Sunday, 7 January 2018

From Concrete Courtyard to the Hanging Gardens of Stroud...

Windowsill herbs have been a 'must have' for home cooks ever since Jamie Oliver bish-bash-boshed his way onto our screens nearly 20 years ago (yep, we're / I'm that old). 

Having spent that long trying to get my own herbs to grow there's no chance Oliver had the time or patience for his perfect bouquet week after week! Even a decent sized window-sill isn't enough to give you that basil hit more than a handful of times and sorry but that's just not enough to satisfy any self-respecting 30-something foodie addict's pesto consumption (not that I make pesto, or have much long to call myself 30-something!)

Pointless growing them at the allotment, herbs are a spontaneous thing. Even growing herbs out in planters in the back garden hasn't been  much good either, fumbling around in the dark to snip my rosemary, tripping up / down the outside steps just so my roast potatoes can be overpowered.  

I realised I needed something new...

Last summer I hit upon the idea of a trellis in the courtyard to cover the unsightly concrete breeze-blocks keeping us from our neighbours  on which to hang my herbs (PS for history buffs, the courtyard used to run the full length of the terrace of 6 old weavers cottages so that they could stretch out the cloth!). 

Coupled with some cheap metal containers, wire and a drill, I managed to create a hanging collection of herbs in easy reach. All I needed to do was nip out to satisfy my dill craving and all would be well in the world. Except the dill and the rest of them had a little difficulty growing, mostly due to under / over watering, gathering moss or drying out. Still I can't get the knack.

Not to be put off, 2018 is the year of the courtyard collection and today I'm back on it, potting up a new selection. Watch this space to see if they flourish or flounder...

It may be a bit cold out for now, but come spring I hope my fledgling herb garden will come to life, but naturally any advice on keeping the herbs alive gratefully received!


Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Will they have enough light there?

Hapless gardener said...

Hi Lucy, I'm sorry I missed your comment until now and hope you're well? Thankfully yes the light hits that end of the courtyard for most of the day and herbs tend to do a bit too well - I can't quite keep up on the cooking front sometimes!

The Hapless Kitchen Gardener

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I only feel hapless because some people make it look easy to grow 10 ft marrows or a banquet of greens whereas my courgettes got nabbed by killer slugs and I only got one raspberry. So tips and stories from people less hapless than I are more than welcome. As a disclaimer though, none of my comments should be taken as expert advice on which you can rely! © Unless stated otherwise, and with the exception of guest content where that guest retains copyright, all photos and posts are the copyright of Tom Carpen and may not be used without permission.