Welcome To The Jungle!

If you’ve been reading my blog or other blogs over the years, you’ll know I’m a massive plant lover and garden enthusiast. I might not always be good at it and there have been some casualties along the way but I just love having a house filled with plants, especially in the winter when the garden is hibernation. So of course I’m loving the Jungalow trend at the moment and finally the rest of the world has caught up, and being a plant lady is cool again!
As autumn is drawing in, the nights are getting colder and frost will soon be imminent, I needed to bring in the houseplants I put out in the garden during the summer, which have grown way more than I anticipated as we had a pretty good summer but now I have to decide where to put all them.

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I’ve also been on a bit of a spree in the local supermarket and ended up buying a yukka and a rubber plant but also for the post they came in as they are really nice.

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Mini roses bought for me by The Goth to cheer me up one day.

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There are various succulants and dracania dotted around the flat.

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This poor little cacti was pot bound when I first met The Goth, I repotted it when we moved in together and it’s grown about five times the size. I leave it outside in the summer and it edges turn pink. It has yet to flower but it has come close.

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I tend to keep orchids in the bathroom because that way I don’t tend to over or under water them, they like the steam from the shower.

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I just left this spider plant and pink poinsetta on a shelf in the kitchen and they’ve grown huge over the summer. i should probably take the offshoots of the spider plant.

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I planted my chillies so late this year I had to bring them in to finish them off now the weather has gone colder.

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Another ficus and a Calathea from another trip to the supermarket, plus one of my succulents (a Haworthia I think) had grown lots of off, so I took them off and repotted them and hoping they will take! I used old vintage tea cups and pots for the charity shop to put them in.

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I also made a new dino terrarium, that has been sitting for months on the kitchen table waiting to be made. I actually finally got round to clearing off all the clutter, repotted some plants and finished the terrarium and slung a vintage lace crochet table cloth, so the table can actually be used as a dining table.

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Some of the offshoots made their way into the terrarium.

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I put in this little T-Rex, I think she’s quite happy in her new home!

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There are a few more plants around the house, I’m still wanted a Monstera but as this is not our permanent home, I might wait until we do. But as you can see I love plants and my next botanical adventure will be trying to grow a carnivorous plant from seed!

Kitchen Garden Update

garden 1//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js So it’s not been a bad month grow wise, the squash and courgette seeds took, the second round of beans are growing nicely and only the lettuce doesn’t seem to want to do any thing. It turns out easy grows aren’t that easy! Also it’s time to start cutting back and pulling out those that have finished their growing, which is mainly the cucumbers.

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Considering I only got about 4 cucumbers out of all the plants I grew last year, this year I had a bumper crop or more commonly a glut, I literally have cucumbers coming out of my ears. I got one crystal lemon last year. Out the two plants I grew this year I got about 20!

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The phoonas I got six or seven and all in all, I got about 40 odd cucumbers from the seven plants I grew! Most of them were lunch box/snack size, which is why I grew them, despite our flat having a large and spacious feel to it, there isn’t much practical storage space and obviously fresh food like cucumbers can be kept so long in the fridge. I would pickle them but I just found a jar of unopened pickled cucumbers from last year. At the end of last season there were a few slightly unripe ones that needed to be picked or would perish in the weather, so I pickled them.

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Everything else is doing pretty well, mostly I’m just waiting for the tomatoes to ripen!
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Oh except the tomatilloes! That’s the third year running I’ve grown them, where they flowered but no fruit! I’ve tried everything, even hand pollinating but still nothing and I’ve also had lots of bees etc in the garden collecting from all the flowers so I don’t know what the problem is, most probably they’re only producing male or females flowers only, but I’m giving up on those! They just take up valuable growing space in our tiny garden!

Ooh and it looks like we’re getting a second round of strawberries after I trimmed them back a little after the first round. Also I finally managed to get one solitary berry off the red raspberry canes after three years of trying!
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And it looks like the golden raspberry canes are finally going to produce a half decent crop. One thing is for sure gardening takes a lot of patience and waiting!
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This weekend I’m going to sow some carrot seeds and look into spring greens, all which I can leave over winter in the green house or under cover for a spring harvest. I also need to collect some garlic seeds off my mum, which she harvested from her bumper crop this year.

Little Urban Garden Update

top shot//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsSo a little update on the food growing situation in our garden. You may remember my post The Grow List where I listed all the seeds I planted for this year. Well it’s nearly the end of July and time to see how things are doing and quite frankly they are doing pretty good, despite the late start.
rainbow chard//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsWe’ve had minimal casualties, lost a cucamelon in the recent heatwave but it was tiny and I really should have moved it to a shadier spot. Pretty much everything germinated and took, though the first round of chillies and cucamelons took ages to germinate so I thought they were a dud round. I planted a second round and then the first round decided to finally germinate along with the rest, so I’ve ended up with more chilli plants than I expected, though the lemon drop didn’t survive.
nasturtium//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsThe recent rain storms had me worried for a little while, mainly becuse the heavy cloud and humidity meant no growth and the possibilty of blight but everything seems to be okay and the recent dose of sunshine and causes a very big grow spurt and all the plants are doing really well.

