We live in strange times and just now gardens are more important than ever. Grow Fruit & Vegetables in Pots: Planting Advice & Recipes from Great Dixter will thrill those of us who are lucky enough to have a garden.
One doesn’t need a lot of space to grow vegetables. Grow Fruit & Vegetables in Pots offers expert planting advice for growing your own fruit and vegetables in containers. This book has marvellous pictures of stunning terracotta pots but, as the author mentions, even plastic pots are fit for purpose – but do reuse them. If you have a 6th floor balcony then a light plastic pot will be the preferred container choice.
The subtitle of this charming and informative book is Planting Advice & Recipes from Great Dixter. So, who is Great Dixter? It isn’t a who but a where. Great Dixter is a house in East Sussex which was created in 1910–12 by the celebrated architect Edwin Lutyens for owner Nathaniel Lloyd. He combined an existing 15th century house with another similar building which was moved all the way from Kent. He added his own elements to complete the house we see today which is now a Grade I listed building. But it’s the gardens which many will find to be the draw.
It was Nathaniel Lloyd’s son Christopher, a familiar gardening writer and television personality, who made it famous. The garden is in typical Edwardian Arts and Crafts style and currently managed by Fergus Garrett, who worked closely with Lloyd up until his death in 2006. The vegetable garden is a perfect representation of the genre, although readers will have to temper their own horticultural expectations if some second-hand pots and a recycled plastic laundry basket are all that’s available.
Propagation and cultivation
Beautifully illustrated, Grow Fruit & Vegetables in Pots gives comprehensive information on how to achieve an abundance of home-grown produce in all kinds of containers. The author, Aaron Bertelsen, who works at Great Dixter as vegetable gardener and cook offers advice on varieties of plants as well as propagation and cultivation. There is everything even a novice gardener with little space could ever need.
So, you have had a wonderful crop but what do you do with your harvest? Grow Fruit & Vegetables in Pots is also a practical cookbook and lists 50 recipes which take advantage of your fresh produce.
Pea Shoot Risotto is a delicious springtime lunch and pinching out those shoots will encourage the plant to sprout all the more. A Gooseberry Cake is the perfect companion to a cup of tea as one sits and admires all those pots. Tempura Baby Courgettes would be the first course of a Japanese dinner and a great way of making inroads into a glut of those summer veggies.
Grow Fruit & Vegetables in Pots: Planting Advice & Recipes from Great Dixter will be a treat for any garden lover but also for those who are just starting their first small garden. It’s packed with tips and ideas.
Grow Fruit & Vegetables in Pots: Planting Advice & Recipes from Great Dixter
Author: Aaron Bertelsen
Publisher: Phaidon Press