This wooden raised trough was painted and stencilled with outdoor paint and is just the right height for easy picking. Plant both herbs and salad to extend the growing life of the trough, giving you enough fresh goodies to take you through summer and beyond.
Chosen carefully, your mix can also add a vertical element to the display. Herbs such as rosemary and fennel reach for the sky, while salad crops stay low and neat. When youve finished picking, you can whip them out and replant with something new so the tasty seasonal show can go on.
A party in the garden calls for flair and, in summer, you can dress up herbs and flowers as they grow. Use a set of hooks to hang small metal buckets full of herbs and add glass jars filled with cut flowers. Candles bring a touch of glamour and the whole arrangement is interwoven with crystal beaded wire for a sparkly fun feel.
Even their most fervent devotees would agree that growbags so useful for growing tomatoes and peppers are less than elegant. For a smart disguise, drop the whole bag into a purpose-made willow or hazel basket. Cover the top of the bag with a strip of coir, mulch or gravel, with holes for the plant to grow through. Add a spiral metal support and voila, a work of art for your peppers and tomatoes!
Use every inch of space you have to keep the tastiest morsels to hand. Arrange hanging baskets of herbs and strawberries so they are just irresistibly within your reach. These ceramic baskets make sure the picture is pretty all round.
Some vegetables, such as horseradish or beetroot, like to get their roots down and buckets can be the perfect place to plant them. A collection of old or new buckets can be painted, stencilled or just left interestingly old and galvanised stylish container groupings usually involve some symmetry, either of style or colour. Always remember to add a hole or two in the bottom for drainage.
Garden Trading and Pimpernel & Partners both have a range of unique garden buckets similar to those pictured. Petersham Nurseries also have buckets, as well as accessories such as vintage hand forks and garden spades.
Charity shops are a wondrous source of lovely old-fashioned pots and bowls in ceramic and enamel. Line up your selection on shelves, indoors or out, the more eclectic the choice the better. If you are planting herbs, mix gravel into the soil to help drainage and if you can drill a few holes in the bottom without breaking it that's perfect, but if not then be careful to water little and often.
Find a similar vintage coffee pot at Pimpernel & Partners. Baileys and Plümo also have a good range of jugs, and you could also try the London Pottery and Fairmont & Main ranges at John Lewis. The glass hanging jar is from Caroline Zoob.
Present your potted salad and vegetables on stylish wooden staging. Mix different containers in terracotta, stone and metal and a selection of vegetables, herbs and salad leaves with some flowers. Plant labels help you remember which is which we have stamped wooden tags with initial letters. A final touch is adding candles, all the better to admire your theatrical tour de force as you sit outside on a summer's evening.
Good gardeners (and cooks!) know that the nearer your herbs are to the back door, the more likely you are to use them. No one wants to go far outside if its raining! A selection of pretty baskets or jute bags is perfect for herbs or cut-and-come-again salad leaves. Tie tags listing the names to the handles with ribbon so you know what you've got. Then just pop them outside the kitchen door, so all you have to do is reach out and pick.