Potted roses, raspberries, strawberries, lemon and even chocolate mint are so easy to grow. Once they are ready to pick you will know. Plan ahead and have some easy recipes ready to go. There is nothing more enjoyable and the freshness of home-grown can't be beat. Give it a go.....
Use red rose petals to make homemade rose water and give desserts a subtle floral flavor and a pink color. Make sure to purchase a fully grown bush. Toss a banana peel into the bottom of the planting container; it will act as a fertilizer. Rose petals and leaves don't like to be wet, so water the plant occasionally.
Try the thornless variety. Buy and plant a fully grown bush, clear four feet of space around it and you will enjoy years of raspberry harvests. The first summer's yield will be just enough to use as a garnish, but the following year, the bush will produce enough berries for a pie. You will know the raspberries are ready to pick when they come off the stem easily, if you have to tug at a berry, it's not ripe yet.
Small strawberry plants quickly start producing fruit early in summer. Try a non-runner type, like alpines, which won't take over your garden floor. Use straw or pine needles as mulch to keep berries off the soil. Strawberry jars and pocket pots are great for containing creeping vines. Use them on a patio or porch area.
Meyer lemons taste like a cross between an orange and a lemon, so they are less acidic and good for sorbets or lemon curd. Dwarf lemon trees can be grown in a 12" wide container. Bring the tree inside during winter, and its fragrant flowers will continue to bloom. Be patient. The trees yield only about three lemons the first season but twice as many the following year.
Plant chocolate mint - it is unbeatable in mint ice cream. Mint isn't picky, it will grow in sun or shade, as long as the soil is moist. It is also an aggressive herbs, so keep it in check with regular pruning. Having it in a pot will help to keep the creeping root system in a contained area.
To make your own rose water, pour boiling water over a packed cup of petals. Chill the water overnight and strain out the petals in the morning.