Herbal hanging baskets

When trying to decide what we should plant in our tiny garden, I strove to get as wide a variety of edible produce as possible. I did, however, want to ensure we have a herb garden as well as I use herbs in a large amount of my cooking. The problem with herbs is the same problem with spinach – they grow out of control and dominate wherever you plant them, and also that we use so many of them that it’s very difficult to grow enough in a small garden to satisfy our requirements. Pesto, for example (something I make a lot in the summer), requires a huge amount of basil, probably my entire crop were I to use one of my herbal wall planters for it. So I’ve made my peace with the idea that if I want to grow roots, herbs, fruits and vegetables, then I’m going to get a tiny amount of each thing. I do want some fresh herbs though, even if I only have enough to use once or twice. 

So I’ve decided to use basil, sorrel, black peppermint and some extra slightly dead-looking coriander that I had in an extra pot to populate an extra couple of hanging planters that I have. I have no idea whether the sorrel and coriander can grow sideways and they certainly looked dreadful when showed in, but I’ll just have to bank on the idea that most herbs are weeds and will be pretty hardy. We shall see. It’s a good think that black peppermint doesn’t mind shade too, as it’ll occupy a shady little corner that nothing else will really grow in. So hopefully tomorrow the plants will look less dead and more vigorous. We shall see. At least I’ve added to my herb supplies and one fresh salad with torn leaves is better than none. It’s also worth noting that I should, in this way, retain significantly more of my crop than I have in previous years simply because only an extremely agile snail is going to be able to reach this suspended beds of perfumed greenery!

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We farm a three acre smallholding in Hampshire, England, having fled London in pursuit of the good life for our little family. We mess about with an assorted menagerie and try to be as self-sufficient as possible in meat and fruit and vegetables whilst enjoying our plot and an outdoors lifestyle with our son. I am the luckiest person that I know.

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