potterandrest.co.uk, call 01278 440500 or email email@example.com.