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Patio planting: how to create a handy herb pot

Patio planting: how to create a handy herb pot


by Megan Burns
30th May 2024

Tig Mays of Howbert & Mays shares a clever way to brighten up a patio or balcony, with the added bonus of having fresh herbs to use in your kitchen.

As summer rolls around, we often look at our outdoor spaces and want to add a little extra something to spruce them up. If you’re looking to add a little extra greenery, but want something that will both look good and be low-maintenance, we asked Tig Mays of Howbert & Mays for his advice.

To brighten up a balcony or patio, while also adding a little something to your favourite dishes, Tig recommends planting up a pot with a bay tree and some herbs. 

“Bay is one of the most useful of  all garden herbs,” he says. “It’s also often used as an ornamental plant, because it’s  a handsome evergreen shrub, frequently in a pot. As a ‘tree’ shape with a bare stem, it often leaves a blank space at the base, so it makes sense to fill this with something that likes the same conditions, like other herbs.”  

To try it for yourself, Tig advises choosing “a heavy, solid pot, one that is bigger than what you think you need: plants grow! It’s better to have fewer, larger pots than lots of smaller pots.

“Use a high quality compost, such as John Innes No 3. You can also mix in some Gee-up organic horse manure for extra fertility. Once you’ve planted it, you can cover the upper surface  with some pebbles. This looks good and encourages healthy growth.”

When choosing your herbs, there are several options. “The very best herb for a pot is prostrate rosemary,” Tig explains. “In the right pot, this can live for years, flower beautifully and provide you with endless sprigs. Oregano, marjoram and chives are also easy and useful. 

“Some herbs are awkward and less successful, such as coriander, basil, dill, parsley and tarragon. These may need to be indoors and are often short-lived.” Lastly, find a bright location, and water regularly but never allow them to be soggy or waterlogged.

This feature originally appeared in the spring/summer 2023 issue of IMAGE Interiors. Have you thought about becoming a subscriber? Find out more, and sign up here

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