How I repotted everything on Sunday

22:25, Oct 22 2012

Anyone can garden. All you need is a pot. My very first garden, not counting the patch my parents gave me when I was a kid, was a wooden trough planter with three herbs: majoram, chives and pizza thyme. I still have the trough, I still have the herbs. The thyme is my absolute favourite, it ends up in most meals I make. 

But my point is, I started out as a container gardener long before I had a quarter-acre to play with. I have two herb gardens - one in the actual soil, another in a planter on the patio. And on Sunday, I inherited, thanks to a kind neighbour, a bunch more pots and a planter to add to my collection. Getting those pots was like getting more garden to play with. I can also park them on the patio right outside our front door, which is so much handier than traipsing round to the back to get herbs and salad greens when the mood takes me. 

Picture left: L-R Planter with pizza thyme, sage, parsley and golden majoram, two recycled colanders with spinach that used to be ponked in the chook run as a snack for the girls, repotted thyme in a terracotta pot, new planter with trellis ready for sugar snaps.

So inspired was I, that immediately I started plotting what to put in them even though the backyard with its perpetual mess was calling me. The long wooden planter still had a few curly parsley seedlings, but I pulled them all out, threw in some potting mix and compost and blood and bone, and turned it into a mini vegetable garden. We love peas here at Wild Estate, so I sowed a row of dwarf sugar snaps, and along the front I sowed some oak leaf lettuce and buttercrunch lettuce. So now I can say to the Trusty Assistant, "hey, I need some oregano and some peas for dinner." and be fairly sure he will be back with them in less than half an hour. 

Once I'd rigged up the trellis to the balcony so it won't blow away in any big winds with cable ties, I was itching to play with more pots. I'm looking to get rid of any plastic pots about the place, so I repotted a rosemary shrub, a sad-looking thyme and some chives, and just as I was thinking about getting out the broom and cleaning up, I discovered the original trough planter, which has been parked around the side of the house with bags of leaves, blackcurrant cuttings and other gardening detritus just asking for me to fill it with soil and plant something in it. Mint it was. Mint needs room to send out its runners, but you run the risk of it going a bit feral if you plant it in the garden.

Picture right L-R: Chives potted out in terracotta, my original trough planter with peppermint, common mint and winter mint. Then four pots of lavender cuttings, dressed with blood and bone.


But wait, there's more! I also planted out four lavender cuttings that have been rooting in cutting mix. I mixed potting mix, compost and the grainy light cutting mix in the pots with one plant each, gave them a little blood and bone, and hopefully I'll have a Meditteranean-looking patio in a few weeks. 

Picture left: the new planter with trellis cable-tied to the balcony for wind protection.

What do you grow in pots? 

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