The nurture side of the HPL rules has been lacking – my little Brixton garden was looking shockingly bare and weedy, I’ve had several plant fatalities (turns out basil isn’t quite as hardy as I previously thought) and I’ve not put enough time and effort into looking after it all. But a visit from mi madre, some time taken out of busy London life, and I’ve managed to make the garden look lovely in the space of one weekend AND got a suntan in the process. Here’s how:
1. Go to a good local garden centre where there are people on hand to tell you which plants are hardy, can live in crap soil in the shade without regular watering, etc, and who can help lug your compost and plants to your car. We went to Croxted Road garden centre in Herne Hill on Sunday afternoon and were really pleased with it – loads of choice, cheap and healthy plants, lovely people working there who can answer all your questions, and easy parking.
2. Pick a mix of different plants for your garden/windowbox. My choices were based on (i) things that don’t die easily (budlea, hydrangea and mint which apparently grow like weeds, perfect) (ii) things I like cooking with (mint and parsley) and (iii) a mix of colours, textures, ferns and flowers to make things interesting.
What I bought sitting in my garden ready to plant: mint, parsley, lavender, a ferny tree thing, budlea, hydrangea, a green plant thing and a red fern thing
3. Get a glass of wine/beer, roll up your sleeves, work out where you’re going to put things, plant them and water them. Then sit back and admire your fabulous handiwork and enjoy your lovely garden! You should probably water at least once a week and add fertiliser every few months.