A tub for a bed
Make a splash in a flower bed by adding an old tub for height, planted up with flowers, herbs and vegetables. If ever you come across an old bath tub, consider using it as an ornament in your garden. Place it in a flower bed to add height or use it as a stand-alone feature on a patio. Use it as a giant flower pot by filling it with good potting soil and then planting it full of pretty spring flowers along with some herbs and vegetables. This makes it both decorative and productive.
How to do it
• Ensure that the tub’s plughole is open. Place this outlet on a pile of stone chips or rubble to ensure water drains out easily.
• Fill the base of the tub with crushed stone for additional drainage purposes.
• Cover the stone with a layer of weed guard or similar material to prevent soil washing out.
• Fill the tub with potting soil.
• Add fertiliser (3:1:5 with slow-release nitrogen) and bonemeal to the soil and mix in thoroughly.
• Start planting in the centre or back of the tub, planting the largest, tallest-growing plants first.
• Plant the cascading plants around the perimeter and then fill in the gaps with smaller vegetable and herb seedlings.
• Water thoroughly straight after the planting is completed.
Nemesia fruticans ‘Aromatica series’ grows into a small bushy plant with masses of little flowers on the tips of each stem. It is available in a range of colours.
Pelargonium peltatum (trailing geranium) is ideal for cascading over the edge of the tub. It spreads over a wide area and produces an abundance of colourful flowers on wiry stems.
Brassica oleracea (ornamental kale) forms a rosette of colourful foliage. This member of the cabbage family is spectacular in winter and spring. It is an annual that must be removed when it starts to flower.
Lavandula dentata var. candicans (toothed lavender) has aromatic grey foliage and blue flowers. Plants form dense shrubs and bloom for months on end. The foliage contrasts well with the bright flowers.
Petunia ‘Shock Wave Coconut’ grows wide and low, cascading over the sides of the tub. Masses of smallish white flowers help to illuminate the coloured plants.
Salvia farinacea (mealy sage) grows into small bushes topped with blue flowers in slender spikes. Extremely rewarding, it blooms for extended periods.
Osteospermum ‘Voltage Yellow’ produces masses of bright yellow daisy flowers on compact, low growing plants. Yellow always stands out from the masses in mixed plantings.
Salvia officinalis (common sage) with variegated leaves contrast amongst all the flowers. Although the leaves are attractive, they can also be used for culinary purposes.
Lettuce and celery complete the picture. They are ideal for filling any little gaps and can be harvested for the table as they grow and mature.
• Feed every two weeks with a watersoluble plant food.
• Deadhead spent flower stems regularly.
• Prune back any plants that are growing out of control or becoming straggly.
• Remove and replace annuals as they die off .