TEA OR FIZZ
Sipping home-grown herb or fruit infusions is a great way to end the day. Or make a Pimm's extra special with a cucamelon or two.
On a summer evening, what could be better than enjoying a home brewed and home grown infusion in your garden? Growing your own herbs is easy,and can be achieved with just a few pots on your patio.
Mint and lemon balm make refreshing tea and are very easy to grow. Also try vitamin-rich borage, and relaxing chamomile. Plant them in separate pots of multi purpose compost, and keep well watered. When established, pull off a few leaves and drop into an infuser or cup and add boiling water. Mint is for settling upset stomachs, while lemon balm and lemon verbena help soothe frayed nerves.
CORDIALS FOR KIDS
Many fruits make delicious, naturally sweet cordials, ideal for children. The easiest to grow are thornless blackberries and raspberries, or if you have a patio, try strawberries in large pots. When ripe, wash a big bowl of berries and add to a pan with 250ml of water. Simmer on a low heat for about 30 minutes until soft. Strain through a sieve and add 200g of sugar to every 250ml of juice. You can drizzle the cordials over ice cream or just add water to taste for a delicious drink.
Nothing beats a Pimm's on a warm summer afternoon, and the cucumber, mint and strawberries that accompany this delicious cocktail are easy to grow at home. Plant mint and strawberries in pots and plant a small outdoor cucumber (ridge type) in a bed against a warm wall.
ADD A TWIST
Why not surprise your guests by adding cucamelons (far left) to your Pimm's instead of strawberries. These grape-sized fruits taste like lime-infused cucumber and are easy to grow. Sow seeds in pots indoors and plant outside in a warm sunny spot.