We only live once…?

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In this day dedicated to trying-to-relax-because-I-need-to-store-some-energies (I’m working overnight tonight and I’m dreading it!), I decided that it was time for my guys to move on a little, and start to take some risks. Cause at the end, as the song from The Strokes (I know, I know, let me have a least 1 “teenager moment” on this suppa cool blog!) rightly says, “you only live once” maybe, and just in case, it was time for the boys and girls to toughen up a little and start facing the real world of a rough London Balcony!

So, first step, and I’m still quite shocked after living an-almost-with-a-tear-coming-down-from-my-eye kind of moment, I finally divided the two amazing courgettes girls that were doing so so great. My hands are still shacking a little as the whole operation was quite delicate and I was (and still am) very scared of ruining them, or worse, kill them! Gosh, if I felt like a surgeon trying not to make a too dangerous manoeuvre…When trying to separate them, though I was making sure to do everything really slowly and as much delicately as possible, I had to tore a little bit apart some roots because they were entangled together really tightly…!!!! 😦 Gosh, I really hope I didn’t ruin the amazing job they’ve been doing all this spring.. Anyway, here they are, the 2 girls finally separated and (hopefully) enjoying more room…

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The older and bigger sister, enjoying a fresh new pot!

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the smaller sister, finally having the whole room for herself!

Time to move outdoor and finally in bigger pots also for the two sunflowers guys, which are still waiting the real sun to finally come out in their entire beauty (will that day ever come…?):

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And, to put some joy in this risky “moving day”, it looks like we will be finally able to enjoy some strawberries by the end of this week:

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Check them out!! Oh yeah baby!

 

To conclude, a beautiful picture taken last night from the Balcony, a powerful, colourful sunset in this Londoner sky to bless the guys out there!

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Enjoy your risks everyone!!! And let’s hope for the best 🙂

An almost-solved mystery…

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A week full of sunshine and happiness just passed over the sky and faces of London, and its benefits are totally exposed this week on the balcony! The boys and girls out there have enjoyed a week of warmth and sun, and they are starting to explode in all their beauty. But enough about the weather, someone made me realised that I’m becoming more and more English by always posting comments about the weather in this crazy country, so let’s move on..

It was a week of new experiences and new starts, both for me and the guys out there! Whilst climbing on real rocks for the first time this week at Harrison’s Rocks and having my first bloody-hell-how-freezing-is-this plunge in the Hampstead Heath Pond amongst ducks, I realised how difficult and tiring it must be for the guys trying to climb out in the real world every day, having to cope with the cold temperature that sometimes, like the pond, can freeze your balls (even if you don’t have them!). But, nevertheless, this is what the balcony looks like by now!

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Soooo, first of all, the magic-and-so-much-missed sun managed to actually start solving the mystery in of the Mystery Pot guys!! Yes, finally something IS actually coming out of that pot, and though it doesn’t look fuchsia at all at the moment, it seems to promise great and strong results!! So, the moment we were all waiting for has finally arrived….

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The Mystery Pot is finally revealed!!!

So, I’m calling all of you great gardener and green thumbs out there.. what plant do you think this is???

Another happy front comes from the courgettes guys. Both the one in the new-and-so-much-wider pot and the ones in the little pot…hold on, maybe I didn’t inform you about my latest failure with the courgette and the consequent second trial of growing some more. Anyway, after realising that only 2 plants would have made it through the initial stage, I decided to plant 2 more seeds indoor and at least hope to have 4 plant in total for the “summer”/autumn.. So, the one outside, after a week of sun loo like that now

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Looking pretty awesome!!

And here again, I ask you experts out there with thumbs greener than mine, how do you think I should separate the 2 of them, that to me look too close together to grow freely…?

An the 2 new seeds-addcictions in the little pot finally decide to show their heads and beauty last week!

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Dont’ you find it amazing how they grow, in the sense that they grow pushing the seed out of the soil and literally stripping themselves from it? I’m amazed by them!

