Tag Archives: Urban Garden

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A green & happy thought

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Today I had my morning coffee at Planet Organic. When I walked home, the weather was amazing, blue sky and sunny, so I couldn’t help feel a bit moved by everything. And most of all, very blessed and grateful. I live in a fantastic cozy neighborhood, my morning running track is through a stunning Hyde Park no matter what season, I have a variety of different cafes and restaurants offering healthy and nutritious food minutes away from my door and my boyfriend and I are taking every opportunity we’re given to use London. AND… I have a garden with homegrown produce in the middle of London! I’m finally feeling like I’m living the healthy and happy life that I want to live.

Looking back just a couple of years ago, that was definitely not the case. I was living with my boyfriend close to the center of Copenhagen, and the restaurants and nearby cafes we frequented was the 7/11 corner shop, and the amazing thai place just across from 7/11. I had multiple fitness memberships, none of which I used, and I just didn’t want to cook, so the massamam curry dish often became the dinner of the night, and with that, loads of white fluffy rice, pick ‘n mix and guilt. I just couldn’t be bothered. Needless to say, for me that was not a healthy lifestyle. I think my need to live differently started when I began growing potatoes in flamingo boxes in our 5th floor apartment. Now, I’m still chasing the dreamy urban garden, and sometimes struggling with it, but I’m determined to make the most of it.

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After reading me waffle like that you can imagine how thrilled I was when I early yesterday morning picked fresh salad leaves from my sparse salad and spinach bed! I had leftover quinoa and salmon from dinner the night before, and just needed the extra “something green” to make a tasty lunch for work.

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For some people it might seem sad that the ability to pick your own lunch can make or break a day, but this is how I operate. This makes me happy and I’m so very grateful for being able to be happy over such a simple, yet fulfilling lifestyle. But don’t just judge me yet and find me too evangelistic – I also feel blessed every time my boyfriend treats me with a movie and a chilli dog at Electric.

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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.