Monday, 30 May 2016

Zero waste gardening in London

Eight years after moving to London from Paris, I feel like I'm at a turning point in my life. I'm becoming someone who enjoys gardening. Not only that but I'm even thinking about starting a diary to keep track of what's going on in my garden. Damn! How did that happen? 

The logic is simple. Having an outdoor space is a precious resource. Like any other resources, it shouldn't go to waste. Saying that, gardening is not a chore on my to-do list. I enjoy being outside. After spending a couple of hours sorting some garden waste or doing some weeding, I feel refreshed. Being surrounded by waist-high wild flowers gives you a different perspective on the world - especially when you live in a very urban part of London. 

There are lots of wild poppies in my garden at the moment. 

So I took advantage of today's bank holiday (jour férié, in French) to repot all my house plants in the garden. I get a lot of joy looking at my succulents, for example. Plus, plants are not just pretty. They are useful (watch Kamal Meattle's TED talk below). Take spider plants. They do an amazing job at cleaning indoors air. So it's only fair that I return my spider plant the favour by repotting it once a year, as I recently learned reading The Thrifty gardener by Alys Fowler


I had fun grouping all the repotted plants together for a "family portrait". 

To indulge in my new hobby I only used a couple of gardening tools and some compost. I bought a big bag of multipurpose compost for less than £7 (I only used a fifth of it, maximum). I didn't need to buy any pots. I used some of the empty pots that we've found in the garden. They were pots hiding in every corner of the place when we moved in. We also inherited a fig tree from the previous owners. It's in a pot and there are a few very small figs on it. 



Talking about exotic fruit, I've started growing from seed not one, not two but three avocado plants this week. I hope that they will all sprout and that I'll be able to give a couple of them to family and friends. It would be a great zero waste present for someone, one day. "The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now." (Chinese proverb). 


Interested in finding out more about air purifying plants? Watch the TED talk given by Kamal Meattle.