This is going to be a funny re-introduction of the gardening section of this blog because, like many other little million of projects that I plan over time, this one got tossed to the side a little too fast. Nonetheless to say, it’s not like I didn’t think about it. As you can imagine… time was missing, brain space was missing, motivation was missing and a whole bunch of delicious excuses to just not come here and post my gardening updates. If you’re following me on social media like twitter & instagram, you’ve been kept sort of updated about what my gardens used to look like but, these posts are too temporary and don’t make as much impact as when you write them in a blog.
Which brings me to the goal of this article… what am I growing? We’re just starting February and why move to tomorrow what you can do today. It seem to be the general consensus as we start this new decade and many friends confessed that it’s been their resolution this year. Like them, I’ll try to embrace it and posting in this blog will go right back up to the top of the list… hopefully XD
What about you? Are you the kind who takes new year resolutions? If yes, what are them?
As far as gardening goes, up to date, a few seeds have been planted and yesterday, all these beautiful babies got a nice transplant to what will be their almost final homes. My goal is to transplant as least times as possible because it’s hard on the plant but ended up running out of dirt so a few of them will have to get an extra transplant a little later, before being able to go on the balcony.
In 2019 I’ve moved in to a new place which means that there’s also a lot of indoor real estate to cover. For the first time in my life, I decided to start growing regular green houseplants to make my surroundings prettier as I usually prefer to invest my time in to growing food, it’s been a fun adventure. A few plants had a hard time being babysat while I traveled to the Philippines (more on that in an upcoming post) but they are starting to slowly come back to life. The norfolk and the fittonia have been the two affected and lost most of their foliage. Obviously, since it’s February, not much growth will happen but I’m hoping they will pick up this summer and get back to a photo friendly looking plant shortly.
Lately, allow me to introduce you to what the garden looks like now while listing what has been planted in the vegetable and herbs category.
Genovese basil – The classic, very potent and with the potential of becoming a big bushing plant if you give it enough space and sun. In my best years growing basil, when this recipe for pesto powder (which is awesome btw, try it) was created, my plants grew in a super sunny location where there wasn’t a lot of wind. Never since that year was I ever able to grow incredible plants like this. That summer, so much basil leaves had to be dehydrated hence this recipe.
Japanese eggplants – All eggplants are my friends but, I do prefer the Japanese which is the long ones with a thinner skin and really perfect to marinate or ferment. Hoping to create pickles with some of them, next fall.
Orange bell peppers – This kind of a year round classic and my goal would be to keep the final plant indoor for next winter and maybe bonsai it so it takes less space. Truth to be told, I’ve never bonsai anything before and only has a minor understanding of how to proceed but that’s why the internet is there right?
“Oiseaux” peppers – This is small, spicy red pepper from Guadeloupe in the Caribbean which resemble to the bird eye chilis from Asia. Unlike their Asian doppelganger, the oiseaux (it means birds btw in French) peppers will grow downward and the taste is slightly different.
White sage – Overall it’s a gorgeous plant. Debating not even bringing it outdoor this summer and keep it all year long as an indoor decorative plant which also has culinary uses. It’s not a spice that you’ll find often in my cooking but it’s one that I aspire to use more.
Principe Borghese tomatoes – First time growing this variety, it makes small red tomatoes that are perfect for drying and this is exactly why I’m growing them. They apparently have a very rich tomato taste hence why the Italians are drying them to make powder. Never even thought about drying tomatoes to make powder, when I read this, it was a revelation.
Now here’s for the rest of the family which is not edible…
Green & white Fittonia – She had a rough month of November while I travelled but a few leaves started growing on the side and a few in the centre. Moral of the story, she like moisture VERY MUCH so I started misting her every other day and always make sure she doesn’t lack water without drowning her too much.
Hoya pubicalyx – By far my most active plant. She grows these lovely, waxy, almond shaped leaves that are super thick. Also, she reaches with these long arms that travels in all directions. No joke, she does a 360 with her arms every day! It’s so fun to look at and a nice reminder that she’s very alive. This is going to be a huge vine that’ll never stop growing so hoping to put it on the floor and let it climb up my shelves, once they will be installed. lol
Norfolk (Island pine) – This so gorgeous. It looks like a soft Christmas tree and a mix between a coniferous and a succulent. When it’s happy and healthy, the branches and the needles are very soft to the touch. Mine dried up last time I left on vacay and only two small branches are left. boohoo…
At least, these two branches are happy or seem to be. It’s probably hibernating, right now, and hopefully this summer it will pick up. Like Fittonia, it’s a plant that LOVE being mist and should be mist often. She also like a very well drained soil and shrimp compost.
Sedum morganianum – Also called Burro’s tail, donkey tail or Lamb’s tail is a big dangling string of oval bulb leaves with a pointy tip. Each of these little bubbly leaves have the possibility of creating new plants and often don’t even need much water as it will use the water inside the leave to start growing so creating cuttings of this one is super easy. My grand mother used to have a huge one in her living room and growing up, I used to be obsessed with it. Fairly fragile, you can’t really bump this one around too much because the bulbs will drop. It could be really cool in a head shaped planter as it will create these big braids coming out of the head that will look like hair. She doesn’t have a final pot yet and she’s resting in my bookshelf but, this is probably the plan for her.
Papyrus – Yup, that’s exactly what you’re thinking about. Papyrus is the plant used by the Egyptians to make paper! It grows super big and tall, the centre of the stem is used to make paper while it’s “bark” is used to make objects like sandals and bags. What’s really cool about it, something I’ve learned only afterward, is the leaves were also used to make perfumes! Not so sure if we still use their leaves for perfumes nowadays but it’s a pretty cool fact about our history with this plant. Right now, the Papyruses are upside down in a Masson jar and I’m waiting for them to make a lot more roots before transplanting them in to their final homes. They apparently like a very moist, almost drowned soil and rich sea compost like shrimps.
Snake plant – Another name for it would be a viper’s bowstring hemp. It grows upward but mine is such a baby, she hasn’t started going up yet. Funny enough, today, I’ve noticed a tiny sister plant on the side!! This only means that she’ll need a transplant very soon because the pot she’s in now will be too small. I’ll definitely keep you updated the second she starts going up.
Spider plant – This is kind of a classic. A friend gave me a cutting from one of his plant and it’s just been happy and growing ever since. She’s already in her forever home in a beautiful yellow pot and I’m looking forward to see her create these long arms with tiny plants at the tips and make her dangle from a shelf.
English Ivy – Another classic vine that grows these nicely shaped leaves and possible to find in three colours. I bought the most basic dark green one for my bedroom as it’s also one of the top plants to keep in your bedroom that aren’t dangerous for your health. The plan is to put her suspended in front of the window in a nice macrame hanger. The pot and macrame have been purchased but not installed yet so she’s kind of crawling, right now, around all the objects on my windowsill and I’m wondering how this will affect the look of the final plant.
Devil’s Ivy – The last classic apartment plant. This is a never ending vine that just keep on going, that’s super easy to take care of and that you can make cuttings at almost every centimetres. I’ve taken four cuttings from my sister’s plants and looking forward to see them grow and fall everywhere this summer.
The following ones, I’m afraid to not have a name for them! If you can help identify, it would be incredible.
…and that’s it for the complete tour of what’s growing in my house on this semi grey afternoon of February 2020.
What are you growing in your homes?