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This window-box-sized container doubles as an edible centrepiece. Invite your guests to snip off the f lowers and leaves and garnish their own salad, decorate their dessert or simply pop a sprig into a drink.
Nasturtium ‘Alaska’ (1) has cream, yellow, orange or red f lowers with variegated leaves. Both the edible leaves and f lowers have a peppery f lavour.
Mint ‘Julep’ (2) has sweetly scented leaves and a fresh flavour that makes it ideal for desserts and fruit punches. Cut it back often to restrict its growth.
‘Dark Lady’ basil (3) is compact
(30cm high), disease resistant and tasty. It will overwinter well, if kept in a sheltered position.
‘French’ thyme (4) is one of the best culinary varieties. Use it in vinegars and butters. It is low growing and bushy with narrow grey leaves and tiny edible white f lowers.
‘Country Cream’ oregano (5) is ideal for a tabletop container because it’s not as vigorous as standard oregano. Its growth is low and spreading and its green and cream leaves always look pretty.
Growing tips: For healthy f lowers and foliage, fertilise once every two weeks with a liquid fertiliser at half strength. Keep the soil moist but don’t overwater. Press your finger into the soil and if it’s moist, delay watering by a day.
In the kitchen: Make herb vinegar using Basil ‘Dark Lady’. Use 200g fresh leaves and f lowers, lightly bruised with a rolling pin. Put in a sterilised jar then pour in 750ml good quality grape, wine, or apple cider vinegar. Seal and shake well. Keep in a cool dark place for two to three weeks, shaking the jar from time to time for the f lavours to develop. Strain through muslin or a filter into sterilised bottles. Add a f lowering sprig, seal and label. Use the vinegar in salad dressings or when cooking.