And, to keep up with the expectations coming from their names, the sunflowers, actually able to enjoy the company of their best friend “the sun”, are growing stronger and with some new leaves!

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Last but not least, the almost-ready-for-the-next-marathon runner beans, promising great flowering and fruits

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Higher and higher

….and the oh-my-god-we-are-so-going-to-eat-some-strawberries-next-weekend strawberry plants!!

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I can see some nice jam coming out of there, maybe just enough for one scone…!

To conclude with a not-so-positive note, the sage had to come out of the amazing engineered greenhouse (the tops of the plants were touching the roof…) so I ahd to remove them from that sweet and cozy shell, and they don’t look so happy about it anymore…

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not looking good I’d say…

Since I LOVE sage, please guys, any any TIP about how to make them better or ameliorate their condition would be more than welcome!!! So green thumbs out there, ANY TIPS FOR MY MISERABLE SAGE?

Where’s My neighbour Totoro?

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Another grey and rainy sky reigning above London today… And on days like this we all become a little bit nostalgic of those amazing sunny, warm days that once upon a time used to be called “summer”! Especially if you happen to live in a crazy country where, 2 days ago, and I say 2, we had an amazing sunny day with temperatures reaching 20 degrees…could you believe that toady, in Queens Park, the view from the balcony is this one…?

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what a miserable view for the boys and girls on the balcony…!

Sooo, fellow gardener, on days like this, who wouldn’t like to have Totoro living next door and coming overnight to help you doing exactly THIS:

Few days ago, at the Prince Charles Cinema (and those londoners of yours reading this should know how amazing that cinema is!) whilst watching My Neighbour Totoro, I almost cried of joy when I saw this scene, and I started daydreaming about having him coming to my balcony and helping me getting these guys out of the soil!! 🙂

Anyway, to show how absolutely urban-londoner-style these guys have become, just have a look at what few rays of magic Sun (apparently quite a big star in our universe which is said to generate something called warmth…not sure though…!) have done last Monday to the sunflowers and parsley! They too, like proper londoners, undressed themselves of few layers and came out to enjoy the so-rare-to-even-remeber-it-exists sun:

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doing unexpectedly great at the moment

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They are really a properly flowers of the sun!

And how cute is the really small little sprout of sage that is making its way to earth int he so-amazingly-engineered greenhouse I built?

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It’s just a beginning, but I couldn’t help but posted it, it’s so cute!

So, still dreaming of a huge Totoro knocking at my door to give me a hand growing the guys, I’ll leave you to the rain….woop!

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Gone with the wind…

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Dear all, bit of a sad news in this post today. Though the sun is shyly trying to shine on London today, we are experiencing some pretty miserable and freezing-cold weather in this totally crazy place.. so no wonder some of the boys and girls on the balcony are giving up. And that is really really sad.. unfortunately not even my super-iper-green thumb could defeat the craziness of this strange season we are experiencing this year… being so green as never before it tried to fight with every weapon known to thumbs, but it was a miserable defat. And one beloved courgette plant is literally “Gone with the wind” in these last days, succumbing to the to-strong-to-handle wind we had out there on the balcony…

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…whilst one is bravely resisting the weather, the other one is definitely dead… 😦

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My heart is breaking up just looking at this!! so so so sad…

On the happy side though, the guys are still running at a great speed on the balcony, and they seem to have fallen in love completely with their Dorset sticks, entangling their lives with them, as to become one!

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So, since my runner beans and other boys and girls are giving me some kind of satisfaction still, as they would properly say in the movie, even if the courgette plant is gone with the wind…..FRANKLY, MY DEAR, I DON’T GIVE A DAMN!

 

Everybody needs something to hold on to…

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It MUST be a very grey and not-so-happy day here in London if I decided that the title of this post should have been inspired by Celine Dion…(I admit I used to love her back in the days of Titanic…shame..!)!! In fact, yes guys, I’m feeling pretty blue and rubbish today, but luckily enough I have my boys and girls from the garden balcony to help me going through this very miserable and so-weather-dependent mood..

