Gardening, Home

The Garden

We’ve lived in our top floor masonette in South East London for nearly 5 years. We have the balcony by no garden.

We live in a close with masonettes and a block of flats built in a rectangle, with our front gardens creating a big area of grass in the middle. The people in the upstairs maisonettes ¬†own the front gardens, so I’ve always taken care of ours; when we moved in, it was just grass so I cut in a flower bed along the front and grew some dahlias from seed, which now come back every summer and look beautiful. They really do make me smile when I open the front door each morning in the summer and early autumn.

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The front gardens and my door step dahlia’s

 

I’ve always noticed there was a small patch of over grown garden with a greenhouse fenced off with a gate next door to our neighbours flat and to my annoyance, I’d never been able to work out which masonette it went with – until one day in summer 2015 I was sitting on my balcony that looks out to the front gardens, and I’d noticed a couple of people in there, clearing it. I started to listen to their conversation with one of the older guys in the close that chats to everyone, and it became apparent that they were looking for someone to take care of the garden. I couldn’t believe my luck and shamelessly shouted over my balcony that I’d love to, and rushed down to discuss.

The couple are landlords and rent the flat to our neighbours who have quite a large back garden that this side garden is joined on to, so weren’t fussed about this part. The landlord explained that they will probably move back in a few years when they retire but we could have it to use until that happened. We were renting our place then rather than owning it (..that’s another story) so it seemed perfect for us, I happily agreed.

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The garden when I first took it on.

We spent a weekend laying turf and I planted up lots of flowers in the flower bed and it looked really lovely, we enjoyed a few BBQ’s before the weather got cold and thoroughly enjoyed having a nice bit of outdoor space.

 

Spring 2016 I grew all kinds of things, I made a mini vegetable¬†patch where I grew courgettes and ended up with so many I didn’t know what to do with them, I grew carrots, tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, chilis and aubergines in the Greenhouse, all with varying success, and produced a really good crop of potatoes in a potato grow-bag! It was brilliant. My favourite thing to grow was my dahlia’s. I branched out from the pompom variety in my front garden and grew larger ones, which were beautiful, and along with lots of wild flowers I planted, I had lovely vases of flowers indoors all summer and early autumn.

 

I hadn’t had a proper hobby for a few years and quickly realised this was something that I really loved, but I always had in the back of my mind that it wasn’t my garden, and if the landlord decided to sell up or move back in themselves, it would no longer be mine, so I didn’t do as much as I wanted so as not to potentially waste money. Which is what got me thinking about the allotments that I knew were less than a 10 minute walk from us….. but that will be my next blog. Thanks for reading :o)

 

 

 

Gardening, Uncategorized

SE9 Gardener – How It All Began.

I never used to be a gardener.

Up until 2012, when we moved into our maisonette I’d never really thought a huge amount about growing things. My parents have a big garden and are avid gardeners, my Gran & Grandpa were farmers on a farm my Uncle now runs, and my Grannie and Grandad also had a garden that my parents helped take care of. It’s always been a part of my life and the awareness had always been there, but growing things and gardening was what “grown-ups” do. And sometimes I forget I’m a grown-up and have been for quite some time. 

When I moved into our place with my boyfriend we weren’t that fussed about having a garden. We have a little balcony and I thought that that was enough for sitting out in the sun on the few days a year that can happen. Then one weekend the spring 2013 after we moved in, I found myself in B&Q down the road and bought a few violets for a big blue pot I’d been given for the balcony. They looked so lovely… and then I got a few more pots and a few more plants … and then Mum caught on to my new found interest and kept giving me the odd thing or a few seeds to grow…  And it escalated from there… My beloved “Balcony Garden” had begun.

 

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The “Balcony Garden” in it’s early days.
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As more plants gradually were added…