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 So far the strawberries have been very productive and we’ve had lots of berries to eat, when they finished I trimmed back the stalks and removed the excess foliage and tired/old leaves to give the plants a rest and they started a second round, so more strawberries soon.
poona kheera//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js We’ve also had our first cucumber a phoona keera and there are plenty more on the vine nearly ready to be picked, the crystal lemon and white wonders are also nearly ready to be picked.
tomatoes//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js The toms all eight varieties are just flowering, actually I have nine now as a friend gave me a romello as well, along with some thai basil.
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Sunburn due to the recent heatwave last week
//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js Other casualties were my komatsuna and texel greens which mostly perished in the rain and what survived got eating my the snails, despite my best efforts at defense. Also the raspberries don’t seem to be doing well again either. I’ve planted some more texel greens along with some lettuce and spinach and rocket. I’ve also planted some more beans as they grow quite quickly, for a slightly later harvest at the end of the summer.

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Someone is intrigued by all the new things in the garden.Frank//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsDo not believe this cute face for a minute, he’s a little monster!

So that what’s been happening in the garden so far, I actually had a little change of the layout after taking these photos to raise some of the plants and give them some more room.

Are you growing anything in your garden this year?

 

The Grow List!

With being away and then dealing with some urgent unforeseen matters when we got back, I think I spent a total of 12 days at home in April, and so haven’t got much done in respect of anything! But in May I plan on catching up on blogging, on work and on gardening. I love gardening, I have from quite a young age and I mostly enjoy growing fruits and vegetables. Since we’ve moved to South London and have a much smaller garden where I can only grow in containers, it has been a bit hit and miss. Last year started off really well but the latter part of the summer was so rubbish and cloudy that my plants didn’t end up producing much but despite that I’m determined to have my little urban oasis in the city this year.
This year I’m being a little less ambitious in regards to what I’m plan to grow. I’ve put up a bamboo fence for a little more privacy between us and our neighbour, so it’s a teensy bit more shady but last year I bought a lot of seeds for cooler climates so that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. My only other fall back is how late I’m starting off my seedlings, however it’s been pretty frosty these last couple of weeks so not a major problem plus I’ve started growing late before and still had plenty of produce.
This year I mainly concentrating on growing a salad garden, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuces, greens, peppers, beans etc. I think my garden is just a little too small for squashes but I’ll see what space I have left when I finished plotting out what goes where. Already established in the garden are two raspberry plants, one red and one golden which hopefully will fruit this year and also a red gooseberry.

I also have three types of strawberries flowering and so should get some berries out of these soon.

I also have some leaf beet that I left over winter and is still going, so I think I will definitely add to that. I also have rosemary, thyme and mint pots that are still doing well.

Flower wise the lavender has come back and currently the garden is filled with flowering bulbs such as tulips, freesias and daffodils. I like having flowers in my garden not only do they look pretty but also attract the pollinators like bees to the garden.

I’ll slowly be swapping those over with summer flowers and the months go on, I also bought a Honeysuckle and Spiraea  from Poundland which I find a good source for cheap but good plants. Though it appears it’s a little too late to replace the rhubarb that perished whilst we were gone but I’m still on the look out.

I also got some free flower seeds with my Caboodle magazine subscription, will definitely be planting a few sunflowers as I love sunflowers.

Most of this years budget has gone on preventative measures and replenishing stock. I bought some new seeds for Seed Parade and More Veg as I’ve had to chuck a lot away as they are way past their best date. I also bought some new netting to making cages for my green leafy veg as we all know how birds and caterpillars like their greens, and some copper tape in my ongoing battle with the snails and slugs. I’m also saving all my eggs shells which also double up as a good nutrient source for tomatoes. I also bought a new hanging basket liner after discovering a cat-less garden means the birds pinch the lining for their nests! Frank is back on guard duty. I’m also seeing if I can stretch to a small garden table and chairs.

 So what’s on this years grow list.

Tomatoes
First in The Field
Sub Arctic Plenty
Berner Rose
Ponderosa Orange
Tigerelle
Tomatillo Verde 
Limon 
Pink Charmer (F1 variety)
Cucumber
Crystal Lemon
Salt and Pepper
White Wonder 
Phoona Kheera
Cucamelon 
Chillies and Peppers
Cherry Bomb
Cayenne
Lemon Drop
Sweet Pepper
Beans
Berlotti Beans – Lingua de Fuoco gifted to me by Golightly Gardens
Broad Beans – Karmazyn
Climbing French Bean – Cosse Violette
Greens
Texel Greens
Leaf Beet Bright Lights Variety
Komatsuna
Spinach
Lettuce
Other maybe
Okra
Corgette
Squash -Hubbard Blue mainly because I have one seed left!
Sweet Corn
This may look a lot but I decided to grow more variety of tomatoes to replace the squashes I won’t be growing. Also need to take into account some might not make it or will grow but might not fruit etc. Anyway you can keep up with food growing and cooking antics on my Instagram fee NDVKitchenGarden. I decided to have a separate account from my work one for this because I just like it that way. I’ll probably doing a monthly update on how the garden is doing and hopefully some recipe posts in between to fill the gaps.

The Savage Gardener: How Does Your Garden Grow!

So I had a whole post written about transplanting the seedlings I had and well that is now out of date as the garden is in full bloom. so to catch up, I lost some seedlings in the first round of repotting, mainly the tomatilloes because they had grown too leggy, the second round are doing well. Some of the cucumbers are not doing as well as they should and so back ups were planted just in case, they are hanging on by a thread but the second round are doing much better. During last weeks heatwave I lost a purple podded pea,  hokkaido squash lost all the fruit that had just begun to grow and a pink charmer is not looking so charming but the rest of the garden is doing really well. In a plant swap I got some bertolli beans which I planted with the sweetcorn and a two crookneck squashes which seem to be doing okay and some strawberry plants. I also bought a red gooseberry from Wilkos.

So the garden looked like this back in April.

It’s now looking like this!

And here are few shots off Instagram