Tag Archives: Urban Gardening London

Guide to growing succulents indoors

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This weeks #WeekRead no. 5 also comes from one of my favorite blogs. If you haven’t read the previous 4 #WeekRead posts click here. To sum up the principles of the weekly #WeekRead, every other Friday evening I link to a piece of content from either another blog or news site which I find extremely interesting or useful. The only rule is, it should be an easy to read, digestible article that can be read in 5 minutes. That way, when you enjoy that first cup of coffee tomorrow morning (you might even do some morning pinning?) you can read the #WeekRead easy while waking up.

So let’s get to this weeks read. You have probably guessed it already. Yup, it’s about growing succulents. For those of you that have been following me for the last 6 months, you know how obsessed I am with succulents. It all started in San Francisco last year in October. Damn they do amazing succulent terrariums in San Fran. That city sure has the right conditions for growing succulents as well. So what to do when you live in a basement apartment in the middle of grey London? It’s not exactly widespread sun rays that hit my windowsill, I have to say. Well, click on this link to go to the best garden site online Gardenista, and read this article. So very very useful if you like me are obsessed with growing succulents indoors. You will find a lot of information in this article. For example, did you know that the greener a succulent is the better it is for indoor use? Also, indoor succulents need space around them, so don’t overcrowd the pot. They need as much light as they can get, given that they are indoor and susceptible for less direct sunlight. There you go – now go fetch that brilliant article. And have a nice weekend!

How to shop at farmers markets – only smarter!

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It’s Friday again and in 10 hours or so you can enjoy a blissful Saturday morning sipping that cup of coffee, reading the second Plot & Pantry #WeekRead. And this one is equally as interesting and will only take 5 minutes to read. Yes, luckily I did not break my own rules just yet.

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Let’s get to it. First of all, just for a sec, pretend it’s Saturday, not your normally tipsy Friday. Have you gone to your local farmers market yet? Before you do, read this 7 point guide on how to shop at farmers markets. It’s the delightful Modern Farmer, who I’m linking to today and it’s a really interesting read, I can assure you. Did you know that your carrots, beets and radishes will last longer if you leave the greens on top? So next time your local farmer asks if he or she should cut off the green top for you, what do you say? No. (Unfortunately, I need to have my greens cut, as I have the tiniest fridge on the planet). Also, Modern Farmer is suggesting that we keep a sense of skepticism when going, instead of falling head over heels in love and be carried away ending up buying stuff we don’t need or that is actually not a better healthier choice.

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Read the other great tips right here, and start shopping smarter at the farmers’ market.. This is really one of my favorite sites, so it could happen that you would like it as well and hang around for more than just 5 minutes? And did you know that you can buy a magazine as well? Go fetch that wallet! It’s equally as awesome, and no, no one is paying me to say that, this is a genuine non-commercial tip for you. Hope you have a good time there.

Btw, the images are from October last year, when my fiance and I went to California on a small road trip, and we just loooooved it! Guess where our honeymoon will take us?

For my other #WeekReads, where I link to digestible 5 minutes articles click here for:
#WeekRead no. 1
#WeekRead no. 3.
#WeekRead no. 4
#WeekRead no. 5

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Summer Holiday & Big News!

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I know. It’s been so quite in here for a long time. And you know what? That is because a lot of things have happened. The biggest thing is the engagement to my amazing boyfriend. I never thought I would be the wedding-girl, but I’m totally digging my new status and the fact that in a year’s time the knot will be tied to this amazing man. It happened on an impromptu weekend trip to Paris and after that we spent a week and a half back in Denmark in my parents’ house. We rented a car and could therefore drive around and look at wedding venues, enjoy the Danish summer and eat tonnes of ice cream and Danish pick ‘n mix (Yes, I’m not tirelessly a healthy saint after all…).

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One of the biggest joys about this trip (aside from sharing the good news with family and friends of course) was being able to feed off my parents amazing garden. In the morning I would go out and pick the biggest blackberries I have ever seen. I never thought of myself as a blackberry person, but that is apparently because the blackberries you get in the super markets are so sour! These were just amazing. I have never tasted blackberries so sweet! I saw myself stuffing my mouth with these berries, almost two at the time and simply craving more after each bite. My point is, don’t knock off blackberries because you think they are too sour until you try them straight off a blackberry bush.

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Blackberries were not the only produce that gobsmacked me. My hubby to be and I pulled up beetroots, carrots, and potatoes of the ground and picked buckets full of beans, courgettes, tomatoes, cucumber and salad. It was so easy to make lovely dinners with home-grown food and I was delighted.
Unfortunately, as we didn’t have a neighbour watering our produce I came back to withered peas, beans and radishes. So sad, but luckily the salad and spinach had recovered which means that I can still pick lush green handfuls to my lunch salad.

Stay tuned for tomorrow where I will give you a recipe for a hearty Indian Summer Vegetable bowl. August here in London is rather cold and grey with a minimum of sunny spells, so I thought I would make a warm salad with seasonal produce. Remember to check in, it’s a really brilliant dish.

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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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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.