Pots that just keep giving
You don't have to have rolling lawns and lush beds; all you need for garden glory are pots – as many as you can manage, says Jackie French.
Everyone can have a generous garden. If you have a sunny windowsill, hang baskets. If you are broke, use tin cans and put in drainage holes. If you have a patio that gets four hours of sun a day, or wide steps, pots are a great garden option.
Most generous veg for pots Red-stemmed Italian
chicory Tall, slim, elegant and great in salads or stir-fries. It’s beautiful enough to be a display pot on your windowsill.
Bronze fennel Ferny and delicate, its aniseed flavour suits salads or fish.
New Zealand spinach This NZ delicacy is superb in quiches and soups but first needs blanching for 30 seconds in boiling water to remove oxalates.
Cherry tomato If planted in spring and again in late summer, the new plants will keep fruiting in a sunny spot such as a windowsill or glasshouse.
Most generous fruit for pots
Winter rhubarb With ornamental red stems, this survives the cold and loves hanging baskets.
Dwarf lemon or lemonade trees These mostly crop in winter, but if you pick the fruit regularly they’ll repeat-flower with a few throughout summer too.
Passionfruit Glossy leaves and pretty, fragrant flowers are followed by delicious fruit. Ensure the vine has a support structure to climb on.
Most generous flowers for pots
Dwarf grevilleas Small ever-blooming varieties include Lady O and Deua Flame. They grow about a metre high. Dwarf bougainvillea
The bright bracts that surround the tiny white flowers keep their colour in a sunny spot, or for nine months of the year in cold areas.
Spreading petunias Place in a frost-free spot (such as a sunny windowsill) and if they die down in winter they will come back in spring.
Calendula spp Modern calendulas come in oranges and yellows, singles and doubles.
Most generous herbs for pots
Garlic chives These don’t die down like ordinary chives.
Spring onions Clip the tops to chop into salads and stir-fries and the clumps will get larger every year.
Rosemary Choose a prostrate rosemary with bright blue winter blooms and evergreen fragrant leaves.
Lipstick chillis Bright-red fruit, purple flowers and a perennial bush that’s gorgeous when trimmed neatly.