We Have An Allotment Plot!!

Long before the idea of moving to Wales was even in the picture, I once asked my husband about the possibility of us getting an allotment plot. His answer wasn’t very encouraging. He thought that since there were many people wanted to get themselves an allotment plot, it would take years before we were even considered for the plot.

However, last year, just after my visa was approved in December, I thought I would have years in this country anyway. So, why not just give it a try?

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To my surprise, an e-mail came to me last month when I was in Indonesia. Only few weeks after I applied for the plot, I was told that there was a space available for me. If I was surprise, my husband reaction was even more shocked. He never thought that the city council could do it this fast for us.

My husband offered to get the ball rolling when I was in Indonesia. He was more excited than I did.

Our plot was horribly abandoned by the previous renter. Overgrown, and full of rubbish, we only have several weeks until the council send someone to inspect the progress. Last weekend, we had the chance to see, and do something about it.

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Are we going to get something growing this summer? Let’s hope so 😀

x ❤ x

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I Think Summer Is Over

Or at least, I hope so…

I know… I know how ungrateful that sounds for so many people. I realised that in this country people likes the sun, and the warmth and everything, so I know that hoping the summer to be over is not very… British — as how my DH would put it. Oh well…

But still. I am glad that the last couple of days it was cooler, even borderline chilly. I was happy that it was raining too, for so many many many reasons.

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Happy Poppies

My plants are happy with a little weather change there, my tomatoes, poppies… everything just so happy that finally they are not overheated. I am happy that with the rain, there were no football games either.

Pssh… Doesn’t matter how often my DH told them to be careful where they kick those balls… I really wish next year we can move somewhere where we could have a proper garden and better neighbour…

Anyway… I just realised I haven’t written anything for a month! And how rude of me to just barge in and rant about the weather and the neighbour and all that. Apologies.

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where are the red tomatoes?

I have to say that it had been way to warm for me to knit, but I did some progress though — in cooking, baking and especially gardening. I harvested my tomatoes, and they’re wonderful in salads and food. And boy do they taste wonderful.

Not only that they’re fresher (just picked that very morning), and pesticides free (because I don’t use any of those). It is also very satisfying to see them grow… just for YOU! Wonderful isn’t it?

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they are here! harvested, and ready to be cooked… and eaten

Since the summer is almost over, I started to collect some seeds from my flowers too. I imagine that next year, whether I will stay in the UK, or sent back to Indonesia, I would be able to grow these wonderful flowers again.

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Anyway… Does anyone know how do you harvest poppy seeds? I quite like the flowers…

 

How (Not) To Be A Good Neighbour…

My neighbours just had a row today.

I don’t like it.

Things like that always made me feel anxious — especially when I was caught in between the parties in dispute. Well… not exactly caught in the middle, but was in an extremely close proximity, and definitely wasn’t a comfortable distance from where it happened.

Ah… there’s unfortunately no shortcut to tell this story, so bear with me while I am telling you the background of the story. I will keep it very brief.

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our garden view from the inside

I have a very dear neighbour, she is a 80-something year old lady who was a friend of my husband’s late mother. Last year her son died because of medical negligence, and only won the case few weeks ago — yes you can even find the story on the newspaper. In the memory of his son, she planted a beautiful rose bush — understandably she is very particular about that flower bush.

Now, I live in a complex, where we shared communal garden. Even though there is a sign “no ball games”, the sign was only put in a certain area. Two areas that is not covered by that sign was in our back garden (mine and this lady’s), and the neighbouring block’s back garden — where their residences’s kids often plat football games there.

woops... that's the ball, and look... those are my tomatoes!!

woops… that’s the ball

To be honest, there’s nothing wrong with children playing outside. It is good, considering there are a lot of kids whose worlds were only their room and their tv or computer. It is refreshing to see kids being active. But these kids are more than active. They’re slightly… well…

When the summer holiday started, and they were out with their ball, my husband has told them to be careful where they’re kicking. When I came back from Indonesia two weeks ago, two of my tomato pots was broken. My neighbour reported to me that she has reminded them as well, but only two days ago I found my courgette plant was half snapped.

And look… whose ball was found next to it?

well well... that's the ball again... looking shifty next to my courgette

well well… that’s the ball again… looking shifty next to my limpy and sad courgette plant

The ball has hit my neighbour’s windows and front door several times already at that time — which really worried and annoyed her. But the last straw was today when the ball hit the rose bush. THE rose bush.

My neighbour took away the ball, and the kid’s dad went to her. She refused to give the ball back without giving the father a long speech about respect for other people’s property, etc. The father started yelling at her, and then started to swear as well. I mean… seriously, yelling at a 80 year old lady over a ball?

