Root Balls

This weekend a plant I have wanted to grow since the thought of growing ever occured to me arrived.

Three arrived, to be precise.

Blueberries.

I ADORE Blueberries, as does The Boyfriend. High in antioxidants and vitamin C, and super tasty on breakfast yoghurt; what’s not to love??

As The Fourth Farthing – as we officially named the garden during a ceremony which involved prancing around it in the dark in our PJ’s, wafting sparklers and feeling generally satisfied with life- doesnt have acidic soil, we had to buy eraceous compost (basically, acid compost for tea plants and blueberries).

Blueberries and plant paraphenalia
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*Tip: We found that a big bag of compost found in the outdoors section of B&Q was about 3 x cheeper than buying the same quantity of compost in mini-bags from the indoor section.

We then bought plastic pots a few sizes larger than the pots the Blueberries arrived in, filled the bottom with horticultural grit to improve drainage, added compost, a blueberry plant and water, the sat back and did some back-patting at a good evening’s work… At this point I must make a confession (and ask some advice). I was so excited to be potting up the blueberries that I forgot to prise the roots out of their pot-shapedness. I’m hoping that they will still be okay and that I havnt damaged them; does anyone know if I should un-repot them and start again, or will they survive?

The Blueberries were then given their perenial plant privelige – names – Faith, Hope and Charity, and the luxury of a night in the kitchen before being placed outside to fend for themselves alongside Jon Snow, the Rosemary plant, who will also be potted on in due course.

We finished what was a very planty evening by sowing three small pots with Physallis seeds, and a pot each of Lambs Lettuce and Spinach.

I’m a very happy Girlfriend Gardener.

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Getting Growing

Last week The Boyfriend and I took the plunge and started our garden. We’ve hailed it ‘The Begining of the Self Sufficiency Mindset’, thinking more for opportunities to make and grow our own.

We began last week by planting our first seeds: Broad Beans, Pak Choi and Basil (aka ‘Hank’).

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As far as I can tell, planting seeds seems much like following a recipe.

First add ‘Seed Sowing Compost’.

Next add seeds (Just a sprinkle, or you’ll be thinning out half that packet which you just payed for).

Finally add another dash of compost and water lightly to wake up your seeds. Pop on a windowsill and wait…. and wait….. and wait…. and….

Is that a…. Plant?!

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THE PAK CHOI LIVE!!!!! The Boyfriend was so excited at the sight of baby plants I thought he was going to pass out. It’s such a primal, simple joy to watch a seed become a baby plant. It’s almost magical how that tiny black blob becomes a little green wavey stem which is alive and wonderful. I feel so lucky to be able to experience it.

Hank the Basil finally opened a bleary leaf and took a peak at sunlight this morning, and I can see a little white speck of Broad Bean poking through the compost. Hopefully during the next week these will emerge fully and join the fun. We’re so excited to meet them properly!

The Boyfriend and I were discussing today how he had never given plants and gardening a second thought before. He hadn’t seen the point. However, we both ADORE good food, – and I feel that good food may sneek its way into this blog shortly. – and once I pointed out that some of those super-tasty, super-expensive veg could be grown for less money, more pleasure and a greater sense of achievement he was ready to try anything to be able to walk to his car in the morning, ready for work, and just pluck a couple of Blueberries off the bush en-route.

We are so excited to become more self sufficient, even in a small way; to claw back some of life’s great pleasures, which have been hogged by supermarkets and a busy lifestyle for too long.

Hello!

Hello!

I am The Girlfriend. The Boyfriend recently allocated me a portion of his suburban garden to cultivate as my own.

So Today, Valentines Day, The Boyfriend and I made our first shakey steps on this new adventure. My plan is to grow food plants, to help reduce the food bill and make the garden a more integral part of the home as provider of our food. With this -and the chilly English environment- in mind we entered Homebase, still a little unsure of what we wanted, and made our first seed purchases. We bought ‘TomThumb’ Lettuce, Perpetual Spinach, ‘The Sutton’ Dwarf Broad Beans, ‘F1 Green Revolution’ Pak Choi and ‘Nero di Toscana’ Kale. The main reasoning behind choosing these particular plants and varieties being,

A) They’re less labour intensive and susceptible to disease as Tomatoes, for example.

B) They tend to be expensive to buy from the supermarket.

C) They’re the kinds of foods The Boyfriend and I eat a lot of and enjoy.

We were on our way to checkout, seed propergator in hand, when we realised this joyous occasion – our first Valentines Day together – should be marked by something special. Why not a tree?

We headed to the tree section, but somehow none of the fruit trees there seemed right. There were apples, pears, plums, and cherries; but none of them were quite right. We resigned ourselves to the idea of ordering a trio of Blueberries when we got home. We picked up a little Rosemary en-route the checkout, but it wasn’t the same. And then The Boyfriend spotted it…

Tiny globes of gold sitting in cheerful clusters agains a glossy background of dark green leaves, standing less then a foot above the lip of its terracota pot…

“What about one of those?”

“Oooh, I’m not sure. I’ve never had a citrus plant before.”

“But it’s so cute. Can you eat them?”

“Well yes, but…. oh go on then. I’ve always secretly wanted one.”

And so it was, that we bought home Rufus, our Calamondin Lime. The2015-02-14 Feb 2 2015 018 best Valentines gift ever. We love him.

I’m so excited to plan and prepare for the crops to come, and to learn from my fellow Bloggers, Pinners and Plant Enthusiasts as I embark on this new journey.