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Our Journal

Growing vegetables in small spaces

To celebrate National Gardening Week, we’re asking green-fingered experts to share advice and tips for growing at home, both indoors and out.

First up is Kew-trained horticulturalist Charlie Harpur. Here, he shares the books & podcasts that have helped and inspired him to grow vegetables in small spaces.

Usually tending to the exotic plants in the stunning glasshouses of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Charlie uses his time at home to grow vegetables on his rooftop garden in London. It’s his first time growing veg in containers so we asked if he would share his experience. You can watch the full video on IGTV here.

Charlie also shared the books he’s been reading and podcasts he’s been listening to, as these have helped him learn useful skills for growing vegetables in small spaces. Here’s his recommended reading list to help you learn how to grow edible plants at home.


Grow fruit & vegetables in pots By Aaron Bertelsen Phaidon Press

‘A new publication from one of the country’s greatest gardens Great Dixter. This has really helped me learn a lot about how to make the most of growing edibles in containers’

Grow Your Own Vegetables by Joy Larkom Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd

‘This is a real epic read and Joy is a fountain of knowledge for general vegetable gardening.’

Well Gardened Mind: Rediscovering Nature in the Modern World By Sue Stuart-Smith Harper Collins Publishers

‘This book isn’t specifically about practical tips but more about human interaction with nature and growing things. When I grow vegetables, I have this feeling of disbelief that it is possible to grow things from tiny seeds, but also pride in the achievement of doing it, which really helps with mental wellbeing.’

Grow your own vegetables in pots



The RHS gardening podcast

‘Very good and full of good tips.’

Roots, Wings and other Things by Adam Frost and Jez Rose

‘A good listen. Bit of light-hearted garden related banter and a lot of chat about veg growing from seed.’


Gardener's World

"Gardeners World has started again on the BBC. This is a real British institution and something I’ll always be fond of. Monty Don, Adam Frost and Rachel de Thame are doing great demonstrations from their homes during lockdown."

monty don