Thursday, 30 April 2009

Tidying up

We adopted this little tortoise fellow from Hackney City Farm. They have a box of all the unwanted clay projects from their kids workshops. We offered a donation, and this guy followed us home. He's sitting in the strawberry plant, protecting it from the gazillion pigeons which poo and nest all over our building.
In other news, I've spent some time tidying things up and painting some old terracotta pots that we managed to pick up from James' parents. I'm also trying to work out how to grow runner beans in the small space that we have (I've got a few ideas). Runner beans are magical, and the speckled black and pink seeds are equally fairytale. These are the seeds that Jack swapped Daisy the cow for. They're incredible. In addition, runner beans were the only green vegetable I ate up until I was 16. That's because I learned to grow them when I was about 9 and there's nothing more satisfying than eating something you just grew from seed to towering vine. So I'm going to get some, and they can climb up the railings and beyond to the land of the giants.

As for tomatoes, we bought two varieties at Beaconsfield farmer's market (4th Saturday of the month. Go, it's lovely). The two varieties we bought were: 'Moneymaker' for some sympathetic magic, and 'Golden Sunrise' for its gorgeous yellow colour. I also picked up a couple of 'Roma Plum' tomato plants from Brick Lane cos they were cheap and we don't have a decent windowsill in the flat to have started them from seed. That's my excuse anyway. They're getting a little bit too big for their pots so this Saturday we're probably going to try and plant them into grow bags or long containers with some supports. How exciting.

Some wild fleurs a-sproutin:

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

A place to begin

This blog begins about three weeks in to our little gardening project. It's been a riot so far, you've really missed out. We've lugged comedy compost and cried over spilt seeds, and debated over whether I stole the cleaner's mop bucket or not, you get the idea.... it's been a rollercoaster. Anyhow, here's what's in the botanical menagerie thus far:

- Tomatoes (All upwards varieties: Roma plum, Moneymaker and Golden sunrise), Mixed salad (includes Mizuna, Pak Choi and Rocket), Swiss chard, Borage, Climbing nasturtiums, Sunflowers, Courgettes, Beetroot, Strawberry, Apple mint, Coriander & Parsley
And then there's a few flowers (some edible and some not), to brighten things up:
-Sweetpea, Patio rose , Poppies, Wild flower mixtures, Pansies, Calendula

I decided to try and grow mainly edible flowers, both for their colour and so I can try out colourful salad petals. I've heard you can even cook sunflowers in some capacity, so I'll no doubt be giving that a go too. In trying to decide what to grow, we've opted for veg that's generally more expensive to buy in the shops, and that doesn't take up too much growing room for the amount you get back (ie. potatoes and carrots are cheap, and would take up a lot of space to grow, so we're opting for beans, salads, baby courgettes, etc - and looking out for anything that will grow upwards).