Create one pot herb combinations for use in the kitchen.
Think about the type of herbs you use most and your favourite style of cooking, and plant up your herb pot accordingly.
If your mind is open to new ideas and your heart is big enough to accommodate the whole spectrum, we have the right combinations for you to have great fun in the kitchen with homegrown herbs.
Go for one or more chillies as the main plants and add Vietnamese coriander, lemongrass and lots of garlic chives for a wild combination. Plant them in an old drum, bucket or steel dustbin and paint it silver if it needs a bit of sprucing up!
Use sweet basil as your main focus and add thyme, Italian and flat leaved parsley and golden, creeping oreganum. (The thyme and oreganum will be around for more than one growing season, but the sweet basil and parsley will have to be replaced annually.) Use a large terracotta pot in the traditional style for this combination. Otherwise, if you can lay your hands on one of the big restaurant-sized tomato or olive oil tins, that would be perfect. You can also plant the herbs separately in small tins – just remember to drill drainage holes in them.
If you love a garden salad and enjoy picking a few fresh leaves every day but want to add more flavour to your salad, plant dill, sweet basil, rocket and garlic chives. Into this mix you can also add some of the butterhead and loose leaf lettuce varietes, which are available in seedlng punnets in nurseries throughout the year. Also sow some nasturtium seeds between the other plants. The pretty leaves and flowers are edible and add pizazz to any mixed salad. A perfect container for this recipe would be a fairly spacious wooden box or maybe an old, retired wheelbarrow that is riddled with holes. (If the holes are too big, simply cover them with a piece of shade cloth or weed matting, to prevent the soil from falling through.)
For a more formal and classical French-cuisine style, plant a bay tree (maybe already trained into a lovely standard shape) as your main attraction and add tarragon, chives, thyme and chervil around its base. This selection is simply crying out to be planted in a wooden half-barrel or a really large, classical urn.
Chillies are tops again, but add parsley, coriander, garlic chives and oreganum. Pick a colourful plastic container for this one, or paint a large terracotta pot with gaudy and colourful stripes.
Social butterflies can jazz up their balconies with a window box full of goodies for interesting cocktails. Buy a mini kumquat tree to use as your main attraction. Add some strawberry plants and fill any open spaces with a variety of flavoured mints. Choose small mint plants, keep them in their nursery pots and simply sink these into the soil. You will now have the ingredients to mix and embellish numerous exotic cocktails like Pimm’s, mojitos and daiquiris