I thought I’d share some photos today from my gardening + outdoor seed sowing progress. Since moving I haven’t really shown much of my outside space — it’s nothing exciting, just a paved area with some grass + a path! But over the years, I have shared my balcony garden escapades alongside my houseplant obsession so here I will share my current outdoor planting activities. Disclaimer: The ‘grass’ is full of weeds + has seen better days — aside from mowing it, there’s nothing I can change here, but having only had a tiny balcony garden, it’s quite a luxury to have a washing line + bit of lawn to sit with a coffee! It’s north-west facing + I’ve put a little table + chair in the spot that gets a nice amount of warmth if the sun is shining (it’s not today sadly).
As a temporary rented place I’m not allowed to really do very much, but making some little changes + adding some planting has certainly made it feel more like home. There are a few tasks that are new to me — the place was pretty overgrown to begin with so I am still getting to grips with weeding the patio (not fun but oh so satisfying once its done!) + mowing the lawn. The other thing is birds! There are so many that live in the hedge + I am really enjoying listening to them singing, but hoping they don’t try + eat some of my seedlings (…I’ll put a net over the plants if so). Whilst I’m here I plan to utilise the border I have dug + grow some things in pots on the patio that are easy to move.
If you have limited outdoor space this post might give you some small-space gardening inspiration to help add some green to your doorstep, patio or balcony garden.
The first thing I wanted to do (aside from mow the lawn) was to clear up all the overgrown edges + dig out a little border to plant some flowers — I really love the ivy that is growing all over one of the walls so this is a low-fuss block of green I am enjoying which provides a nice simple backdrop to any other planting. There looks to be a rose here too so I have pruned that + will see how it fares.
With lockdown still in place here in the UK as I write this, getting hold of anything garden-related has been difficult + obviously not a priority. I decided I would just be creative + use what I had available to me — I’ve moved to a pretty rural area + in a nearby village on the way to the shop there is an outdoor planting setup with an honesty box so I got a few trays of plants + a bag of compost to make a start. I already had my seeds which I stash in a drawer throughout the year + every Spring, revisit it to see what I want to sow! In the photo below you’ll see I got some geraniums, stocks + dahlias:
Keeping things very real here, you can see from the photo above that I haven’t arranged anything properly yet + would not normally have this many small pots of bits + bobs hanging around. Because of lockdown some of my more mature outdoor plants are being looked after by my family + my larger pots are not here yet. FYI, I’ll go into the process of moving plants in a mini-series of posts soon, but lets just say for now that I ran out of space for the last things to be moved — the outdoor plants! As I mentioned in the post on windowsill seed sowing I am using any pots I have to keep on planting during this time — most of them are normally reserved for my houseplants, but as a temporary measure they are working out well. I was pleased to rescue these hanging baskets for 50p last summer + knew they would come in useful somewhere! My trailing tomatoes are in them at the moment:
Below is the mint from my post the other week that has now rooted in water so I’ve potted that in with my other mint plant (the other photo is a close up on the ivy wall). I got given some stems of chocolate mint which I love so these classic ‘garden mint’ stems have gone in with that. In the ground, mint can take over so I prefer to keep it in a pot or two… I go through it quite quickly as I love using it in cooking — I make a lovely quinoa, mint, spring onion + cucumber salad!
After planting some of my seeds outdoors a few weeks ago, I made a note on this photo to remind myself what I had planted. There are some rogue pots that I can’t exactly remember what is in them… but I’m just telling myself it’ll be more fun to try + guess what they are if/when they grow! On that note, I had some really nice messages on that topic after my last post so thank you very much to those that said you felt a bit more confident in sowing some seeds after reading it! Overcoming that ‘sowing-anxiety‘ is pretty common if you are new to plants. I’m by no means an expert when it comes to outdoor gardening + am learning as I’ve been growing things over the years, so we are all in this together! Hopefully you will find my experiences helpful in some way + that they might encourage you to give it a go too.
In terms of the seeds I have planted outdoors, there has been some progress! In the trays below are spinach + something herb-y on the left… I’ve written it on a bit of paper somewhere!
Here’s my trough of lettuce which I will thin out as the seedlings get bigger:
The progress on my rocket seeds:
I planted some sunflower seeds indoors but also some directly into pots + in the garden, I’m just starting to notice them in the outdoor pots one week after planting (they are notoriously fast growers so are a fun one to do if you have the space):
Finally, I am pleased to report some progress with my oxalis tubers… I re-planted this very late this year + for the last few weeks convinced myself they wouldn’t come up, but over the last few days, I’ve started to observe that lovely process of the purple jewelled triangles unfolding like origami from the surface of the soil. Given their colour they can be hard to see at first, but now I am noticing them popping up I check them every morning + night!
Here’s a throwback to my oxalis last Summer, I really hope I can get it to grow as nicely this year in different weather conditions (it’s colder here + more exposed to the elements than my balcony garden was):
I do like to stagger the planting of my seeds + I’d recommend you do this especially with herbs… it’s a good idea to use about one third of the packet to start your growing off then sprinkle a few more layers in every few weeks over the coming months. This way, you will have a steady supply of fresh greens to enjoy + not a glut of plants all in one go! I also tend to plant my oxalis like this too, so that new growth is steady over the late Spring + Summer months. I’ve got a few oxalis posts on my site already, but I usually do an annual update so will write that soon as I often get questions about this lovely plant (even though some call it a weed!).
Lastly, I just wanted to share a practical item that I admit, is probably not very exciting to most of you but I’ve never had to buy one before so here it is… my new hose! If you read my blog/instagram regularly you’ll know I love design + so I’m not ashamed to say that choosing a hose was about function, practicality but also aesthetics! This grey one is from Aldi (linked here) + so far I am really pleased with it! It doesn’t take up a lot of room (it extends from 7.5m to 15m + after a bit of fiddling to get the connector to the outside tap right, it works brilliantly… plus it was affordable too at £14.99.
Hope you enjoyed seeing my new space + that is has inspired you to grow something! If you have any blogpost requests you can send me a DM on instagram.
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