Five things to know about growing your own

Even the tiniest spaces can give you tasty crops of fruit, veg and herbs; and growing your own can make your garden beautiful too

Growing your own fruit and veg doesn’t have to mean perfect rows of crops standing to attention in perfect soil. You can grow lots of different crops in containers – and if you pick smart pots or planters you can make an attractive addition to a patio.

Mix it up with the wild and romantic: for a modern-day take on an old-fashioned ‘cottage’ garden – let fruit, vegetables and herbs run free and mingle with flowers in your beds and borders. They will grow quite happily together and you may get fewer pests and diseases, too.

In a sunny spot you can grow almost anything – in shady spots try rhubarb, currants, mint… If you have no garden at all you can still grow microgreens or herbs such as basil on your windowsill. Some crops are easier than others – think about what you enjoy eating, look at RHS advice on growing your own and prepare to experiment…

If your garden’s main aim is to entertain, why not grow herbs, strawberries and edible flowers in alongside the patio and in raised beds, pots or windowboxes at easy plucking height. That way you’re never too far from a nibble or a garnish to elevate that dish (or cocktail!). Mint, thyme and lemon verbena work especially well as tasty garnishes, while lavender smells lovely and is great for bees and other pollinators.

In the garden above, edible plants such as ruby chard, kale and bronze fennel have been planted in quirky containers to make unusual patio features. Their colouring has been echoed in other plants and in the zingy cushions and other elements of the garden, painting a vibrant picture.

Growing your own is a great way to get kids involved in gardening, especially if you grow quick-maturing crops that children enjoy eating. Fast and tasty crops to try include strawberries, peas and mini carrots. See our family gardening pages for lots more ideas.

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.