Yay! Summer is here – which means it’s time to get out into the garden. Growing your own plants and herbs not only gives you the basics for a healthy diet – working in the garden is also the best way to relax and free your mind.
Gardening is a physical activity that keeps you fit and, unlike labouring in front of a screen, it teaches you how to focus and concentrate on one thing. Not got your own garden? Don’t let that deter you – we’ve got some great tips on how to grow crops in even the smallest space and help the bees at the same time. And did we mention the physical benefits? Gardening is like an outdoor work-out and, believe us, after a gardening session there’s really nothing better than sitting down on a bench, admiring your handiwork and enjoying a RAWBITE bar.
STYLISH URBAN GARDENING
Urban Gardening is a massive trend right now, and it shows just how much we want to reconnect with nature. With more and more people focused on a healthy diet and wanting to know where the food they’re eating comes from, growing what you eat from scratch is incredibly satisfying. Picking a cucumber you’ve cultivated from seed is a world apart from popping one in your supermarket trolley. For most people, urban gardening means gardening in a very small space. Some share allotment beds or cultivate abandoned sites – there are many options if you look around.
Is your balcony small? Why not think vertical? Simply plant on several levels. You can build a vertical herb garden using an old pallet and as many pots as you can fit in. Or take a couple of pretty baskets and some string and make your own hanging garden. You can also fix an old slatted bed frame to the wall and hang flowerpots on it for an instant vertical gardening bed.
INSTEAD OF DIY: PLANTERS AND PLANT STANDS
Like the sound of the above ideas and want to grow your own strawberries, basil and lettuce but lack the DIY skills? Then why not use plant stands? They are readily available and usually have several tiers for all sorts of leafy goodness. Urbannature has a very stylish range of planters that can even be folded up in winter when they’re not in use. Or how about a raised bed on wheels for super-easy picking?
Loose leaf lettuces and rocket will grow very happily in planters on your balcony. All you need to do is scatter the seeds, water well and get ready to harvest crisp salads in a couple of weeks. And if you cut the lettuce leaves off just above the ground and leave the rest, then the leaf lettuce will grow again several times. Make sure you buy organic seeds (also available online).
Why not turn your garden or balcony upside down? This simple trick lets you plant different crops – e.g. tomatoes and herbs – in the same pot. The tomatoes with their plump juicy fruit will grow out of the bottom hole while rosemary or basil flourishes above. To make your own, simply take a wooden shelf and saw a hole large enough to fit an ordinary clay flowerpot. As an added benefit: the tomatoes even pick up some of the flavour of the herbs – yum!
BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ: EDIBLE FLOWERS
As well as the physical and mental benefits of gardening, you can also give yourself a pat on the back for doing something for the environment by attracting bees, bumblebees and butterflies and giving them valuable sources of food. With flavours that range from sweet to peppery, flowers can also be used to add a special note to many dishes and drinks. Plants with edible flowers include wild garlic, daisies, elderflower, jasmine, lavender, rose, chives, violets or courgettes. Vegetable flowers are great in savoury dishes like salads or dips; flower blossoms taste great in sweet dishes or in drinks. Before use, please do first check that the flower is suitable for consumption.
Enjoy every Bite.