Learn about gardening with patio plants and what are the best plants for your patio in this gardening video.
Probably my favorite place in the garden is this little bed of the Med. This is my Mediterranean Patio. It may be small but it is certainly well-formed, and I like to fill it with all manner of different plants. The one plant that is first on my list, because we are close to the kitchen every year, is the hanging basket tomato. And this, I am pleased to say, are doing phenomenally well this year. The one problem that any tomato grower would tell you that they dread is white fly. They can decimate a tomato plant overnight, but not in my basket, they do not. They do not get a look in because of the smell from these—these dainty, pretty, French Marigolds. They make the hanging basket look good, but more importantly, the smell they give off really does deter the white fly. Talking about smells, as I brush past this lemon verbena—I wish you could smell this—you get the most glorious smell of lemon sherbet. One of the most strongest lemon-scented plants in the world. If I had a hard night last night and I was feeling a little bit nauseous, this is the smell that I would be looking for in the garden because it has been shown to cure nausea. If you are feeling a little bit bilious, this is the plant to smell. It is good for travel sickness. If you have travel sickness or maybe your passenger, then put a sprig of lemon verbena under your feet or under their feet and let them tread on it, join the journey, and the smell will help cure their travel sickness. Now, there is one word that instills dread into every gardener’s mind, and that is cats. I do not know about you, but we have a lot of problem with cats here. We did, until I thought of some great tips to keep them away. I have a nice standard bay here, and open soil is what cats are looking for. Now, we do not want anything being dropped and buried in here. So I have resorted to a tip that really does not hurt the cat. It just gives them a short, sharp shock. That is cocktail sticks. It may seem quite wicked, but it does work. You need to really litter the surface with cocktail sticks. Leave them protruding, about three quarters of an inch or so out of the compost. When you cover the surface, you watch the cat try to sit down here then. It might do it once, and when it has come down off the roof, it will not do it again, I can promise you. You are not going to leave them in there forever, just about a fortnight. There is plenty of time. And what happens then is the cat would always relate this pot with some wearable to sit. Now, in my garden, slugs and snails, there is a battle between us all the time. So haust is one of my favorite plants, and this one you see in the pot here, you probably will not see any damage at all because I have a range of ways that I use to keep slugs and snails at bay. Most of them rely on bringing down the surface. The slugs would crawl over. Some of them are already irritating and jabbing their underbellies. So we can turn first of all to the humble chicken. Good for breakfast but it is the shells you want, to keep the slugs and snails away. That caught on a nail. It is very sharp; the eggshell is a sharp way of keeping them at bay. So, a good layer of eggshells around any plant—if you have trouble with slugs and snails—should work. Now, sharp sand, it does what it says on the can. It is sharp. The little bits of grit in it will help to keep them away. And also, the sand itself will clog up their slime glands. Also, try putting a top dressing of gravel, but do not use the round pea gravel, because slugs and snails, up and down, they are like a roller coaster. Instead, you need to find the little bits of angular gravel. The little bit of flint, the sharp bits. Put those around and that will surely keep them from going over that surface. But if you want to keep them away from the surface of the soil completely and you got plants and pots, then you need to protect the pot first of all. So, we used to use Vaseline, petroleum jelly years ago. I smear that around the pot. It certainly did the trick but it gets a little bit messy. Now, a new thing to use is this water-repellant spray. This is great because being water-repellant, it does not get washed off the pot. So, if you got your plant already planted, you will need to protect the plant with a little bit of newspaper, and then simply put a band all around, about two inches or so in diameter, a band all over it. Make sure there are no gaps in that band. Otherwise, they will find it and they will go through the gap. A band of that rim will last a whole season long.