Gardening Tips > May > Inspired by RHS Chelsea: The taste of Italy!

Inspired by RHS Chelsea: The taste of Italy!

We are truly immersing ourselves in the collection of the ‘BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens’ to celebrate the senses at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.

The Chris Evans Taste Garden, is a celebration of the tastiest plants being grown in UK gardens and allotments.  Designed by multi RHS Chelsea Gold Medal Winner Jon Wheatley and inspired by legendary food writer Mary Berry, the garden incorporates plants that excite and stimulate the palate, and enhance your lifestyle, health and well-being.

The Chris Evans Taste Garden Design as part of the BBC Radio 2's Feel Good Gardens at Chelsea Flower Show

The Chris Evans Taste Garden Design as part of the BBC Radio 2’s Feel Good Gardens at Chelsea Flower Show

Chris’ ‘Taste’ garden is bursting with over 50 different types of fruit, vegetables, edible flowers and herbs to excite the palate and enhance health and well-being.

The Chris Evans final Taste Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show

The Chris Evans final Taste Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show

This wonderful allotment style display is full of carrots, pak choi, leeks, onions, cabbages, beetroot, sweetcorn and rhubarb. Edible flowers in the garden include Bright Orange Dahlia Cheyenne (a tribute to Chris Evans’ hair), violas and nasturtiums.

Beautiful herbs, vegetables and edible flowers on display in the Chris Evans' Feel Good Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show

Beautiful herbs, vegetables and edible flowers on display in the Chris Evans’ Feel Good Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show

The modern greenhouse is packed full of beans, cherry tomatoes and strawberries.

Inside the modern greenhouse part of the Chris Evans Taste Feel Good Garden

Inside the modern greenhouse part of the Chris Evans Taste Feel Good Garden

It’s often said that there’s nothing more satisfying than growing your own food! Even if it’s simply enjoying the freshness of a small herb planter on a windowsill, you don’t have to have an elaborate allotment to get pleasure from cooking and tasting a little home grown produce.

When it comes to incorporating home-grown food into cooking, no country is more inspiring than Italy. Italian food is full of flavour but often using the simplest of ingredients of the highest quality and freshness, taken straight from the land or garden.

Bring the Taste of Italy into your Garden

Why not bring a little Italy to your garden and have a go at growing your own pizza ingredients! (the below can all be grown in a patio container or in window box):

Pizza cooked at the Weber Grill Academy On Tour roadshow

Homemade Pizza delicious!

Tomato ‘Tumbling Tom’ – sweet and juicy cherry tomatoes throughout the summer. This compact bush variety has a naturally trailing habit perfect for baskets, containers and window boxes.

Tumbling Tom Tomatoes are ideal for small spaces

Tumbling Tom Tomatoes are ideal for small spaces

Basil – probably the most popular herb used in Italian cooking. If you like your pizza’s authentic, opt for a Neapolitan – simply topped with a tomato sauce, mozzarella and fresh basil leaves, delicious!

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Beautiful Sweet Basil very easy to grow at home

Oregano – strong, pungent flavour, goes very well with tomatoes so also perfect in pasta sauces.

Pungent Oregano perfect for your pizza

Pungent Oregano perfect for your pizza

Peppers – ‘Bell Boy’ is a sweet pepper variety that is ideal for a number of culinary uses. A reliable and high yielding pepper.

Rocket – makes a wonderful pizza topping for that peppery taste! One of the easiest and fastest crops to grow (ideal for beginners). Cut as you need for less wastage than a bag of supermarket salad!

Grow your own Rocket

Grow your own Rocket or other salads to bring a Summer freshness to your food

Chilli – if you like a bit of heat on your pizza then try growing a chilli plant or two. We have a range of chilli plants available, from meek and mild like the ‘Aji Delight’ through to the super tongue-tingling ‘Scotch Bonnet Red’!

Aji Delight Chillies in an array of colours

Aji Delight Chillies in an array of colours

Most popular Italian Herbs

Whether it is homemade pasta with fresh tomatoes, chilli, garlic and parsley or your favourite Spaghetti Bolognese, here are a list of the most popular Italian Herbs you can grow on in a container, basket or your very own herb veg trug and add to your Italian inspired dish this summer:

Herb Container

Herb Container currently available in-store

  • Oregano (Origano)
  • Parsley (Prezzemolo)
  • Bay Leaves (Alloro)
  • Basil (Basilico)
  • Sage (Salve)
  • Rosemary (Rosmarino)
  • Thyme (Timo)
  • Hot Pepper (Peperoncino)

Preserve your herbs!

For a quick and easy way to preserve your herbs why not consider making herby oil ice cubes!

  1. All you need is good extra virgin olive oil and cover chopped herbs in the ice cube trays.
  2. Freeze overnight, then pop out of the trays and seal in plastic bags, Freeze until ready to use.
  3. Add to any dish that has an oil or savoury base…
  4. Perfect for pesto, soups, and sauces!
Preserving your herbs in Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preserving your herbs in Extra Virgin Olive Oil

All this Summer we will be helping you to ‘holiday at home’ and to bring plants and products into your home and garden which remind you of being on holiday. Look out for more hints and tips online and in-store.

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