Category Archives: Plot

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How-To: Planting succulents

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Last weekend I was working all Saturday, and have been putting a lot of hours at work in general that week. Sunday however, was a total bliss. The work I had going on that day was fulfilling work in my garden. When setting up for the blog post about my collection of succulents, I thought I would show you how I’m planting succulents in pots.

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1. Be creative
I think succulents are so interesting to look at. They can be so many shapes and colors, it almost demands a nice pot and a little creativity to support the plant. My point is, be creative with the pot. I found the facetted white pots at a local japanese design shop. They are from Bloomingville. I think they fits the succulents perfectly.

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2. Watch the pot
So once you have chosen your pot, you need to make sure it has drainage, so it can transfer the water away from the roots. If your pot does not have a hole in bottom of the pot and a “saucer” then you need to create drainage in the pot. Put some pebbles or potsherds in the bottom before you fill it up with soil. This will create some “air layers” in the bottom so the excess water can evaporate and the risk of rotting roots as well.

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3. Fill it up
With soil. I’m sure that there is succulent specific soil, but I’m using a compost-based soil. So far that works for me and the plants. Remove the excess soil from the succulents roots and plant it neatly into the pot. For an indoor installment make sure it has plenty of lights. Voila!

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The indoor garden: Succulents

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This is my recent obsession: succulents. I love them. Full stop. I have a childhood memory of my mum giving me and my brother succulents in nice pots for our rooms, I think mainly because they are so easy to care for and look after, and need a minimum of water. This way we had the best precondition for managing a real living plant in our teenage rooms. Needless to say, succulents was the last thing I had on my mind, and I surely did not appreciate them. Wow, was I mistaken.

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Now, as you can see, I have a small collection of succulents and cacti. I’m not entirely sure of how to care for my cacti, and watering is happening when they look particular dry, so I’m still to learn how to understand that species.

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My succulents on the other hand, I have some knowledge about. Succulents storage water in their leaves unlike cacti who stores it in their stem. This is why you can propagate new succulents just by cutting of the leaves of the “mother plant”, as they will form roots (and will have water to do so) if treated properly. They need plenty of light, and are happy to be outside during the summer – who doesn’t? However, these plants are also suitable for the indoor garden especially if you have a sunny window sill.

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I’m still to learn a lot in this area, but are hoping that increasing my collection will result in greater knowledge and experience. If you have any experience in the field, please by all means share your best tips in the comment field below.

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My Notting Hill Garden

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I haven’t really showed you my garden here on P&P yet, so I thought it might be about time to give you a sneak peak into what is going on in my small Notting Hill garden. It’s not much really, and especially not after pigeons and snails have eaten my salad and radish seedlings. Bastards.

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Anyways, let’s not dwell on the past. My garden is actual around 50 square meters, but given the height of the neighbor houses around it, it’s not a garden with full sun blast for 8 hours a day. This also means that I need to be really strategic about what to plant where. Most of my crops are in pots except for the pumpkins I’m trying to grow this year. The bed they are in used to have extremely poor quality soil with very little nutrients, so this year I have mixed in both compost and topsoil, hoping that the soil will improve significantly.

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On the opposite side of the garden are my potato bags. I rarely eat potatoes, unless I grow them myself, and every bite is priceless after having nursed them for a season, waiting for the small roots to appear from below the green lush plants. Pure bliss.

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Another great passion of mine are the beans. I love beans. If I had to chose only one veggie to eat for the rest of my life, it would be beans. And broccoli. This year I have experimented with four different varieties. However, it seems only two of them will actually give some yield this year. Oh well, you win some, you loose some.

The other crops I’m trying to grow are peas, radishes, carrots, beets, salad and spinach. Even though I’ve been growing for three years now, it’s still pretty much trial and error. But that really is the fun of it also. And I don’t have any plans about stopping just yet. So much more to learn.

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Let it grow, let it grow, let it grow…

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Last weekend I checked off many things on my to-do list. Nearly finalising the dress I’m taking with me to celebrate my 30th birthday in Nice and a new “dressing gown” jacket; perfect for chilly summer evenings. But also, initiating the germination of several seeds for this seasons plot.

A range of favorites was sowed, plus a few new comers like edamame beans, a 2nd generation crop from my parents garden, alongside purple peas from that same garden. Three kinds of pumpkin, imported from La La Land last october, was sowed as well.

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I will not take you through all I’m hoping to grow this year, in just one blogpost. That would be way to long a story, so let’s explore the pod veggies and the squashes first. This year the Plot will be growing the following:

Beans: And a tonne of them. Beans will always be a regular in my plot. This year’s bean will be purple┬┤podded french beans, dwarf bean tendergreen, italian borlotti beans and the broad bean.

Benefits: Beans are a very good protein source and also rich in vitamin C, calcium and iron. Beans actually have twice the amount of iron found in spinach. They are anti-inflammatory and help the body eliminate toxins, through its diuretic properties.

Peas: This is an amazing veggie. I’s particularly fond of it’s snacking capabilities and it’s ability to be a delicious ingredient in both hot and cold dishes. The last couple of years, my peas haven’t really given anything, I haven’t been able to water it so regularly, but this time I really hope that I’ve learnt from my mistakes.

Benefits: The pea is very good for the gut (and we like that!) given it’s insoluble fibers. They are also a good source of vitamin K and C.

Squash & Pumpkin: My taste for the pumpkin and the kale family started several years ago, and is only growing stronger for each season. This season I’m trying out the regular pumpkin we all know from Halloween, but also a winter squash and a summer squash. The winter squash is supposedly more dense than a summer squash, which is more watery like a courgette. My winter squash is called a Delicata Honey boat and the summer variant Early Prolific Straightneck. Even though it’s not recommended to sow these indoors, it is advised to do if the warm seasons are shorter, and comparing Britain with California, I would say that our warm season is definitely shorter than in lovely California.

Benefits: Winter squash is anti-inflammatory and filled with antioxidants. It’s also rich in magnesium and helps the digestion. One of the greatest benefits, I would say, is the fact that you can (almost) eat the entire thing!

All my squash seeds are from Botanical Interest and my bean seeds from Beautiful Garden and Labour & Wait.

Let’s get growing, shall we…?