The Outdoor Pantry

Give Plants: Posted on 29-March-2018.

Ahhh…there’s nothing like enjoying an icy cold homemade lemonade on a hot day.  Especially if the lemons came from your own tree.

You don’t need to be a self-confessed foodie or professional home cook to appreciate a backyard of edibles, in fact, you don’t even need a backyard – a sunny deck or patio will do.

Prior to the modern supermarket generations, an edible backyard wasn’t just a bit of fun for the hard-labour lovers or hobby for the elderly as it is popular opinion today, it was integral to the survival of your family.

Whilst we now live in more luxurious times, we have easy access to all our food wants & cravings, nothing compares to the satisfaction or taste of food picked fresh from the garden.

Perceived hours of toil involved with maintaining an edible garden puts many off but the aim here is not to become self-sufficient (that is hard work!).  Instead your edible pantry need only consist of a small collection of easy care perennials such as fruiting trees & herbaceous shrubs that compliment your everyday meals.

We pay a fortune for limes & even lemons, yet they are a doddle to grow, happy in a large pot. You also have the bonus of the divinely citrus scented blossoms before the fruit.

There is nothing like popping out to the garden to grab a fresh lime for your mojito or lemon to squeeze over steamed veg.

What is a winter casserole or tuna steak without a bay leaf or 2?

Bays seem to thrive on neglect, they can be trained as a standard or a shrub, easily kept small.  The deep green foliage of this evergreen is a very attractive addition to any outdoor space.

A North Island childhood is not complete without a feijoa tree to hide under & gorge on.  They make a fantastic hedge too.  You can extend their short fruiting season by planting a mix of early, mid & late season varieties. 

If your kids don’t manage to gobble the entire crop, scoop the flesh out of the feijoas to freeze.  It makes a delicious fruit crumble.  Try adding a little ground ginger too.

An outdoor pantry is easy to maintain & makes even the least green fingered feel like an accomplished gardener.

Your foodie friends will delight in a gift that not only adds beauty to their outdoor space but also homegrown flavour to their cooking.

Give Plants have a variety of plants worthy of a place in any outdoor pantry.  Go on, treat yourself & start your own outdoor pantry!