A Weekend Away

Suzhou was lovely. So picturesque and somehow felt Old China to me. Walking along the streets wasn’t exactly quiet, though….

A Garden Visitor

This kitty lives in our neighbourhood. He wanted to drink the stagnant water that’s been accumulated over a year, with god knows what in it. I couldn’t let that happen, even though he’d probably have been fine.

Neighbourhood kitty

Neighbourhood kitty

I put out a bowl of fresh water for him, and he meowed at me thinking I had food. In fact, there is no meat in the whole house at the moment. Water will just have to do!

Octopus’ Garden: The Last Harvest

Autumn is here, and just as our plants were starting to produce it’s time of them to go.

We plucked all the green tomatoes before they freeze and go bad, and the plants are turning yellow and brown. The zucchini long since stopped producing, even though the bees were not numerous enough to fertilise them most of the summer. No bumblebees moved into the bee home I bought them, but I plan to leave it over the winter and next year, know knows?

We dug up the carrots, and found that two small and rather mutated ones had grown in the shallow pan. The butternut squashes, one of the first things I’ve ever grown from something we ate, are desperately flowering. They won’t make fruits this year. 😦

We had a good first year of gardening, all things considered. The tomatoes and potatoes produced well, and the cast iron grill we converted into a makeshift fire pit has been a real treat. We learned a few important lessons for low-cost, above-ground container gardening in England.

  1. Snail defence is key. We did a poor job, and our potatoes suffered. Polish lager traps don’t tempt English slugs. They prefer a good ESB.
  2. Feed early, feed often! Pots don’t have enough dirt to supply nutrients for most plants.
  3. Support your plants as they grow or they will fall over and get damaged.
  4. Watch out for aphids. They completely murdered our dreadnought beans. You can try to use dish soap in a spray bottle to get them off, but it might cause chemical burns on zucchini.

We’ll try again in the future. Someday, our garden will look like this! And we’ll have to can all our harvests and send them to our family/friends.

All credit to this blogpost.

All credit to this blogpost.

The Octopus’ Garden Has Grown!


3 April and 9 June

3 April and 9 June

I began planting seeds in March, when the weather finally pulled out of the balmy winter London experienced. In April, we planted in earnest in our little container garden which we christened The Octopus’ Garden. The progress is incredible!

12 March and 9 June

12 March and 9 June (excuse the laundry)

My goals in life grow simpler and simpler as I grow older. I used to have lofty goals, and still do (giving a TED talk will be harder without a PhD, but maybe better if it’s experience-based instead). Material goals do not include a mortgage, a brand new car, or a smartphone.

I want a yellow teapot, and a spinning washing line. And a garden. I have one of those goals now.

We already had our first harvest, but soon we hope to have tomatoes and zucchini, along with beans and onions.