The Bohemian Chef’s London Garden – 9 Container Ideas for Growing Christmas Dinner on a Ledge.

February 15, 2011

One of my dearest friends from my London days is a Texan chef. (Go figure!) Rachel de Thample is also a food writer and her most recent cookbook is about cutting down on meat in our everyday cooking.  Rachel has cooked for me on many occasions and I can attest to her profound capacity for creating delicious food – and helping you to learn to do so as well.

less meat more veg by rachel dethample

Less Meat More Veg: 100 Delicious Recipes for the Carnivore with a Conscience. by Rachel de Thample is available now in the UK and will be available later this summer here in the US.

So, she and I were chatting a couple years ago and she was asked me for some gardening advice.  She lives in a flat in London (with no garden) and she would like to try and grow her own Christmas dinner.   Now there is a gardening challenge, right?

Her thoughts for the holiday meal are geared towards growing or foraging for all the produce her self,  perhaps serving garden snails for appetizers (still thinking that one through) and finding a friend to raise a turkey.

What she has available for the growing space is multiple big window sills.  It is quite normal for typical London architecture to have a ledge at least 12- 18 inches wide and 3-4 ft (a meter) long where a whole variety of growing containers can be placed for outside exposure.  London is a window box-ers dream.

Ever frugal and totally full of Bohemian style Rachel was looking for suggestions for growing vegetables — and that, is the inspiration for this post.

9 Container Ideas for Growing Christmas Dinner on a Ledge:

bohemian chic window vegetable garden container

I am a little obsessed with the blue fold down washing up bucket from Just Scandinavian (which also comes in other colors). I can think of so many other uses for this tub.  Perfect for the flat dweller, when veg isn’t growing in it, it can be used for toy storage, washing up, or even holding the vegetables that were harvested.   The customizable wooden boxes are from Not on the High Street and and the grow bag is from Gardeners Supply Company.  I think these are the best option for growing root vegetables like potatoes, beets, and carrots as they come in various shapes and sizes depending on what you are planting.

family chic crumpled can recycled container garden

image from family chic.

Cans, in large quantity, I think, can look pretty cool.  Crushed and painted simply (above), or not crushed and painted beautifully (below) – each route take trash to treasure and makes for a useful garden container.

painted cans from re for a window vegetable container garden

These painted cans are beautifully kitsch and can be purchased from re-found objects.

Hypertufa (below)  is a relatively simple way of making your own concrete-like containers.  Making hypertufa containers would provide a rustic industrial look and would also be customizable to the exact window ledge size.

how to grow christmas dinner in a container garden hypertufa container garden

How many boxes of clementines have you eaten during winter citrus season?  This clever up-cycling from Family Chic uses a little bit of chalkboard paint to turn the orange boxes into smart planters.  I am thinking that Rachel could go buy a dozen or so boxes of clementines, so she has enough boxes to plant her garden, and then put all the produce to good use as some sort of fab marmalade or delicious dessert.

how to grow christmas dinner in a container garden clementine wooden box container garden

These rolling containers are very appealing, especially since moving plants around within a living space can certainly be handy not only for the plants to capture the best light, but also to make it easier to live with your garden in tight quarters.

how to grow christmas dinner in a container garden food map rolling garden

And, If all else fails, I suppose the cheapest for a chef, would be to grab an ever handy chafing dish, fill it with recycled coffee cup holders, and toilet paper tubes, and plant away.  It’s not pretty, but it will work.

how to grow christmas dinner in a container garden chafing dish and starbucks cup holder and toilet paper garden


image By briannaorg

Update: Do you want the rest of the story?   Read more about Rachel’s Christmas Dinner on the Ledge.

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  1. Cyn says:

    Wonderful ideas here! Don’t overlook the fact that you can plant veg seeds or seedlings directly into a bag of potting soil, and it will grow just fine. The bag serves as the container, and you have no other costs, other than the cost of the soil and seeds (or seedlings).

  2. Laguna Dirt says:

    love the container ideas and re-use theme.

  3. Love that washing up tub, but I’m allergic to “please inquire about prices”….

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