vegetables on a sunny windowsill

Veggies in the front garden?

Ditch the roses around the front door, try runner beans instead

There’s a revolution going on in the world of vegetable growing, they are bang on trend with a younger generation of millennial gardeners posting images of their hanging baskets and front gardens on Pintrest and Instagram. A survey conducted by Wyevale Garden Centre has found that sales of hanging baskets have doubled since 2012, with 40% of homes having a hanging basket. Strawberries, lettuce, peas, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, chillies and pak choi are the favourite foods being grown. Not only can they look decorative but if you have small children they are an excellent introduction to gardening and are out of reach of little fingers.

The traditional image of older men growing monster vegs on allotments has been completely reversed with most allotments having long waiting lists of younger people recognising the benefits of growing your own fruit and vegs. It’s not difficult, there is plenty of advice online from garden centre websites and Youtube and what have you got to lose if it goes wrong? The price of a packet of seeds and a bit of time, but then you have had some exercise in the fresh air, instead of a stuffy sweaty gym, and you have socialised with other allotment holders.

Hanging baskets are ideal for those of us who live in apartments and houses with very little outdoor space. A 45cm (18”) basket can contain an assortment of fruit and vegs; try dwarf beans, tomato Tumbling Tom, mange tout or sugar snap peas, Chantenay carrots, salad leaves, radish and strawberries. Another popular combination is a mixture of herbs; see the lists for herbs appropriate to the different cooking styles. Avoid the thugs such as mint and horseradish or anything which grows too tall; grow mint on it’s own otherwise it will strangle everything else.

  • Asian: coriander, mint, lemongrass, garlic chives.
  • Italian: basil, garlic, marjoram, oregano, parsley and rosemary.
  • All-round: basil, coriander, garlic chives, marjoram, oregano, parsley (flat or curly), rosemary and thyme.

Read the blog: “What vegetables can I grow in containers and small spaces?

Angela Slater
Daughter of a farmer so always used to producing something from the earth, whether it was animals or garden produce. Along with my work at Hayes Garden World I also have a smallholding, mainly breeding rare breed pigs. I also keep a few hens and grow vegetables for my own personal use. I gained a BSc in Conservation and Environmental Land Management. As a result of this I have a keen interest in environmentally friendly gardening.