Friday, 26 April 2013

Top tip - easy access mini herb garden

This tip is so simple, I know I won't be the first to have thought of it, but I'll share it all the same.

I like to use fresh herbs in our cooking when a recipe calls for it. Dried herbs have their place, but you definitely get a much bigger flavour boost when you use fresh. When we moved out of flats and into our first house I was very keen to have a herb garden. In the past I've tried to grow herbs in pots on the windowsill but never had much luck keeping them alive. For me, the problem with growing them outdoors is ensuring they're accessible in all weathers - dashing across a soggy garden in the rain to retrieve a few sprigs of thyme doesn't appeal to the lazy side of me! So I struck upon a smart idea. Make the herbs accessible from the kitchen window.

All we had to do was attach a trough to the wall just below our kitchen window. I then stocked it full of the herbs that we use most frequently that are hardy enough to live outside. In my mini herb garden you will find rosemary, thyme and parsley. Now I simply lean out of the kitchen window and grab whatever I need, whenever I need it. No need to take your slippers off or put a coat on!

I restock the basket once a year in the spring as not everything will survive winter, especially one as long and as cold as the one we've just had. Keep it well watered in the summer and you will be able to enjoy easy access fresh herbs the whole year round.

To make your own mini herb garden you'll need:

  •  A fixed-to-the-wall hanging basket or trough - B&Q sell a 24 inch basket with liner for under a tenner
  • Soil
  • Potted herbs - expect to pay between £4-6 from your local garden centre or DIY shop
  • A watering can to keep your herbs refreshed
  • Different herbs like sun/shade, but there's nothing wrong with experimenting to see what thrives.
Happy herby growing!

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