Planting ideas please

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Stephen
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Planting ideas please

Postby Stephen » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:37 pm

Bearing mind mind this thread: https://forum.kitchengarden.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=14974&p=153089&hilit=shade#p153089

I'm looking for ideas on what to plant outside the kitchen of the hostel, so ideally I'd like to put herbs in here. Sadly this is on the north side of the building. What will tolerate this location?
Here is view from each end.
TheElmsNorth.jpg
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Primrose
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Re: Planting ideas please

Postby Primrose » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:34 pm

Hmm, need to cogitate on this one because that's a really tricky environment, isn't it, and most herbs need a sunny environment although I can see that it might be useful to be able to pop out from the kitchen to gather a few herbs.

Are you planning to dig up that stretch of grass or just plant in the narrow bed right up against the metal fence?. The grass looks as if it's pretty sun deprived so to me that would be a warning sign for other plants and the paving slabs too look as if they don't see much sun as they seem to be fairly well coated in algae.

I've found that Mint seems to survive OK in a border that is totally shaded but most other herbs I suspect would probably struggle.
Maybe some foxgloves might throw up a brief splash of summer colour. I've found they will still flower, albeit less prolifically, in a shady border.
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Re: Planting ideas please

Postby peter » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:23 pm

A vigorous mint.
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Re: Planting ideas please

Postby Diane » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:09 am

How about a collection of the more unusual mints i.e. Eau De cologne, orange. Grapefruit, basil etc. etc. That's what I've done.
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Re: Planting ideas please

Postby Primrose » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:23 am

Stephen,
Is this planting intended for practical use, I.e. gathering and use in the mitxhen, or purely decorative?

A collection of different mints could have their uses, but as Monty Don found and mentioned on one of his programmes a combination of different mints, unless planted and kept separate, can soon become entangled together which could cause problems with flavour/taste impairment

(As I found myself when some ordinary and spearmint mint became jumbled up together, making some rather weird tasting mint sauce for our roast lamb!)
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Re: Planting ideas please

Postby Diane » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:29 am

Absolutely - in different pots. Should have mentioned that. You could also put them in unusual pots - adding to the interest.

I know that chard, carrots, turnips, rhubarb, brassicas, beetroot, salad leaves and quite a few others will cope with some shade.
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Re: Planting ideas please

Postby retropants » Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:14 pm

I was going to suggest rhubarb too, and spinach amongst others. The middle section looks to be the brightest, as you have those large Lleylandii at the far end on the west (?)
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Re: Planting ideas please

Postby Stephen » Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:59 pm

Thank you all.
Obviously I had given it a bit of thought but am rather pessimistic about what might succeed.

"Is this planting intended for practical use, I.e. gathering and use in the kitchen, or purely decorative?"
Primrose: The principle reason for thinking of this justly neglected area was to make life easier for chef. It might help him if there were some useful herbs outside his door. There are other areas where decorative plants can come into play.

I did think that mint (we already have a patch of mint elsewhere) would cope but I like Diane's idea:- "How about a collection of the more unusual mints i.e. Eau De cologne, orange. Grapefruit, basil etc. etc." - I'll have to see what I can get to add variety. Thanks for the advice about separate pots, that makes great sense.

Rhubarb was also on my list, the ground I dug which is under the upturned carpet tiles was set aside for that. I thought that I might see if I could scrounge some scaffolding boards to enclose a bed full of manure.

If chard will cope nicely, I'll try that for certain.
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Re: Planting ideas please

Postby Primrose » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:11 pm

I,d be tempted to try some chard Stephen. The Bright lights coloured stem variety might look nicer but my experience is that it has a much more "earthy" taste which can be offputting. My favourite variety is Fordhook Giant which is robust with large leaves and will tolerate some shade. It also cooks down nicely and is more robust than spinach.
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Re: Planting ideas please

Postby sally wright » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:39 pm

Dear Stephen,
I would try most of the carrot family herbs such as parsley, dill, coriander, lovage, chervil etc. The golden form of marjoram and lemon balm do better with a shady spot as they burn, the green sorts would grow in a cellar they are so vigorous. The sorrels cope in shady spots for me. Chives, garlic chives and welsh onions may also cope. Do try as many herb varieties as you can get but just remember that if the kitchens want them they will be shaved down to the ground within days so it may be better to plant a large number of the things that the kitchens like rather than what looks good or you prefer.
Regards Sally Wright.
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Stephen
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Re: Planting ideas please

Postby Stephen » Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:42 pm

Thank you all. I won't be able to try out all the ideas.
However, I am really grateful for your collective wisdom and advice.
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Re: Planting ideas please

Postby Cookie_2 » Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:18 pm

Hello Stephen! There are many articles in the internet about shady and narrow gardens. But definitely, if you want your herbs to be used in the kitchen you have to grow lots of them. You can even ask your cook how many basil does he use during the week! Remember also that soil for shady-placed herbs should be rich.
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Re: Planting ideas please

Postby Stephen » Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:58 pm

Thanks. I'm thinking very clearly that the best option is to grow in pots; then we can wheel them into sunny spots intermittently.
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