Fresh herbs make all the difference to home cooking, adding delicious zing and flavour to salads, stews and roasts. They taste far better than dried stuff, and growing your own is loads cheaper than buying endless pots of live herbs from supermarkets.
As a bonus herbs also look great and are perfect for growing in containers - this means it's easy to create a gorgeous potted herb garden that can be positioned on a patio or by a back door (perfect for easy pickings). Some herbs are best bought as plants, while others are cheap and easy to sow from seed. Most importantly, they're all easy to grow, which is perfect if you're new to gardening.
Step by step
Put a few stones or broken pieces of china in the bottom of your pots. This will help with drainage and stop compost becoming waterlogged.
Half fill your pots with multi-purpose compost and add a few handfuls of grit to those destined for rosemary, thyme or oregano – this helps to replicate the stony, free-draining soil they love in the wild.
Add a different herb to each container you have, carefully removing them from their plastic pots one at a time. If plants are small it’s fine to use several of the same thing in one container.
Top up the pots with more compost, filling the gaps around the edge. Add a bit more grit to those that like free-draining soil.
Finish off each pot with a layer of grit. This keeps the overall display neat and stylish, while helping to prevent weeds from taking root in the compost. Water each pot well.
Label every pot, so you don’t get your herbs muddled. Make labels as attractive as possible to add to the decorative look of the display.