Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Mary Mary Quite Contrary

It’s official. Summer is well and truly on its way. We’ve had two glorious Bank Holidays and, even though it’s been threatening to chuck it down for a little while, we haven’t had enough rain to stop us enjoying the Great Outdoors.
Of course, enjoying the Great Outdoors is a bit of a challenge in good old London Town. And I’m not just talking about the reported smog we had over Easter. I am talking space. Oh yes, it is at a premium, and even more so when the sun comes out to play. The parks become rammed with Londoners desperate to catch a few rays on their lunch break and the trains heading out overflow with city dwellers gasping for air.
But I have a confession to make. I am one of the lucky ones. Yes, I too like to escape once in a while and visits to friends and family out of town are welcome breaks from the madness. But I have my own little haven. My terrace. Okay, so it isn’t exactly Kew Gardens, but I love it. What’s even more amazing is that, even though I have what most estate agents would rub their hands at with glee, my rent is only ten quid a week more than what I paid for the flat upstairs before I moved nearly two years ago. And, you guessed it; it didn’t even have a balcony.
This Christmas I received a lot of garden-related gifts and last month I started to plant a variety of seeds, from salad to courgette to several herbs. I know I am not the most green fingered of people, but seeing my labours come to fruition gives me a real sense of satisfaction. Pottering outside, even if it is just watering my pots or picking out a few weeds, has become my favourite way to wind down after a day at work. Last week I decided to add to my collection and bought a Gerbera plant, some Heather and Sunflower seeds to add a bit of colour. On Friday I dug out my solar lights and dusted off the chimnea.
Needless to say I was more than a little bit pleased with myself when my friends came to stay this weekend. Sitting outside on Saturday evening with a glass of wine was a real treat and I kicked off the barbeque season on Sunday with a Moroccan feast of salad, couscous, chicken and lamb meatball kebabs.
Tonight I noticed the first flower on my strawberry plant as I filled up a potato grow bag with compost and nestled in half a dozen sprouting potatoes. My salad leaves are multiplying, my fig tree is looking even greener than last year and my seedlings are looking better every day. I can’t wait to sit down at my little mosaic table to my first home grown salad of the year, followed by fresh strawberries and cream.
Ah. Happy days!

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