Sunday, 1 May 2011

Plants and stuff: An comprehensive introduction

Yeah, so, like, I'm growing plants at the flat. We acquired a multipack of seeds from possibly Wilkinsons on the high Street and planted them in compost in these dinky little pot things on the windowsill.

They take a lot of love and attention, well, watering and occasionally turning them round so they don't grow all lop-sided. For the sake of bloggery I've named them all.

This is Tim, Chris and Chris Tomato. They're doing quite well, the rest of their pot brethren have already been transplanted to bigger pots.

These are the Jockrock Tomatos, named after a website I used to frequent. They're doing okay, strapping great chaps, half of them have gone on to bigger and better things.

These are Franklin and the Power Pack Tomatos, named after some back up story from the Thundercats Marvel UK comic back in the day, they're teeny tiny, Franklin is the tall chap in the bottom left.

These are the Reinforcements from Cybertron Tomatos. They're going to grow up to be complete monsters, world beware.

Could be basil, I'm not sure, they haven't really grown much in the past week, I blame thems not being tall enough to get any sunlight from over the edge of their pot, so its their own fault really.

Nearby on a table in one of those propagator things we have a vast assembly of beetroot.

They're just starting to get a grip on this whole being a plant thing, they only put in an appearance above ground a few days ago, no distinct personalities have emerged yet.

In the bathroom, we've set up a staging area for plants that are too big for the windowsill, but not quite grown up enough for the outside world. I'm hoping to toughen them up on a diet of piss-drips and shower condensation, that'll turn them into real plants, like me!

This is the Baron Tomato, you don't mess with him.

I dunno what these are, I didn't plant them. Some kind of vegetable perhaps, just gonna have to wait and see what they turn into.

These are Nick and Chris Tomato, they're brothers.

This is Amelia Tomato, she's pretty cool in her own way.

These are Sarah and Susan Cucumber, they have a load of sisters who are hanging around outside, but we're going to keep these two inside for another week or so.

This is the Anorak vegetable assembly, named after a messageboard I used to frequent. Lettuces and onions apparently, although they're a bit peely wally the now, a bit more love and attention and water and sunlight and maybe they'll get their act together as vegetables. The long stringy things are the onions, but I don't see how they're going to become more onion-like.

And this mob is the Bowlie collective of tomatos, natch.

Out on the fire escape, we're blocking out fire escape route with some of the more hardly of our plants in a small array of pots.

This is Colin Rhubarb, he's not looking very well, he's only been out here for two days and hasn't really done much with his time.

This is Deborah Chives, she's lovely. Already we've been giving her a trim and eating her leaves with our salad and cheese. She's got this yummy oniony flavour just like chives. And she still loves us, I can tell cos of the flowers. We did go through a rough patch with her, we weren't watering Debs as much as we should have done, it was my fault really. I still feel bad about it, but we're okay now.

This is Louise Mint, she's yummy too, branches and leaves tumbling all over her pot like a malestrom of minty goodness. I think I used some of her leaves in this lamb marinade I made the other week, but other than that we don't use her leaves half as much as we ought to.

Nina Raspberry ain't growing so well. Out where I work, next to a sewerage works there's all these brambleberries and stuff and they love growing, you can't stop them, but their cousin Nina Raspberry, she's hardly grown at all in the last two months.

This is Rosemary Rosemary, she's a rosemary plant. She goes quite well with lamb too, or if I'm feeling bored and no one's around I just snarf one of her branches.

These are Sarah, Tabatha and Pauline, they are coriander, sage and basil respectively. The Coriander is doing well, the basil less so, poor Pauline.

Down in the actual gardeny bit of our garden, the soil is really poor quality. I think there used to be a patio on one side, so it all sand and stones and on the other side, its really dusty and the neighbourhood cats have been pooping there for years so the soils really acidic.

We're slowly sorting it out, I've got a midden for kitchen waste slowly composting away, and we're digging up and sieving the more compacted bits. Really hardy plants can just about survive in the grown, the medium hardy plants are going into a polythene tunnel of love, but most of the tomato and cucumber windowsill alumni are going into growbags and big plant pots.

This is Redtree Stolenfromwerk, he's a red tree-like plant thing that I stole from work. He seems all right in the ground, he hasn't grown much in the last month, but he doesn't look like he's died either, so I guess he's doing okay.

This is Huey Lewis the apple tree, I bought him for £7 from Tesco a few weeks back, I thought it was a bargain.

This one time 28 years ago, I tried to grow an apple tree from seed. I went quite well, upgrade from yoghurt pot to small plant pot to large plant pot over two or three years. I remember it got really tall, about five foot, and then somehow I lost it or forgot about it.

Anyhoo, this thing I got from Tesco was about five foot of apple tree, a dry stick with a small rootball at one end, Huey Lewis. I planted him in a fair sized pot, I give him love and affection, keep him watered and in the sunshine and well, he's still just a dry stick. I keep thinking that there's bits of new growth, or his bark looks less dry and more healthy, but I'm just fooling myself.

This is the Dying Bathroom tree, he's been with us for a long time. He used to stay in the living room when we lived in Wembley and was happy there, but when we came to Walthamstow, we moved him into the bathroom. The new climate upset him a little so we thought we'd put him outside to get more fresh air and sunlight, but that made all his leaves go brown so we brought him inside again. After a month or so in the bathroom, the season had turned so we are trying him outside again, but I reckon he's a lost cause.

This is Kristin Gooseberry, she's a bit of a lush.

These three chaps are called Neville Johnson, Paul Johnson and Phil Johnson, they're tomatos, they live in a growbag together. I think I might have been a bit premature putting them in the growbag, as they haven't grown much since the move. In fact Neville has developed these freckles.
I'm a little bit concerned, but there's not much I can do. Neville's going to have to soldier along and sort himself out.

Next to the Johnson brothers we have Carlos, Cecil and Colin Cucumber, they're brothers too and also live in a growbag, but its a different brand to the Johnsons. I think there's a little neighbourly animosity between them, but they also seem to be suffering from being outside, although the Cucumbers do get a little more sunshine.

This is Paul Pumpkin, he lives in a polythene tunnel of love because we were scared that the cats would have a go at him when we first moved him outside. Paul is actually planted in the soil on the former patio side. He's doing okay, gets plenty of sunshine, and we keep him watered, but he's not exactly thriving.

These tomatos are Huey, Dewey, Andy and Louie, they share Paul Pumpkin's polythene tunnel of love. They've only been in that soil for a few days, I think the sunshine is doing wonders for them, it'll be interesting to see how they get on compared to their growbag brethren.

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