Green fingers

Once upon a time…

So, the sun has been beaming down on Berlin for months. I have to say, the weather here is so much better than at home. It definitely rains more here, but it seems to soak the earth like crazy during the night when I’m fast asleep anyway, and there is none of that irritating drizzle. I have an umbrella but I have only carried it in my bag once during the entire 8 months we have been here – crazy!

So with this in mind, I thought it was time to try my luck with gardening.

I guess I’m hoping that my mother’s green fingers were automatically sown into me. In Japan, I remember sitting at my desk when a little older lady came to my office, telling everyone she was going to plant watermelons in her garden. As bizarre as it sounds, I literally turned around in my seat and introduced myself, saying I would love to help her. It’s a strange story, but she instantly became one of my absolute favourite people in the world. Her name is Shizuka, which means quiet, but she is anything but silent. She chats away to everyone and anyone.

Let me tell you about her garden:

It’s huge! There are rows and rows of Japanese tea growing in perfect triangles. Every kind of salad can be found alongside herbs, pumpkins, aubergines, beans, carrots, potatoes, peaches, grapes… She even has bees and honey! I could go on and go. We would have parties and barbecues in her garden and when the food ran out, she would just go and pluck some more fresh produce. When we successfully grew enormous and juicy watermelons I couldn’t believe it. They were divine. The gardening seed had been planted into my mind.

Once back in England, I tried it alone. I managed to grow salad and rocket and spring onions. I remember looking through the window in awe at the little green edible stash in excitement. The next day I would start eating them… or so I thought. I woke up and literally every single morsel had been devoured by slugs. I found them lying on the soil, all fat and full. I had decided not to put pesticides out, as I wanted to produce something natural, without the help of human intervention. It failed. I had nothing to eat at all.

Now I am trying again. I am cheating a little, as we don’t have a garden, just a balcony. So we are being resourceful… I have cut long lines into a soil bag and planted lettuce, rocket, spinach and parsley. In the pots are flowers and sunflowers. I hope it grows… watch this space!

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  1. Her garden sounds like a dream! I really hope you keep at it as you will find each and every year the garden will bring you new joys and obstacles. I have yet to get slugs, but have had bunnies eat all my parsley in one day and well as eating every tulip flower right off the top when they were ready to open. ugh. I had successes and major failures too (tried garlic once, and each head only grew 2 cloves on each one!) and my potatoes were sooooo tiny my hubby and I ate them all in one sitting roasted. They were yummy but the size of a large marble. Happy planting to you!!

    • I’m actually very excited to see how green my fingers are… I have to say I was so disappointed when I found everything had been eaten by slugs last time, but hopefully that won’t happen this time… I remember when Jason’s dad came over to our place in London and was impressed at our potato growing skills. Little did he know that it wasn’t us who had planted those potatoes – I have no idea where they came from – haha! Let’s hope for bumper crops this year :)

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