Saturday, 25 March 2017

Super Seedlings

At the moment I am really enjoying growing plants from seed for my balcony. Most of the seedlings are doing well, but I have some science based queries and observations.

One of the sunflowers has three leaves instead of two, is this a cell division thing?
Why does the nasturtium not produce the plain 'baby leaves'?
Why do plants make plain 'baby leaves' before they make their distinctive leaves?
Why are seeds such different sizes, from giant sunflowers down to speck like mint?

Answers appreciated for budding (groans) plant scientist.

Friday, 17 March 2017

London Backyard

This is the house opposite my bedroom window. I wish they would make more effort with the back yard. 
London house are interesting because they often look quite orderly at the front and break up into a chaos of extensions, divisions, plumbing, varied windows doors and balconies at the back. This is generally because they are divided into many tiny flats. 
This one is probably a house and a flat and unusually has no roof extensions. Sometimes it all gets a bit Rear Window and I like to watch for people pottering about behind the windows opposite.
I actually quite like painting architecture which is not pretty.  

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Spring on the Balcony

Most of the colour on my balcony currently comes from this pot of hyacinths. I love spring bulbs. But I have also started my balcony food project by planting spinach and radishes in tubs and starting off edible flowers, sunflowers and mint in pots on a table by the window. I have grown herbs but not food before so am very excited.
My balcony is about one metre by three metres so is very small and is surrounded by a six foot wall, but it is my first outdoor space and I want it to be green and peaceful in the middle of this big dirty city. It has a patio door that opens into the living area which will be fantastic if we have a nice summer. I fantasise about drinking wine surrounded by plants.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Eat Eritrea

I think this might form part of my series of reading/ research into Africa.
Last night we met up with friends to go to Mosob Eritrean restaurant in Notting Hill. It is a lovely friendly place and mosobs (pictured above) abound. They are like a basket tagine, which is placed over the food. The food is eaten communaly from large dishes lined with flatbreads. The flatbreads are like huge thin crumpets and are also used to eat the food. You tear off a bit and use it to pick up the food. It is so good to eat without cutlery! I don't really like cutlery.
We had a starter of hummous with vegetables, flatbreads with spinach stuffing, spice dip and cottage cheese dip. Main course was beef stew with okra, chicken with spinach and a salad of chopped lettuce and tomato. It was delicious and unlike anything I had had before.