..."life of a stranger who stole my phone" blog

I came across this blog the other day. The gist of it is that the blogger went on holiday to Ibiza and someone stole her phone, which automatically uploads any pictures taken on said phone to her Dropbox- ie she gets all the phone thief's photos, which she consequently uploads to said blog, with very amusing commentary.  Have a read through it, I find it endlessly entertaining.


...my beautiful little garden...

When I moved to London I lived at my friend's for four months, more specifically I lived in a little corner of his livingroom under a foosball table.  All my belongings were piled on the top of some abandoned staircase in his flat.  I then moved to a tiny three bedroom flat, shared by five, with no livingroom. My room was next to the crummy kitchen where the ceiling had been removed due to mould, and never replaced; and our toilet had a hole in the wall (for a non functioning fan), which made the temperature drop to almost unbearable in winter. Welcome to London, hey? 

I've lived under far worse conditions though, but the point is not how awful our flat was, but rather how nice our "new" place is (a lovely three storey semi detached house in East London). We've lived here for precisely a year now, and besides it having much more space all round, we also have a little garden.  When we moved in it was a bare patch filled solely with weeds.  A year later and it is sporting a decent lawn instead.  Our flowerbeds are buzzing with bee activity and our concrete patio is covered in pots full of vegetables.  It brings joy to me everytime I see it.

I love summer. And I love gardening. I am obsessed. So much so, I'm sure I irritate the crap out of gardening non-enthusiasts (if you aren't into this sort of stuff you may as well stop reading, because to follow are a whole load of delicious plant pictures and vegetable talk).

These are our tomatoes. Not yet red, but happily budding away and making little green fruit. We tried growing tomatoes last year, but we planted them way off season and they all perished.  I'm very jealous of people living in hot climates, everything grows so easily. Here it's far more challenging to get things growing. We persevere nonetheless.  For the moment we have ten tomato plants. Can you believe it?

My carrots in a pot... They are taking quite long, but I can see tiny carrot rots at the end of the plants. I wonder if they will mature though, they don't seem to like growing in captivity much. And also a pretty wooden box i picked up from the trashpile at Roman road market and repurposed it into a plantbox.

Bushy brassicas. The colour of the leaves is amazing, almost brilliant blue.  I think we have a purple sprouting broccoli, a cauliflour and possibly a normal broccoli. Can't wait to see which is which- they look pretty much the same to me and I lost track of what I planted where.

Here a bunch of other things we have growing: 
1. Plums!! We were fortuante enough to already have a plum tree in the garden when we moved in. 
2a. Basil
2b. Lettuce (a bit sad looking, we are a bit belated in picking it, since it is the last of our lettuce crop)
2c. Spring onions. Finally... I think a planted these about 7months ago and they are only picking up growth now. 
3. Vines. I love them. They are so resillient. Ever winter they die off, but come back with a vengeance in spring, giving us an endless supply of leaves to make dolmades with.
4a. Bell peppers. Can't wait to try what they will be like. I have never grown peppers before.
4b. A pretty purple aubergine flower.  The plant only ahs one flower, but it is magnificent.  I hope it is happy and pollenated and there is a little aubergine growing under its closed petals. Mmmmm.

Parsley. Yum.

My potted cucumber. I also think cucumbers aren't that happy in pots, but at least I got to pick a cucumber today. The only one (so far).

Chillies! Our house is generally obsessed with chillies.  We started off with one "grow your own chillies" in an ugly silver bag from the 99p store, which have supplied us with a steady flow of cayennes for the past few months.  This success (and insatiable love for all things chilli) has inspired far more chilli planting.  At one stage we had 50 or so seedlings (some of which we still have, others my housemate has re-homed). Varieties this time include jalapenos, habaneros, chocolate habaneros, scotch bonnets, hot wax and twilight.  Our landlord, who is from bangladesh ( I think) noticed our enthusiasm and brought us a naga plant. Naga being one of the top hottest chillies, with a scoville rating of 855 000 - 1 400 000 (cayennes are between 30 000 and 50 000), so we will have some mega hot ones coming up. Hopefully.

And beans. Broad beans, purple climbing beans (stunted growth because of drastic slug attacks) and borlotti beans.  The broad beans were massively attacked by blackfly, but we still got a semi decent crop.

I also got some house plants to green up my room.  I don't have ideal growing conditions indoors, so I got some succulents and some other plant that isn't too fussed about its conditions.