Sooooo, first let me start with an apology to all my readers. Some of you made me notice that, “though what you write is brilliant and so amusing”, I do actually a lot of little spelling mistakes and ok-I’m-not-a-native-English-speaker-though-I’m-pretending-I-am-since-I-write-in-English errors. And I’m a firm believer that there’s is nothing worse than having to read something full of little mistakes…so please accept my apologies, I’ll try my best, possibly WordPress spelling check is not the best, I have to say, or maybe it just gave up on me! The only thing I can say in my defence is that all these mistakes are driven by the immense urge I have to share what I think with all of you (yes Daria, climb a little bit more that mirror…) and so many times (the ones of you that know me in person would definitely agree with what I’m about to say..) I let my Italian passion and urge to tell, tell, tell, write,write,write taking over the I’m-still-in-the-process-of-aquiring English and mature habit of thinking (and in this case, reading) twice before spilling all out on this blog! So, sorry guys, I’ll behave 🙂

Anyway, enough of this not-gardening-related bullshits (!), let’s get dirty and finally reveal the reason behind Celine Dion’ quotation. Last Sunday, trying to avoid the constant grey cloud that seemed to reign over Queens Park, we made some really excellent changes to the balcony, that now looks like this

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How urban-chic!

Aaaaaand, drums rolls please, the runner beans have been moved outside to their final home for this season!! And they finally have “something to hold on to”!!

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come on guys, let’s just hold on to that amazing piece of Dorset stick!

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They are the perfect addition to the balcony, and hopefully the wind won’t blow the whole thing over (yes, it’s pretty windy out there on the balcony).

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Also, another flowery plant (as usual, my technical gardening knowledge is absolutely perfect…) that was kept indoor in the last few months, has been transferred outdoor in an amazingly pink pot, to give hope, joy and company to the beans-guys

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Probably it’s a kind of purple daisy plant I reckon…?

At the end it has been a pretty productive Sunday (cleaning and gardening frenzy!) though a little stroll at the Queens Park Farmer Market showed me some pretty bad-ass plants and pots from a REAL gardener and I discovered that my sunflowers are a little bit behind… but hey! There’s still a whole SUMMER (pleeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaase!) yet to come to London!

Where’s the summer sun gone..?

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Grey day, grey news to start with… Boys and girls, I’m afraid I have to give up the mystery pot. Yes, I know,it’s a big shame because I hoped to get some very fuchsia movement out of that pot, but unfortunately I think I have to admit my defeat in front of the what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-you London weather and say goodbye to my very first experiment. How how how deeply sad to have to depart from a pot that excited my first steps into this gardening process…! Anyway, judge for yourselves and see what you think:

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Sadly I think the fuchsia mystery ends here guys…as someone suggested, the sprouts that I thought would have turned up to be beautiful flowers, could be only horrible weed…. 😦

What do you think I should do? I hate to give up on one of my babies.. I feel such a horrible murderer-mother like..

On the brighter side though, first please welcome a new addition to the garden balcony, which for the moment I’m protecting from the terrible orch called London weather by keeping it indoor…ladies and gentlemen, the GREEK BASIL!!

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Beautifully green and so so tasty!

Bought it with the idea of having amazing summer caprese salads..yeah..keep dreaming Daria!

Also some nice little pics of strawberries, salads, rose bush, running-like-mad beans and sage, which are all doing great:

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Gosh, how fast are these guys running??!!

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waiting to be moved in a bigger flat this sunday…

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no need for comments, just amazing!

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I can already see myself cooking some amazaball “saltinbocca alla romana” with a huge leaf of sage this autumn!!

Also, here we finally have the plants that at the moment are reflecting exactly my mood and behaviour when facing this what’s-wrong-with-having-summer London weather: sunflowers.

