May 21, 2010, 7:00 am
Filed under: home base

the box

the booty

the balcony

In a cute little book I picked up at the Oxford Street Borders’ going out of business sale last summer, I read about the joys of growing a window box garden when someone else has already done most of the hard work for you.  In other words, there is a company called Rocket Gardens that will start seeds for you, nurture them till they’ve just poked up out of the soil, and then pack them up and send them to you in the post.  Costs a wee bit more than a packet of seeds, but less than a summer’s worth of salad and herbs at the farmer’s market, and gives you a solid start on the way to remedying last summer’s spindly coriander and buggy chives.  Brilliant.

Once the postman brings them to your door all you have to do is pop them in the soil, water, and wait.  Well, if you are me, you also have to get a Zipcar, clench your fists through Saturday morning blear as your husband warms up his stick-shift skills (but really have to bite your tongue as you have zero stick-shift skills and even if you did aren’t very keen on using them in this lovely city), arrive at Homebase for an intense discussion on the downfalls of green plastic and the merits of being sure to have enough potting soil to finish the job all at once even if you have to give away a tiny bit on Freecycle after.  Oh, and then get it all up the three flights of stairs to your flat.

Also, once planted, don’t forget to water again in a day or so, and the day after that, and the day after that… that is my downfall, I am good at the setup but not so much the follow-through.  But don’t overwater either — that is my husband’s downfall, perhaps overcompensating for mine…

Any thrill you miss from watching the first sprouts boing up through the soil is more than compensated for, I think, by the satisfaction of seeing those lovely rows of green and purple lining the terrace straight away.  I am a sucker for instant gratification.  Now to go and check to see if they’ve reached salad size in the last hour since I took the picture…


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