bunch of cosmic purple carrots

Taking a leap of imagination

Not all beans are green! We all have our familiar favourites, those varieties we like the taste, colour or scent of. Nurserymen are always trying to tempt us with 'new' , 'improved', 'better flavour', 'longer lasting'. All true but should we? could we try purple carrots or speckled beans? mix and match our flowers and allow the weeds (otherwise known as wildflowers) to populate our borders?

Could we grow our own curry? Chilli peppers are popular and easy to grow in almost any space, indoors and outside. Coriander is also easy to grow from seed. Cumin plants are sensitive to cold and temperamental to grow.  Lemongrass can be started from seed, the plants want watering well. Sichuan pepper can be grown from seed but needs stratification to prompt germination. Ginger and Turmeric can be propagated from their rhizomes. 

What about creating a forest garden or an edible hedge with fruit trees, hips and haws, hazelnut, medlar or quince, vines and climbers, shrubs and bushes, finished off with ground cover mint, wild garlic and creeping thyme. If that seems way too much, try a single atypical variety such as a tomatillo, loofah luffa, cape gooseberry, artichoke or cardoon in the plot.

Pictorial packet collection of six different varieties of flowering climbers

Alternatively picture the illusion of an exotic paradise with some easy to grow climbers. Cobaea scandens, mina lobata and ipomoea Morning Glory look flamboyant but are all tolerant of our British weather.  Add pots of sumptuous lilies, all you need then is for the sun to shine.

Consider the birds and bees, how would they view your garden? Pick up the trend and re-wild a patch with a succession of native wild flowers and plants. Cowslips and primroses, English bluebells, snake's head fritillary and foxgloves evoke the countryside, whilst bringing colour in season.

If you've not much space, then grow tall with vertical planting. Convert a wooden pallet into a ladder planter for some herbs and edible flowers. Upcycle old pots and tins with a touch of paint as containers for the plants.

A few ideas  - I'm hoping to fit all my herbs and edible flowers into a ladder planter. I have the pallet, just need the time and inspiration to make the dream a reality.




Back to blog