As a resident of the metropolitan city of London I, unsurprisingly, do not have any outdoor space. I live in a two bedroom flat which doesn’t have so much as a balcony; however, this has not deterred me from growing my own herbs and vegetables. Just outside the door to my flat is a large windowsill and landing, upon which I have managed to create a beautiful container garden. The key to the distinctive and idiosyncratic look of this garden is the use of vintage plant containers which I picked up from junk and antique shops. This nostalgic approach to container planting coincides effectively with current themes in garden and interior design as old-fashioned patterns, such as those championed by Kath Kidston, and antique furniture and accessories are currently very popular.
I have been growing chives very successfully in enamel tea and coffee pots as well as in medical supply containers. The chives have grown very happily in their unusual containers, providing me with a regular crop which quickly grows back after cutting. As the containers are metal and therefore subject to degrading, I have lined each container with a plastic bag before adding the soil and compost in order to ensure they remain water-tight.
I have also been able to use vintage containers to grow larger plants. This pepper plant has been very happy growing in this enamel saucepan, whilst this parsley plant has thrived in this old enamel bread bin.
John Barlow works for Artscape, a company that specialises in garden design in Berkshire. He loves to use vintage items and reclaimed furniture in his garden design.