As well as being beautiful to look at, a good garden can provide delicious herbs, vegetables, fruit and flowers for the house. We like to include this extra dimension whenever possible. A few herbs can be cultivated in even the tiniest garden, whether it’s a pot of fragrant lemon verbena for refreshing herbal teas or a handy thyme plant on a windowsill. There are so many tantalising varieties of fruit tree, even grown in pots or trained up a wall, there is one for every garden and many have lovely blossom too.
Designated vegetable and fruit gardens or potagers are a popular garden element. Well-designed, they can be highly ornamental in their own right and, where space permits, an orchard is a wonderful asset. Along with our favourites, we like to use rarer and older varieties of apple, pear, plum, quince, damson and gage, many of which are not easily found in shops. In a large area, plants on standard rootstocks are selected to grow into big trees that one can walk or sit underneath.