The indoor gardener

Bath City Council is silent and there’s been no response to my breathlessly enthusiastic emails. It’s more than two months since they let me know I was top of the allotment waiting list but have still sent no news of progress. So I’ve had to keep my green fingers indoors and satisfy my gardening urge by sorting out my window boxes. (I’ve shamefully neglected them this year as I kept holding out for my own patch of earth.)

Finding some affordable box balls – and a friend willing to help me carry them home – has spurred me on the get the window boxes looking good again.  A Saturday afternoon of potting up old plants and adding the new has done just that. As you know, all this activity takes place on the bathroom floor, which is just as well as it was raining hard yesterday. Reaching through the windows to bring in pots was my only risk of getting wet.

I have four big window ledges to enjoy. Each belongs to a different room, and without a conscious decision, I’ve formed a very different scheme for each. Let me take you on a tour:

The living room boasts The Formal Garden, a scheme of box balls in two different sizes. They stand like a row of soldiers in their zinc containers. Some deep purple salvias have joined in too but it’s still a pretty regimented arrangement. (Sadly the golden days of my topiary hare are long gone, it proved a little windy for him and he had to be retired to my mum’s garden.)

Things get more casual by the time you reach the bedroom window. This is my Cottage Garden. I have a protective outer ‘hedge’ of lavender which shelters an insane number of tiny specimens arranged in no order whatsoever, each earning its place by its ability to fit into a teeny space. There’s even a little garden sculpture tucked in here, a clay head with house leeks for hair. My baby oak tree lives here too.

And then there’s the bathroom, very possibly my favourite. I laughingly refer to it as ‘The Derek Jarman Tribute Garden’, as I’ve gone for a seaside feel with pink thrift and gravel and shells. Well, it makes me smile to have a little piece of Dungeness in the middle of Bath. (And the urban gulls do decorate it for me every so often to keep up the seaside feeling!)

The fourth window ledge belongs to the kitchen, it’s my nursery bed and retirement area for plants that have seen better days and need a rest. I dream of a luscious herb collection for me to lean out and snip with ease as I cook but I fear the lead content would be too high as I live next to a main road. (No picture of this, I’m sure you’ll understand.)

I won’t be appearing in the Yellow Book any time soon and I’m afraid I don’t have space to serve you a cream tea but thank you for coming on my mini garden tour. I’m off to empty the dust and compost out of my  vacuum cleaner – or is that the indoor gardener’s compost heap?

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8 Comments

Filed under Growing

8 responses to “The indoor gardener

  1. Your photos are absolutely lovely, and if your future allotment is anything like as good as your windowsill gardens it’s going to be a prizewinner!

  2. How lovely your plants look, i love your Verbascum, do you know which variety it is? I also love your man with his Houseleek hair,it all looks so pretty. Watch out for box blight on your box balls, especially new plants. Hope you get your allotment soon, im sure it will be beautiful if your plant display is anything to go by.

    • Hi Katie, I have to admit that I don’t know the variety of the verbascum. I bought it at a flower show and found that I picked a pot with no label. Its quite an unusual colour and has stayed quite small, so it’s perfect for the window ledge. (They usually reach 50cm or more.) So sorry not be able to tell you more, thank you for your kind comments. Jenny

      • Hi Jenny, no worries about the Verbascum, i shall look out for it in the garden centres it is such a pretty colour and as you say a great size ours are massive in the garden. If i come across one i shall send you the name. Happy Gardening!
        Kate

  3. Your window ledges are fabulous, I love the terracotta head with its houseleek hairdo.
    Hope an allotment becomes available for you soon

  4. Marie Odell

    I loved looking at your window ledges and feel inspired to try your ideas. I have a small garden but a girl cant have to many plants. Good luck with the allotment.

  5. craftsbythesea

    I hope you get an allotment soon, we had to wait 6 years for ours. This year is going to be a bad growing year, not enough heat, rain at the wrong time………….etc

  6. Rosie

    Oh it looks lovely. Your photos are wonderful. I love the teeny succulents. We can’t put window boxes at the front of our house and the back window sills are shaded all day. I know I could grow things there but it hasn’t happened yet.

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