Wednesday, 23 June 2010

How does my garden grow?

Well I say garden, technically it's the neglected concrete area outside my flat which I converted into my 'patio' a few years ago. Put in a door from my living room to said area, planted a few (well a lot) of things that had no labels and were going cheap at the garden centre, stuck a table and chairs out there and abracadabra I now have a 'city garden'. You know, round here they add on at least £100,000 to the price of a flat.

Well, how does my garden grow? As a matter of fact quite nicely thank you very much, since you ask.
I just ate my first ever home grown strawberry.
Really quite delicious. Well yes, it did have a spiky little bit in the middle that almost choked me (thanks for the slap on the back and glass of water Paul, but I'd really rather you didn't save my life on a daily basis).
My first strawberries (minus the bottom right hand red one, which is, as I write, travelling south into my tummy). 

So what else do I have apart from my strawberries in a hanging basket? - I hear the birds find them harder to steal from something that swings about in mid-air. Tomatoes (ditto in a hanging basket), which quite frankly don't look like they are going to amount to very much. Lots of little yellow flowers, but not much else going on up there.
(see what I mean about lots of yellow flowers)

Then there's my herbs (or 'erbs as you Americans so quaintly call them); I've got masses of mint (delicious with Jersey Royal New Potatoes), an army of Rosemary and now my oregano and chives are coming along quite well since the sun started to shine last week. My 4 bay trees, (as if anyone would ever need 4 bay trees) are plodding along rather boringly, but I do cook with the leaves nearly every day.
That brings me nicely to my fig tree, which Dina said would grow as fast as a giraffe, and my high hopes were aiming for edible fruit this year, is disappointingly about the same size as when I bought it last summer. Only last year it had a few immature little fruits on it, whereas this year it yields precisely - none. Ah well, they do say never trust an Italian - I should have known better than to listen to someone whose surname is Piselli (go on, Google it, I dare you!).
Herbs, fig tree and somewhere amongst this little, I believe there is a blueberry tree.

I had a lime tree (or is it a bush?) with lovely shiny leaves which I used regularly in thai curries. I had been wondering why the flavour wasn't so good recently, only to discover from my neighbour (who kindly spends quite a bit of time tending my 'city garden' as well as his own), that the lime tree/bush died, so he uprooted it and planted something else there that was most definitely not another lime tree/bush. Hmmm, yes that means I have been adding goodness-knows-what to my thai curries for quite a while. No matter, we're all still alive and kicking, so I haven't poisoned anyone. Not yet.
That's really the extent of my edible - whoops I tell a lie, I have a blueberry bush out there somewhere, but for the life of me I don't remember where I planted it, but it's of no consequence, because I have since found out that it takes a few years before you get any fruit.

Flowers? got some gorgeous geraniums and there are some lillies that come up for a few weeks later in the summer and smell divine, but other than that I don't really know what the flowers are. I just buy job lots of anonymous little pots and hope for the best.
Geraniums and other stuff. Oh and that's my patio heater stuck to the wall - it dos a good job on chilly nights.

That's pretty much how my garden grows. Sure, it's a bit of a jungle out there, but that's the way I like it. We have some magical evening meals out there on the precious sunny summer evenings that we get. Yeah, it may be small, I can still hear the traffic and people can peer over the railing and look down at me. But it's mine and this is how it looks when I open the door. Certainly not a disused concrete rubbish tip any more. 
It's my little city oasis.

1 comment:

  1. I remember your oasis well, and thoroughly enjoyed the meal I had there way back when I was still an Englishman!

    It's good to see you posting again. I too know the difficulties of keeping up with blogging, but I am hoping to update my own blog before going to bed tonight!