Growing an Avocado Tree

Last week I finally got to transfer one of my Avocado seeds into a pot.  Like a mother waving a kid off to University it was kind of a bittersweet, nerve-wracking moment removing those cocktail sticks, tossing the cup of water and transferring it into a very grown up pot 🙂 And, I kid you not, I’m now absolutely terrified it’ll die – mostly because it’s taken so bloody long to get it to this momentous step that the thought of it drying out and having to start all over is… well, unthinkable.  I just won’t, is the short answer.  (I don’t think Sunny would let me anyway, he’s getting sick of the size of our leafy brood as it is!)

The process itself is very easy, it just takes a hell of a lot of time and patience!

Continue reading “Growing an Avocado Tree”

August Garden

It’s been a looooong slog, but our garden finally looks like a garden.  Four months ago our back door opened out onto a very muddy slope.  And when I say mud, I mean sludge.  Sludgy, sticky, wellie-sucking mud.  We dug at it, raked at it, rotivated it until our backs were sore… and then we kind of gave in and hired a builder to help because we didn’t really know how to tackle it in the end.  But now we’ve actually got borders with flowers that actually growing (lots of Dahlia, speaking of which are you sick of my Dahlia Instagrams yet?) and a patio to sit on (when it’s not raining…)

I think my seventeen year old self would be horrified that I’ve turned into one of those garden gnomes – but I don’t care. These days, more and more, I feel like I need to be outside. There’s just something I love about walking bare-footed on grass, getting mud under my nails and watching things grow. And you know what? It’s about damn time. This time last year we were stuck inside our flat sweltering with all the windows open because we didn’t have an outdoor space.  We had a great view of the Thames (The Thames! Not everyone can sing along to London Calling by The Clash and actually mean the line “I live by the river”) but, it was spoilt by fly tippers and a couple of idiots who thought it’d be a good idea to ride motorbikes up and down the footpath. Finally being able to just open the back door and step outside into a green patch that’s 100% ours (and silent!) feels pretty special.

Hot House

I’m definitely becoming more and more of a Pamela Isley-esque crazy plant lady these days.  And they don’t even have to be flowering plants.  Yes, I’ll always be a sucker for a bunch of roses, but these days I’m more likely to gush over bright green leaves than blossoming buds.  Our new house is slowly becoming home to a whole family of succulents and cacti, as well as a palm tree, a pepper plant and various orchids.  I’m technically not a plant mother, but actually a plant grandmother since my Cacti went to fruit and spawned a litter of baby cacti.

But oh no, that’s not enough!  There are so many corners and surfaces that I find myself glaring at on occasion thinking, ‘There’s not enough photosynthesis going on there,’ as you do (or don’t, if you happen to be a normal human being…).  I’d be quite happy to turn our house into a great big greenhouse like the hot house at Hall Place where these pictures were taken a couple of weeks ago. 🙂


British motorways and highways aren’t particularly pleasant places (Hey I’m looking at you, M25… Grr…), but at this time of year the metal crash barriers along the central reservation and the banks beside the hard-shoulder are bursting with Wild Daisies – or if you want to get all scientific about it; Oxeyes.  They’re one of my favourite things about summer 🙂

Sunny and I went for another meadow walk near our home one afternoon and found a crop of them, among some other lovely wild things…

Poking between the long grass and buttercups were these Common Spotted Orchids.

Whilst I picking a bunch of daisies I found these tiny wild (woodland) strawberries growing.

The Terrarium Test

I’ve killed a lot of plants in the past.  Full on planticide.  There was the weird looking one I had on my windowsill as a kid… but it didn’t flower so I neglected it until it shrivelled and dried out (it was a Cactus, by the way.  Yep.  A Cactus dried out.).  Then there was the pink Gerbera called Fred that I adopted in Uni to keep me company while I wrote at my desk.  He came a cropper in the car on the way home at the end of term.  I am officially an Ocimum Basilicum serial killer; Basil plants shake at the roots when I bring them home to sit on my kitchen windowsill.

I actually really love having plants around, and would like to think I’m green fingered deep down.  I’m actually much, much better than I used to be thanks to a good run with a few Orchids (all alive to date…!) and a green fingered friend keeping a watchful eye (Call it Plant Parole).  Anyway, I was so confident that I decided to give Cacti a go again and get a little Terrarium started up 🙂

You’ve probably seen these Geometric-Style Terrariums everywhere at the moment.  I must have seen so many of them on Pinterest that something subliminally clicked and I suddenly had to have one.  I picked this one up in Sainsbury’s in their seasonal aisle, but you don’t have to hunt very hard to find them elsewhere.

Cacti and Succulents are actually reasonably cheap; I picked up all of these (including this very cool-looking, spiky Haworthia) for under £5 at our local garden centre.

Hopefully they’ll all like their new home sitting on top of the trunk in my lounge… If not, check back here for their obituary in a few weeks time..!  🙂