Edible Displays: Mediterranean Mix
Transform any warm, sunny corner with this exuberant mix of fruiting vegetable crops and flowers.
2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited
This Mediterranean garden recipe includes a diverse range of tomato cultivars, teaming a striped ‘Tigerella,’ with the cherry tomato ‘Conchita’ and intensely sweet orange-yellow ‘Sungold.’ Eggplants thrive in similar conditions and their silvery foliage, mauve flowers and glossy fruits look pretty in pots. Complete the composition with a flourish of fiery orange marigolds.
Step 1: Choose Containers
Select pots with a minimum diameter of 10 inches for tomatoes and eggplants and six-inch pots for marigolds. These containers should suit a sun-baked patio or balcony, or a conservatory or greenhouse. Use multipurpose compost, and ensure the plants are warm with full sun and shelter from wind.
Step 2: Go Shopping
Buy the following flowers and vegetables: one pot marigold (Calendula), one eggplant, one tomato ‘Sungold’, one tomato ‘Tigerella’ and one tomato ‘Conchita’.
The calendula, or pot marigold, is an annual flower native to the northern Mediterranean countries. The petals can be added to salads.
Eggplants belong to the nightshade family of vegetables, which also includes tomatoes, sweet peppers and potatoes. They have a pleasantly bitter taste and spongy texture.
A premier variety of cherry tomatoes,'Sungold' ripens to a golden orange with a very sweet flavor.
Tigerella tomatoes have a red-orange, juicy flesh with a tangy or tart flavor.
Conchita is a superb large cherry tomato with fine flavor. The fruit has an attractive color, shape, size and good flavor.
Step 3: Plant Flowers and Vegetables
Harden off young tomato and eggplant plants in late spring and plant out once the risk of frost is over. Check pots have drainage holes, and plant the tomatoes. Plant the eggplants and marigolds at the same level as they were in their original pots. Once planted, add stakes to support tall tomatoes and raise up pots planted with trailing types. Water plants consistently, never allowing the compost to dry out, and feed at least weekly with a tomato fertilizer once the first fruits appear.