We moved into our new flat just before Christmas last year, and more than anything I was mostly excited about finally having some outdoor space to grow some veggies, herbs and flowers come spring. Even more than having a brand new kitchen, and a place of our own! (well maybe not exactly, but I was VERY excited about it!)
Here's the thing, I'm a country girl. You know this already I'm sure! but living in this 'concrete jungle' I need green spaces, trees, grass, parks, flowers.. to feel alive and happy, luckily we moved next to one of my favourite parks in London : London Fields, but growing our own little veggie garden on OUR own terrace feels very special.
We started our little project in early May, first we bought these amazing planters you can see below. They're foldable for the winter (ideal for city living with minimal space), durable and they look good! Here's the link to the one we have but they also have a bunch of other sizes depending on what you need. (not sponsored, just sharing the love)
Once we had received the 3 big vegetable planters, we embarked on our very first garden centre trip (spoiler alert : it was one of many) we went a little crazy!
We bought a whole bunch of seedlings, seeds, gloves, pots and compost.. we didn't really know what we were doing but we had fun!
Just before leaving to the garden centre I had luckily just received the "How To Grow" book by Hollie Newton, and it quickly became my garden bible! It's fun, easy and straight to the point. Luckily I got a few tips from the book just before going shopping and I had a rough idea of what and where I wanted to plant and we went from there.
We mostly got some cherry tomatoes (red and yellow ones), two types of lettuces (butter lettuce and cos), two types of courgettes (normal kind and then the round yellow kind!), some snap peas, some rainbow beetroots, some carrots, radish seeds, dark kale seeds, two pots of lavender, some basil, rosemary, mint, thyme, a bunch of extra pots and planters, and a whole lot of compost!! All I knew was that I wanted a peat-free compost (much more sustainable, look into it!) and for it to be as organic as possible, but I had no idea how much we actually needed!
Turns out... it was a LOT! I think we started with five 50kg bags.. and had to order the same again once we got home and realised how much we needed to fill.
So half a ton of compost later, we finally got the garden going! All the seedlings went into the ground, the seeds were sprinkled, the herbs planted, the lavender into their pots, same with courgettes and our chilli plants - everyone was 'fed' and watered to their hearts content, and I crossed all my fingers that I wouldn't kill everything within a week.
I was AMAZED by how quickly everything spouted, flowered and grew abundantly. It was straight up magic!! It made me appreciate so much more where our food comes from.
I grew up with my parents growing their own food from a very young age, but when it came down to it, I was barely doing any of the weeding, and my only tasks were to eat all the tomatoes in sight and pick a few strawberries when no one was looking. Dad was doing all the hard work.
Not that our London veggie patch it much work at all, it's pretty self sustainable, we water it every other day and that's about it! I haven't really done much looking after if I'm honest, everything grew so well, it's probably beginner's luck!
A few nights ago we got to eat our very own garden lettuce and radishes, and what a triumph! We both felt like proud parents!
It was so delicious and fresh! It feels so special when dinner time comes around to just be able to step outside and go pick what you need to prepare a meal. What a privilege.
What's coming up next you ask? Well an adundance of juicy (fingers crossed) cherry tomatoes, they're all flowering right now, some crunchy peas, also flowering at the minute, and I actually just spotted our very first bee going from flower to flower...!!
Carrots are almost ready to pick, we have our very first courgette which we're keeping for dinner later this week with some friends (any courgette recipes most welcome) more radishes to pull out of the ground, and our dark kale is looking better by the hour, ready to be eaten in salads or blended in a delicious green smoothie.
Michael has big plans for chilli jam, we bought two chilli plants which so far seem to be very happy and producing a ton of baby chillies!!
All in all, it's such a fun adventure and I'm already planning for the next steps before summer has even truly come around. I've heard it's possible to grow a bunch of things through winter as well..!
I am hooked on gardening, and I'm already dreaming of us buying an old house with fields of land to transform into a beautiful garden (do you follow me on Pinterest? My "Farm Girl Soul" board is all about that..!!)
Do you have a garden of your own? some planters hanging out of your balcony filled to the brim with herbs? a little veggie patch of your own? I'd love to know!