The not-so-secret gardener

A year ago I declared myself an insufferably smug gardener. After a punishing winter which saw most of my plants die, I’m now ready to gloat once again about what’s sprouting on my tiny, north-facing balcony. This spring, my prime focus has been on planting supermarket vegetables that have passed their peak. A few weeks ago, I plopped a wrinkly potato that had already begun to sprout into a pot of earth. It took a while for it to do anything but now it looks like this:


All I did was plant a wrinkly, sprouting potato!

I did the same with an onion:

Looks like a second onion is sprouting!

Looks like a second onion is sprouting!

And in an ongoing experiment I’m very excited about, I cut a stem off a basil plant and placed it in a glass of water on my kitchen window sill. For weeks, it did nothing. Then one day, I walked into the kitchen and let out a little shriek. Just like the Internet had promised, it had begun to grow roots. In a few days, I’ll transfer it into a pot of earth and hopefully end up with a whole new basil plant. Isn’t nature wonderful?

You can also grow more scallions by placing the roots in water!!

You can also grow more scallions by placing the roots in water!!

Look - roots!! The same doesn't seem to apply to parsley... but who knows? The experiment is ongoing.

Look – roots!!

My gardening ambitions far exceed the confines of my tiny balcony. As a result, I’ve resorted to piling beer crates on top of each other to increase real estate. I feel a bit like a greedy property developer building high-rises on a tiny patch of land. Partial as he is to a Weissbier though, LSB has been most helpful in providing me with construction material.

So despite an acute lack space, I have been unable to resist planting the pumpkin seeds I impulse-bought. Nor have I managed to refrain from purchasing gooseberry, raspberry and red currant plants. Sure, I might be turning into a mad gardening lady. But the great thing about this habit is that when you feed it, it feeds you back. Can’t say the same thing about other cool habits.  Like drinking, smoking, gambling or crocheting. pumpkinbalkon

8 thoughts on “The not-so-secret gardener

  1. Lovely the way you’ve used the seed packet to mark the location, a true gardener! But you will need serious real estate for pumpkins. I have grown enormous ones on a small plot, however. Three secrets to big pumpkins” manure, manure, and (you guessed it) manure! The conversion rate seems to be 1 lb. manure = 1 lb. pumpkin. If only we could take all the shit life throws at us and convert it into something so beautiful!


    • Hello Robert! Nice to hear from you 🙂 To be honest, I was surprised to see the pumpkin sprout at all! I’ll be sure to to be very liberal with my manure – thanks for the tip! Will post an update when I see some progress!!


      • Kate, A wonderful book on the miracle of seeds and plants: Huxley’s “Plant and Planet”.


  2. Some supermarket potatoes might have diseases though which will affect them if you try and grow from them. I’ve never had problems though. I tried supermarket chilli seeds once but got bad results. Supermarket garlic would be good as It doesn’t take up much space, plant a clove and get a bulb, also spring onions planted bulb end in multiply, as do shallots. Well done with the basil I always find that pretty hard. I bet mint would do the same. Good luck (especially with the huge pumpkin plant) 😉


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