I am not a kind of person who complains about my tomatoes or my courgette — although both my husband and my neighbour told me to file a complain about it, because direct confrontation often set off my anxiety. But I do feel that the father being angry to us while his kid was the one being unruly? Really?

Do you have neighbour from hell like this one?

x ❤ x

One Mystery is Solved

Remember the mysterious plant we were wondering about few weeks ago? Well, now since the aforementioned plant is already blooming, I can tell you what it actually is.

Although, before I tell you what it is, could you guess?

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Yes?

Well… a gardening enthusiast might have known it already, but for those who haven’t been able to guess what it is. This is Nigella flower.

I know. I have never seen anything so cute and colourful before either — they are blue, pink, purple, white… So wonderful. I have four pots like that, put two indoor, in the windowsill, and two outdoor in my vertical garden. The indoor plants just blooming like crazy while the ones outdoor are just… green. Don’t know why.

Anyway… There you go. One mystery solved.

x ❤ x

From Farm To Fork…

Well.. in my case it is actually from Garden to Gut, but that doesn’t sound pretty, does it? I harvested the young leaves of my Bok Choy, or Pak Choi — I am of Chinese descent but I still am not sure how to pronounce this Asian themed vegetable.

Some of the leaves were munched by something, and I am not sure what has munched my leaves. Some said that slightly munched vegetable leaves means it is free from pesticides. But… still I am not happy about my something eating my veggies without my permission. That’s thievery…

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After washing them out, I am left with beautiful fresh looking baby Pak Choi leaves. Not a lot to start with, but I wish it will change in the future (next harvest). I decided to make something out of it.

Tada…

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Stir fry is one of the most common way to cook things in our culture. My grandmother basically stir fry everything. I think she believes that stir frying things is the best way to keep the nutrients in the food, because the meat — in this case I had chicken, will be cooked first, and the vegetables would be flash cooked (so quick, it didn’t even realise that it’s actually being cooked).

Sooo excited. Especially because of my courgette is start flowering too. Really can’t wait to harvest this one too. Eek!!

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x ❤ x

More! More Flowers!!

My garden is doing well lately. Especially after few sunny days, it seems like everything is blooming, or at least budding. The chamomiles which has bloomed last week, is now going crazy. I had to make a prop from barbecue skewer to keep them growing upwards instead of.. everywhere else.

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And then, the violets. Viola? Violet?

What do you call this? I was told that it is called violet, but when I googled a bit, some call it viola. Viola tricolour. And apparently it is edible.

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I have eaten so many things — coming from Indonesia where everything could be magically made into food, not much food-wise could surprise me. But eating flower? I have never done it. Extract? Yes, a bit of lavender or rose, and it gave a nice touch to desserts, but not munching the whole flower.

Is it safe? It seems too cute to be eaten.

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Oh… Do you know what else is cute? Bok Choy‘s flower! I didn’t know that they would look like that. It is quite decorative apparently. I thought they were just all about edible leaves — never expected anything quite that beautiful.

You know what?

The first time I decided to garden, all I could think of is something to keep me busy, and at the same time could help with the groceries. You know, when you have a vegetable garden you could grow your own food, and… unlimited salad. But, now that I have seen flowers, I kind of understand what my dad told me earlier this month…

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“It is a good thing [gardening]. It makes you happy when you see that your hard work pays…”

x ❤ x

 

The First Bloom

Have I told you that I have never grown anything before in my life. When I was studying at UEA, I might have one pot plant that survives about three months, but that doesn’t count. I mean, I didn’t grow it, I just kept it for a while, until it finally died on me.

My lettuce was definitely my first gardening achievement. But flowers…

This is too awesome.

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I mean… I didn’t get gardening before. My mum has her own orchid garden in Indonesia, but I was never interested in knowing anything about it before. Now that I have a garden (albeit small), I can understand the appeal. It is quite magical really…

Oh… that little white flower is the first flower I have grown. It is camomile. Don’t ask me what kind of camomile it was because I grew it from teabags of Morisson’s camomile tea which I have never drunk — I did once, and that’s enough for me to decide that I quite hate it.

Okay. Stop talking about hate. Spread the love.

Talking about spreading love and all. Do you think you could help me with this? This is not a quiz, it is just me being a confused noob gardener.

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This. What is this?

I planted this weeks ago, and when it grew I started to realise that I have planted so many things in similar looking pots. And I didn’t label any of those. Eek!! Now that it has grown, I just… don’t know what that is. I might do this a lot in near future. But just in case there is an expert gardener out there who has seen something like this, could you please tell me what this is? Please?

x ❤ x