Friday, May 21, 2010


I have been trying to figure out where I gained my love of gardening.

At university I did none at all. Then in my first three London flats I did none- Chelsea, Fulham, Bromley...
Looking back this was not through laziness, but because I didn't have a garden.
It was only when I moved to Beckenham that for the first time ever I had my own gardening space. Actually the garden was bigger than the one I have now.. and I must admit I did tend the garden because I wanted it to look nice for me to enjoy, but oddly it was also because I wanted to impress the estate agent and prove that I was a good tenant.

Beckenham was also the first property where I threw a proper party, a Bonfire night party with fireworks out in the garden for a few of my work friends. Bonfire Night is my second favourite event of the year, (Christmas gets 1st place.).

Beckenham flat was the whole ground floor of a huge house, with an extremely large lounge with a high ceiling and huge bay windows, a huge bedroom with stained glass in the french doors leading directly to the garden, a dining room and a decent size kitchen, a large hall and a cellar that I neve went in. Of all the properties I rented before buying, this was my favourite. Of course within six months of taking on the Beckenham flat I had started dating Biscuit Boy and just 9 months after that we were married and had already bought this house here in Croydon where we are still, eleven years later.

So, I guess I have just told myself that all of my gardening has been done and learned in this house.. WOW !  I was sure I had gardened before that, but no it's only been eleven years of gardening experience.
Here are some of my favourite things that I have grown:

Blue sweetcorn - Tasted just like sweetcorn, being blue it just did not look nice.
Agapanthus - I love this flower, I bought this one year for Biscuit Boy every year it never fails to please. Our specimen is white and the flowers are really pretty too.
Sunflowers - Never was I more disappointed than the time we planted sunflower seeds,  we watched those plants grow inch-by-inch until they passed over our heads before even the flowers had fully come out. Then, one day when I got home from work, much to my shock, the sunflowers were strewn all over the garden, down the lawn, everywhere. It seems the squirrels took a liking to the seeds and figured out a complicated way of knocking them over so they could reach the seeds. This year is the first time I am trying these since then - with cupcake.
Cucumber - This seems to thrive in my garden. A botanist I know told me that they can grow in any soil with hardly any maintenance, so I guess that explains a lot. Funny. I love picking them, they taste so much sweeter than the shop bought watery specimens, with thicker skin too.
Sweet peas - I remember clearly that the day I went into labour with cupcake I was transplanting sweet peas that I had grown from seed into bigger pots to go on the patio. I love sweet peas I think they can look great with their pastel rainbow of billowy petals, just that mine don't look like that !

On a completely different subject, I am wishing Biscuit Boy good luck for tomorrow as he is competing in Leybourne Lakes triathlon. I will post a full report with photos tomorrow. It's an early start with a 4am get-up, even earlier than my usual 5.15 am get-up... yawn..

EXERCISE: None, a much deserved day off  !

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