I am not a very good gardener. I am, however, very good at killing plants. Not always through neglect though. The last time I tried to keep a plant, I killed it within a month through over watering, because I was determined not to forget! Haha.
So when it came to the idea of building a little oasis in my corner of East London, it was quite simple... Buy plants that don't need any attention!!!!
I thought I'd enlist the help of my mum for this task, so I journeyed out into the Buckinghamshire countryside last weekend for a day of plants.
After much consultation of books, we decided on the types of plants I wanted, so then it was just a matter of finding the right varieties and a good specimen of each. We ended up visiting 3 different garden centres in order to get my new garden greenery. I have a patio at the back of my flat, so I also needed pots to put everything in.
So what did I end up with? Well it turns out that my love of the far east isn't restricted to just food! For the back I wanted some sort of palm tree, and found a nice Trachycarpus Fortunei which is native to central China. Apparently this grows really well in all parts of the UK surprisingly for a palm tree! For some colour, the next thing I got was an Acer Palmatum Atropurpureum, or Japanese Maple. This particular variant has striking red leaves and stems which is a great contrast to the other plants. Along side that, I got a Fargesia Murieliae, or Umbrella Bamboo. This is a bright green leafy bush plant that apparently grows really fast, so should work well in my little corner. Finally, I got a golden coloured ornamental grass. I would give the name of it, but I lost the label, so it shall forever be known as "grass". Anyway, it's a got green leaves which fade to golden towards the tips, and sits at the front of my potted arrangement. All of these plants are supposedly "hardy" and "evergreen", so unless I do something shockingly wrong like spray them with acid, I should be in for many years of planted pleasure!
I didn't just stop there though! I also set myself up with a small herb garden in a trough!
Anyone who follows my photo diary, twitter, or instagram will know I like to dabble in the kitchen from time to time. Mostly I cook Chinese, but I also do various British classics and also experiment a bit. So I thought I'd have a go at growing my own herbs. On that basis I now have a trough containing Basil, Thyme and Coriander, and then a separate pot (because apparently it will take over if you don't) with Mint in it. Will have to see how long it survives and whether I need to go back to buying it from the shops.
So there you have it. A little oasis of plant life in my little corner of East London.