Inside the Growing for Taste Marquee
Great ideas and tips on growing edibles
The displays in the Growing for Taste Marquee show that growing fruit, vegetables and herbs can be aesthetically pleasing as well as practical. Some of the exhibitors in this marquee include;
The Garlic Farm (GY05)
Designed by Edulis nursery owner Paul Barney, the 'Al fresco' Garlic Farm display shows a mixture of alliums, garlic and herbaceous plants, set in a modern, suburban garden.
Keep an eye out for Staphylea colchica -an ornamental shrub with garlic flavoured leaves. Climbing roses are planted throughout the garden as garlic makes a perfect companion plant to get rid of aphid.
Top tip: most species of garlic should be planted between October - November as they need three months in a cold environment. Grow in well-drained soil and plant at well spaced intervals to avoid rust.
Hooksgreen Herbs (GY06)
A pretty display of scented and medicinal herbs such as Salvia bulleyana, inula elecampane and Leptandra virginica, in a romantic herb garden setting. There are useful examples of how to grow herbs in pots, pathways and borders. Dotted around the display are several Aconitum napellus (Monkshood) which can indeed be used for medicinal purposes, but at the peril of the user, since all parts of the plant are highly poisonous!
Top Tip: you can eat the flowers of plants such as pansies, marigolds, nasturtiums and chives.
A display of herbs in pots for the gardener who wants to grow their own curry. Look out for malabar spinach growing on a trellis at the front and back of the exhibition. It has fleshy leaves and pretty pink flowers that produced edible, mulberry-like fruits. Grown from seed and a vigorous climber, the spinach at the front stand was sow on the 23 February and is now more than established.
Top tip: the leaves of lemon grass can be eaten as well as the stems and the roots can be grated and added to food.
Dobies of Devon (GY09)
Themed on a prize-winning display at a village fete, this colourful exhibition includes a maypole in the centre and robin rosettes for the 'winning' vegetables. Also on display are new cultivars of vegetables for 2013, include pepper 'Sweet Sunshine', a bright orange, sweet pepper that looks like a chilli.
Top tip: grafting aubergines results in a higher yield of crop early on in the season, larger vegetables and allows for outdoor growing. Look out for the grafted aubergine at the top of the maypole.
Grow Old/Pennard Plants (GY010)
The focus of this display are the companion plants (such as lovage, marigolds, mint and hisspop) grown in raised beds, however it is equally as interesting to see how it utilises a small space effectively. It contains everything you need to run a successful garden - a glasshouse, cold frame, compost heap, shed and chicken coop - all in a a 4.5m x 4.5m (15ft x 15ft) garden.
Don't miss the pink-tipped mexican tree spinach, Chenopodium giganteum. It is an annual, easily grown from seed grow and good as an ornamental plant. The pink tips are ideal in a salad.
Top tip: plant mint near peas, because the smell stops mice eating them.