Category Archives: Grow your own

Urban herb garden inspiration

Via Janaina Vaughn on Pinterest

My love affair with herbs continues. I’ve been trawling Pinterest for quirky ideas for space-saving herb gardens. Turns out you can plant in anything from shoe storage to old tin cans. Click through our slideshow for inspiration…

By Hannah Bass.

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All the allotments, farms and community gardens in east London – now mapped!

If you’ve grown out of your windowsill herb garden and you’re keen to get your hands dirty in a big allotment, check out this map. We’ve collated all the community gardens, urban farms and allotments in and around our neck of the woods. We’ve also made sure that each of these places either run gardening workshops or are happy to accept gardening volunteers. Some, like Hackney City Farm, even have special ones for kids – have a look.

It’s not definitive, by any means – email us to let us know if we’ve missed anything out. For your visual reference, the green markers indicate allotments, red for farms and blue for gardens. All information about allotments was obtained from Hackney Council.

By Zing Tsjeng

A herb for every corner: what to grow where

After reviewing  The Urban Kitchen Gardener I’ve gone herb-crazy. The wonderful thing about herbs – besides the flavours – is that they’re usually small, hardy plants that easy for gardeners with even the smallest space and resources to grow. And growing herbs not only provides you with beautiful greenery, it saves you money – a pack of fresh herbs is pushing a pound in most supermarkets.

The good news is, there’s a herb for every spot in your flat. Just check out our handy location guide and get growing…

Via Katlyn Marchbanks, Sharon Dion and Arin F on Pinterest

Kitchen windowsill:

Basil and coriander can be grown in the same pot (and they taste good together, too!) on your kitchen windowsill. They like lots of light and are very, very thirsty so keep them well watered from the kitchen tap.

Via Anneli Saks and Linds with an e on Pinterest

Dark corners:

Conversely, parsley barely needs any direct light at all. Use it to add a little green to the gloomier corners of your flat.

Via Monika Ambre and Sonet Providence on Pinterest

Bedroom window:

Chilli plants need lots of light and warmth, so keep them on a window sill in a room that’s often heated, such as your bedroom. Water them well to bring a little horticultural heat to the boudoir.

Via Softness and Eric Crumley on Pinterest

Shady balcony:

Most balconies, believe it or not, are full of shady spots. Luckily these are perfect for mint which doesn’t like direct sunlight. Mint can also withstand the wind and loves the rain so it will flourish even if your balcony is taking a battering in these storms. And lastly, mint is one of those plants which actually works best in a pot – it grows as rampantly as a weed otherwise.

Via Noel Dandes and Ivy Chippendale on Pinterest

Sunny wall:

A mediterrenean herb like rosemary doesn’t need too much water and can grow in pretty tough conditions. It does, however, like a bit of sun and warmth so plant it in a pot up against a wall that gets lots of light – the wall will continue to release heat even after the sun’s gone down.

Via Barb Alton and Rosa Yan on Pinterest

Balcony, wall or garden fence:

If you’re super short of space, why not grow vertically? Taller herbs like dill grow upright and using just a bit of wire or some bamboo sticks you can train them to trail up your balcony or garden fence

By Hannah Bass.

Book review: The Urban Kitchen Gardener

Mouse melons: a tiny alternative to cucumbers

Like many urban gardeners with limited space, I want as much as I can get out of my plants. It’s not enough for my pots to be pretty, they need to do something too. As a result, you’re more likely to find herbs than hydrangeas on my windowsill.

But beyond supermarket-bought basil and a couple of chillies, I’ve been stumped for how to grow edible plants in the pots and boxes I can fit in my flat and tiny garden. Most growing guides are for people with allotments and vegetable patches.

So I was thrilled at the release of The Urban Kitchen Gardener, a new book by urban agriculture advocate Tom Moggach.

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VIDEO l Shopping on a budget: how to pick the right plants

In aid of National Gardening week I spent my Saturday morning at Growing Concerns choosing some flowers to spruce up my garden.

In this video I share some tips on how to choose the right flowers for your garden when you’re on a budget.

Thanks to the staff at Growing Concerns who were great at advising me on the right plants to buy. As our valued readers, we welcome you to leave comments if you have any useful tips. Also, excuse my pronunciation of ‘Pulmonarias’!

By Krystena Petrakas

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Keeping urban hens

CHICKENS

Nikki Lewis, 26, keeps urban hens in the garden of her Bromley home.  She kindly took some time out to answer our questions on looking after urban hens in London.

How long have you been keeping hens for?
We got Lola last summer, then got another called Charlie who unfortunately died so we got the other three soon after that.

Treat your Valentine with home grown roses

Rose soleil bourgeons

For all you romantics, here is a dig-and-pot guide on how to treat your Valentine to home grown roses to keep them sweet all year round.

So, instead of buying your beau a bouquet of stems that will only last a week, why not get in their garden tomorrow and plant them a rose garden that will last indefinitely.

And in true East End Gardener style, we’ll also tell you how to grow roses in those concrete backyards many of you may have. If you don’t have the luxury of soil flowerbeds, as most of us urban gardeners don’t, fear not – most roses can be grown successfully in containers.

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