Growing an Edible Oasis with Pennard Plants

Colourful planting at Chelsea with Two Greehouses behind

Alitex stand MA334 at RHS Chelsea Flower Show is all about celebration. We will be demonstrating how we are passionate about all that grows, which is why we are collaborating with Pennard Plants to come together and grow an edible oasis. We are also working closely with young Garden Designer Jake Curley from Sakura, who has designed all of our planting.

Pennard Plants have exhibited at Chelsea for many years, proudly displaying their yield as one of the UK’s largest selection of edible plants, as well as heritage and heirloom seeds. From its Victorian walled garden in the heart of rural Somerset, Pennard Plants are the recipients of the prestigious RHS “Master Grower” Award. We are delighted to have them provide our convivial stand with wonderful plants – 90% of which will be edible!

The trials and tribulations of growing plants to be at their peak for the end of May is always a challenge. Pennard works hard throughout the year to ensure the plants look their best for Chelsea; “We start by working out a growing plan, then get the plants potted at what we hope is the right time to get them at their peak for Chelsea week. This entails moving them from protected areas like a greenhouse, out into the open gardens, to shady areas and then back to the polytunnels!”

This year, Pennard have been producing herbs in larger quantities for the Alitex garden. Most are raised from cuttings and were propagated in 2021, then potted into larger pots in late winter in readiness for Chelsea 2022. They kindly shared with us some advice they have followed themselves to grow the mint, rosemary and thyme that they will be displaying on our stand, amongst an abundance of other herbs and edible fauna.

“Most hardy herbs needs some kind of trimming in order to produce the new growth which promotes the most aromatic qualities. Mint generally likes cool, moist but well drained soil and are best cut to the ground in late winter, given a feed, and then they will produce new growth with strong flavours. Amazingly, not all mints smell or taste of mint – you can get pineapple scents, lime, strawberry and so on, the choice is almost endless.”

“On the other hand, the Mediterranean herbs such as rosemary and lavender need hot, sunny spots to flourish best. They also require more careful pruning, usually after flowering to keep them in shape. One of the more difficult herbs to keep, particularly over winter is thyme. These plants like it very well drained but will still need some moisture during the summer. They should also be trimmed after flowering to prevent the plants getting woody and unusable.”

“There are herbs for almost all gardens and they also do well in pots, it’s always nice to group a few near the back door to always have them handy. Try potting a few in autumn and keeping them in the greenhouse for winter use.”

Come and visit our convivial stand MA334 on main avenue at Chelsea Flower Show to see the edible wonders grown by Pennard Plants, planted to perfection by Jake Curley for our alfresco garden kitchen.

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