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The guys were doing absolutely great in those too-far-away-to-remeber sunny days that we amazingly had few weeks ago in London (yeah, we had them, trust me, I know it’s hard to believe it, but we had some amazing summer days…). So, very much like myself, they felt the warm, they saw the sun, they believed in summer again, and they decided to show their heads and beauty to the world by sprouting out of the ground… Whilst they were coming out in all their beauty, turning towards the sun, me as well I was waxing my whole body, buying new summery ballerinas and skirts, getting an early tan in the park turned towards the sun, believing in the dream called “summer is finally here and it’s going to be a hot-almost-mediterrenean one!”…no, nope, no luck guys…after few days here we go again, all fall back into the misery of grey and rainy days, freezing our “culi”(in Italian sounds less of a bad word!) out in a miserable, cold weather, forgetful about summer warmth… Soooooo…wax back in the cupboard, ballerinas and skirts back in the drawers, woollen jumpers back out, I started again keeping my head well plunged in a wintery scarf (gosh, I can’t believe myself and what I’m writing, it’s bloody May/June!!!…) and the sunflowers guys decided not to grow anymore, for the moment keeping their beautifully flowers inside themselves and opting for a low profile kind of sprouting, plunging their heads well inside their wintery soil-scarf… Very much like myself, waiting for the summer to flower again! So, while the beans are running like mad towards the sky, they sunflowers are taking a break for the moment…

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come on guys, keep on growing and spreading the summer dream all over the balcony!!

And to close the post with hopefully positive stuff, I followed the precious advice of a friend and reader of this crazy blog, and I gave the parsely a second chance by creating a little homemade greenhouse in order to keep them warm and covered. Apparently this is how parsley prefers to grow and live, so hopefully with this new veeeeeeery technical and amazingly engineered greenhouse we will see some parsley-love spreading around in a few weeks time….?

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I know I know….better than an architect I am!

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what a green house…! -_-

Thanks for the tip Sophie!

Moving to a new house and all the frills..

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On this day that I decided would be dedicated to the horrible concept of aesthetic (for some work-related reasons I unfortunately discovered this morning to what extreme aesthetic appearance can be pulled when it comes to our society…ok, I admit, I’ve been rejected because my hair weren’t “perfect enough”…….), finally something to honestly say: how aesthetically beautiful!

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I realised I never give them enough credit for making the balcony looking even prettier, but the lavender, the rosemary and the oregano are doing great!!

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The beans are still running in front of everybody else!

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even more pinkish than last time! Love them!

On a sad day like this, I’m even more thankful to have my little gems on the balcony to help me bringing up my mood! They are all doing great, and most important, they look perfectly “groomed”, as nowadays this seems to be one of the most important characteristic required to be successful…forget the brain, why do you have in the first place anyway? Useless organ.. -_-

Remarkable day also for the courgettes, which finally decided to opt for the “two it’s better than three” choice, and after considerations about how small the new house would have been for three, decided to go “duo” and moved to the new house, ready for the not-sure-you-will-see-any-of-that London summer…! Think positive!

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Finally moved to a proper flat, or better said, house!

At last!

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Here we go again, after a little absence due to many factors (work, sickness, horribly broken phone…) amongst which it is worth mentioning the fact that I spent my last bank holiday weekend in the place that originally gave me the inspiration for my gardening  and the now-not-so-green thumb: Dorset! So for the joy of all, here it is what inspires me and probably represents my final aim once I figure out how to transform a balcony in an amazing real garden (keep dreaming Daria…):

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amazing inspiration from Dorset, and please note the t and the g are capital letters! 😉

So now you can imagine how green and oh-my-god-come-on-let’s-plant-an-entire-farm-on-a-London-balcony I felt when I came back! Unfortunately, another reality was waiting for me back at home… yes, the girls and boys have done absolutely great during my absence and I got some amazingly huuuuuuuge gems out of the beans and the courgettes…buuuuut:

1- The above mentioned gems were found in the middle of a horribly huge amount of weed. Now I have to thank one of my reader and friend who wisely suggested me which one was weed and which one was the real sprout, otherwise, because I’m such a professional and wise gardener, I would have violently cut off the gems for the weed. Anyway, this is what I found on my way back home:

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ehm..yes..I actually thought the smallish sprouts were the good ones and the big gems just weed…………murderer!

