Planting herbs and fruits for a cocktail cert in 8 steps, Impress your friends by serving cocktails made with fresh, homegrown ingredients, such as mint, cucamelons, hyssop, and strawberries, from a customized cocktail cart. The cart makes a practical plant stand and helps to create an attractive decorative display (see project overleaf).
Displaying your cocktail crops, A cart makes the perfect plant stand for this range of potted herbs, edible flowers, and fruit. The cucamelons and hyssop (Agastache) should be placed on the top shelf or sunniest section of the cart, while strawberries and mint, which grow happily in lower light conditions, will thrive on the lower shelf or in a container with hooks that can hang from one of the handles.
If you don’t own a cart or don’t have space for one, a large windowsill or homemade hanging shelves will work equally well.
Cocktail herb & fruit options Grow herbs to add to cocktails; search online for drink recipes including fresh herbs. Limes, strawberries, and cucamelons also make delicious cocktail ingredients and garnishes
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Strawberries Choose an everbearing variety that produces fruits all summer
Mint Peppermint and spearmint are most frequently added to cocktails, but there are many other varieties you can try.
Cucamelons These tiny watermelon lookalikes taste like cucumber with a hint of lime; blend the fruits or use as a garnish.
Grow some herbs, flowers, and fruits, such as those listed here, to make the cocktails you most enjoy drinking. You can even add to the cocktail theme by dressing your cart with edibles in planters made from ice buckets and drink trays.
YOU WILL NEED
- cocktail cart
- 1 x hyssop plant
- 3–4 x small mint plants in pots with drainage holes
- 3 x everbearing strawberry plants, in plastic pots with drainage holes
- 2–3 x cucamelon plants, in plastic pots with drainage holes
- potting mix for cactus or palms
- plastic pots
- ice bucket and trough
- 2 x hanging, or wall, waterproof planters with hooks attached
- gold spray paint for metal surfaces (optional)
- watering can have fitted with rose head
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- Planning of garden
- Start by planting the hyssop, which likes very well-drained conditions. Water the plant well and set to one side to drain. Be sure to use a potting mix intended for cactus or palms.
2. Add some of the cactus potting mixes to a large plastic pot that fits inside an ice bucket. Set the
3. potted plant on top of the mix and check that once planted it will sit 1⁄2–3⁄4in (1–2cm) below the rim.
4. Slip the hyssop out of its pot and plant it in the larger container, filling the space around the root ball with potting mix, and pressing it down gently to remove any air gaps.
5. Water the plant well. Then add a layer of gravel over the compost to act as a mulch (see p201), which is both decorative and helps retain moisture in the compost.
6. Spray the base of the ice bucket in a well-ventilated area with gold paint. Leave to dry; then place the potted hyssop inside it and set it on top of the cart.
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7. Water each mint in its plastic pot and set aside to drain. Spray the trough, allow to dry, then set the pots of mint in the trough on the lower shelf at the front.
8. Water the overbearing strawberry plants in their pots, set them inside a second long waterproof planter with fixed hooks, and attach it to the other side of the cart. Keep all the plants well-watered, checking that none become waterlogged.