Tag Archives: gardens

Scented Pots & Win a Garden Centre Voucher

4 Steps to a Gorgeous Scented Pot

Having a supply of fresh home-grown herbs is really useful, and much cheaper than purchasing them from the supermarket.

And in this project, they look (and smell) gorgeous too.

This planted pot would look fabulous stood by the front door and will welcome you home with fragrant aromas.


Bay, Thyme and Lavender

Bay, Thyme and Lavender

Three strongly aromatic plants combine here to make an enticingly scented corner. A standard bay in a large ceramic pot is circled by a medley of low-growing thymes, with lavender surrounding the base.

Plant in spring. All of these plants have a year-long presence – bay and thyme are evergreen, while lavender, which flowers in summer, retains its grey leaves throughout winter.

Allow a couple of hours to complete this container and the surrounding bed.


  • One bay tree (Laurus nobilis), trained to standard shape and clipped to a ball.
  • Eight thymes (Thymus serpyllum and Thymus citriodorus varieties – here golden leaved, variegated and grey-leaved forms as well as the more usual dark green).
  • Eight lavenders (Lavandula variety, such as ‘Munstead’).


  • Large ceramic container (or any other pot large enough to take the bay tree).
  • Soil-based potting compost with added grit or sharp sand for drainage.
  • Broken crocks for drainage.
  • Trowel.

1 Position your pot where it is to stand – it will be too heavy to move once planted. Here the pot is surrounded by a narrow bed of lavender which will need about 45cm (18in) of planting space all around the pot.

2 Line the container with broken crocks for drainage, then half-fill with compost. Check the level of the bay’s rootball by placing it in its original pot on the compost. Adjust the level as necessary to get the rootball to the same depth it was in before, then plant the bay, placing it centrally in the pot. Firm in.

3 Top up the container with more compost – the thymes will have much shallower rootballs than the bay. Plant the thymes in a circle around the bay, firm in, then top up again with more compost to within 2.5cm (1in) of the rim. Water thoroughly.

4 Work some of the compost/grit mix into the soil around the pot, then plant the lavenders all round. Water thoroughly.


If you wish, choose a dry, sunny day and cut some of the lavender flowers when they are at their peak. Leave them to dry in bunches, then use them in a vase or a potpourri, or make little sachets and stuff them with the lavender flowerheads – place in linen drawers or hang in clothes cupboards to keep the clothes smelling fresh and sweet.


Both the bay and the thymes are culinary herbs, so use them freely in your cooking.


All these plants do best in full sun and need light, well-drained soil. Keep the bay in shape by trimming any straggly shoots in summer; remove any frost-damaged leaves/shoots in spring. Remove faded lavender flowers in autumn, then prune in April – but do not cut into old wood. Clip the thyme, removing dead flowerheads and straggly shoots in spring.

This little project is taken from our Seasonal Garden Ideas book. Find out…



WIN a £50 National Garden Centre Voucher!

If you fancy your chances of winning a £50 National Garden Centre Voucher just click here.


Good luck!

Competition | Win £25 HTA Garden Gift Card

Win £25 HTA Garden Gift Card


Win £25 HTA Garden Gift Card

Create a stunning spring display courtesy of the Dairy Diary.

Win the £25 HTA Garden Gift Card in our latest competition and you can choose from over 90,000 plants and products available at hundreds of garden outlets nationwide.

Anyone, anywhere in the UK can spend HTA Garden Gift Cards on pretty much anything to do with gardening.

Win £25 HTA Garden Gift Card






Triple-Tested Recipes | Summer Herb & Smoked Salmon Pasta

Summer Herb & Smoked Salmon Pasta recipe


Triple-Tested Recipes

It’s been a frantic fortnight here in the DD office. The print deadline for our cookbook is looming and we are busy finalising its design, editing, doing nutritional analysis and reading tester comment sheets.

We have had a superb band of testers this year who have cooked every single recipe and given it marks out of 10 as well as checking everything is correct and the ingredients are easy to find.

There’s nothing worse than going to the trouble (and expense) of cooking a recipe only to find that it doesn’t work or that the results are disappointing. This is why I insist that everything is triple-tested – once by the writer, then by an amateur tester and finally by the stylist at the photo shoot.

Result? Tasty recipes that
work and happy customers!

(Drum roll)

Here’s the VERY first sneak preview of one of our cookbook recipes.

And this one got 10/10 from its tester, Kirstin! Enjoy folks……you’ll have to wait for the book for the rest.

Summer Herb & Smoked Salmon Pasta

Summer Herb & Smoked Salmon Pasta recipeServes 2
Time 15 mins

Fusilli pasta twists 200g (7oz)
Olive oil 1 tbsp
Spring onions 4, trimmed and sliced
Smoked salmon 120g packet, cut into strips
Lemon juice of 1
Chopped coriander 2 tbsp
Chopped parsley 1 tbsp
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Rocket leaves about 15g (½oz), to garnish

Cook the pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water according to packet’s instructions, which usually takes 10–12 minutes. Drain the pasta and set it aside.

Heat the olive oil in the pan over a medium heat. Add the spring onions and salmon and stir-fry the mixture for about 1 minute until the smoked salmon turns pink.

Add the remaining ingredients (except the rocket), including the drained pasta and salt and pepper to taste, and mix well.

Serve on warm plates, garnished with a spiral of rocket leaves.

Recipe taken from Clever One Pot… coming soon!


Don’t forget to enter our latest competition

Dairy Diary is giving you the chance to win a £25 National Garden Gift Voucher.

Celebrate the start of spring with something special for your home or garden; treat yourself to a stunning bouquet or plant up a glamorous hanging basket.
National Garden Gift Vouchers are accepted at over 2000 leading garden centres, shops and nurseries across the UK.

Simply complete the form by 31 March and you will be entered into the prize draw. Good luck.

Enter here http://a.pgtb.me/7s6SkX

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