2- Unfortunately my green thumb doesn’t seem to work very well with herbs, as for the second time I have been pretty unlucky with at least two of the little pots of parsley:

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…I was wisely suggested to maybe buy herbs already grown and just plant them..so so sad…

Anyway, on the brighter and happier side, this is what I got at the moment, and this is how my babies decided to show me all their love even if I cruelly abandoned them for 3 days

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Courgettes and runner beans on the go! Well done guys! (yes please, pretend not to notice the pot in the centre, which looks more like the valley of death…)

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So they can actually grow even if they are planted in such a sun-less country!

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Very proud of my babies!

Last but not least, a new addition on the balcony, all the way from magic Dorset! Ladies and gentlemen, salad for all!

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Aaaaaaaaaand, please let’s have a drum roll for the other big star playing on the actual balcony, proud and resistant to all kind of weather conditions, this year again it’s flowering in all her beauty…The Rose Bush!

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finally seeing some pink!

I’ll leave you here for the moment, with the thought of finally moving the courgettes and runner beans in their proper bigger pots (they started showing roots through the coir pots, and they are ready to take a big step forward in the whole process!). So stay tuned and possibly by next week I’ll be able to show some pretty bad-ass vases of courgettes and runner beans!

Feels like summer!

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In this sunny, sunny, help-me-to-stress-how-sunny summer day (I even dared cycling in a sleeveless top and still, I was quite hot!) and beginning of what looks like an amazing bank holiday weekend,  the balcony is sprouting, flowering and much more in all its beauty! And to stress the fact that IT IS ACTUALLY LONDON SUMMER the sunflowers pots started sprouting some greenish I-follow-this-londoner-summery-sun little gems, which again are making me really proud:

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Checking out the ray of sun

But ladies and gentlemen, for you I have still two huge starlets ruling down the whole balcony scene…. First of all, the magic runner beans! Yes yes yes, they are making their way up in the world, and nothing seems to stop them:

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Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand, to end with a bang and show off my green thumb, ladies and gentlemen, finally the mystery pot is producing its gems!!… Ok ok, though it’s still definitely too early to guess what on earth I planted in that pot, I think the times for early bets could start. So here you go, the amazing mystery sprouts of a hopefully-fuchsia mystery plant:

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If you look carefully you can see two sprouts on the top left-ish corner…

Soooo, with the sunny bank holiday weekend waiting for me to roll down to Dorset, I start feeling really bad and guilty about leaving my “babies” for 3, and I say 3, days alone, without love… I almost thought of bringing them with me (yes, almost like a pet, and let’s not think about how I’d be if only I had a real one…), but then I thought that it wouldn’t have been “properly English” to turn up to someone’s place with a handful of pots, sprouts, the-first-found-in-the-cupboard boxes and what not. So, regretfully and with my heart full of sorrow and guilt, I’ll have to leave them to the bank holiday oblivion (how cruel) and hope for the best…maybe I’ll leave a picture of myself next to the balcony so they won’t feel left behind! (Now this…here…ehm…this is starting to sound really really worrying…!). Any suggestion on the how-to-keep-them-watered front?

Have a great weekend everyone!

Three is better than one

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Very happy morning today!

After my morning little run in the Park (Queens Park, and yes, I started running again, since I have only 2 months to sculpture my body as a greek statue before showing it off in Sardinia in July, and at present I’m dreading the “swimming costume” moment…) I came back and checked on my balcony garden, and look what a nice surprise I found on the herbs front…

Not one, not even two, but THREE little gems coming out this morning!

Our little parsley managed to straighten its head up from the soil and produced these 3 marvellous gems, with one in the front ready to come out soon. And, in order to keep up with the competition, look who’s finally peeping out from the pot:

The first sprout of sage coming out of the pot

This is the result of two exceptionally sunny days in London, and I’m pretty proud of my herbs. As true Londoners would do, they are also popping their heads out, stripping themselves of useless layers of soil (or clothes) as soon as the first ray on sun reaches this freezing land of England! Well done guys!… Well done Londoners!