The Poison Pen

The Winter Garden

Posted in Le Haus by thepoisonpen on October 20, 2010

I have to admit, having my own garden this year has become a fantastic hobby and way to experiment with both colour, in creating a pretty plain outside yard into something that makes me smile everytime I’m in the kitchen baking. I’ve had a few disasters along the way, but it’s been my favourite learning curve this year. It’s wonderful seeing things you’ve kept alive change with the seasons.

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The Art of Psychedelia

Posted in Le Haus by thepoisonpen on June 3, 2010

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The Misadventures of Gardening

Posted in Le Haus by thepoisonpen on May 21, 2010

I was not naturally born with green fingers due to the appalling girl fit I throw at the sight of worms and other creepy crawlies, and apart from my nana, not many other family members have been keen gardeners so my knowledge is incredibly basic.

However since I moved into my new house and have the perfect back garden (it has no grass that needs cutting but plenty of massive plant pots and a lovely holly tree) my compulsive shopping habits for dresses have been replaced by that of perennials. So much so I find myself in lidl far too often rummaging amongst ‘this weeks top buys’ in the flower section. Lidl is excellent anyway, but after buying a range of plants from your average places like Homebase, Stikes/garden centres, and greengrocers I can honestly say all my lidl plants have had the longest shelf life that I’ve managed to keep alive. So here is my garden so far:

My first attempt at growing from seed. Now, these can only be described as ‘seedlings’ as I threw away the packet by mistake. I was shocked when they actually started to grow! Nature is amazing. Seed trays bought from Poundland.

Bluebells. Marc found these hidden under about 3 feet of soil so we dug them out and I re-planted them into the large ceramic containers left by the landlord. We had no idea what they were but now they’ve finally started to flower they are incredibly pretty. I have two containers, one has come out a lilac shade, and the other blue. Not entirely sure why as they were all just thrown in together.

Hanging basket was relatively easy as we already had the metal hangers set up. Before we used to hang lanterns on each which were really pretty at night. Your typical pansies that gardeners world will usually take the piss out of, the posh toffs.

Queen of England rose-bush. Bought from lidl for £1.99 this has been the fastest growing plant since when I bought it, as it was literally just two twigs. I’ll probably have to replant it soon into a larger container but I can’t wait untill it starts to flower.

Miniature rose bushes. I’ve bought a few of these, I assume they’re aimed as house plants but I’ve managed to successfully replant my first purchase from Homebase sale into a container, which has flourished but hasn’t flowered again since sadly.

I’ve also had some disasters: the strawberry plant I left in water for 3 days instead of 3 hours, a constantly battle with drooping hyacinth and the waste of money spent on fancy plants (peony and lily of the valley) from Sainsburys.

So my only advice to other clueless people like myself:

  • Don’t be put off trying to grow things from seed packets, it’s far less intimidating than you would think. Fools luck is a wonderful thing.
  • Don’t buy on sale unless the plants actually look like they can be saved with a bit of baby bio and tlc.
  • Look out for pots on places like freecyle or in charity shops. If not Poundland and other cheapy shops sell all the basics for a lot cheaper than known chain stores.
  • Buy what you like. Most plants unless they are exotic will survive in most climates or sun situations. I’ve had seedlings that were supposed to be kept inside that have still managed to grow outside, albeit a little later.
  • Don’t leave your boyfriend in charge of watering duties when you’re away or you may come back to a dead rose-bush.
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