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Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hello lovely people,

I thought I'd ask some advice and have a general chat about gardening.

I have a rented flat with a small concrete yard, the floor is concrete and it is surrounded by 4 walls (one of which had some graffiti on), has a drain and that's about it. There is also some kind of noisy air con vent (at least that's what we think it is) and I live next to an electricity sub-station. I want to know what I can do to transform this space into a nice place. At the moment I only go out there to clean the cat litter tray out or to get the mop or broom (I keep them out there as my flat doesn't have any big enough cupboards or storage spaces indoors).

I'm thinking of getting some large containers from pound stretcher and some plants from the garden centre around the corner. The space doesn't get much light so I need plants, and preferably pretty flowery types of plant, that will grow without much sunlight. I have grown busy lizzies in my previous flat without much light so that is a starting point. Also I have a curious cat who likes nibbling plants so nothing poisonous to cats (I know lillies are and some others). Any ideas for me?

To make this a more general thread, who likes gardening? What gardening have you been doing? What do you enjoy most?


  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I once saw plant pots that also double as a bike stand (I think at the Camden Green Fair in Regent's Park) there's a pub on Chapel Market in Islington that uses them. If you cycle they're a really nice option, and they're really big to be heavy enough to anchor the bike. I'll see if I can find them online.

    In one of my old flats we had a 'crapio' and used a broken trolley from Waitrose as a planter (lined, obviously), which was kinda cool.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Randomgirl - you answered my 'meet the mod' prayers for a gardening forum/thread :)

    I have a wee yard similar to yours - not much light and lots of walls, with a wooden decking floor.

    I use loads of different types of containers - a lot of Tesco direct crates, hemp bags (the bag for life type things you get from Tesco etc - my garden was a bit 'sponsored by Tesco' last year) with holes cut in the bottom, plus some general cheap pots. Runner beans and climbing plants are great cos they grow fast and cover the walls. I am trying some climbing flowers this year too. I think in general, root vegetables seem to work less well in containers (well mine didnit - I think I actually reduced the amount of potatoes in the world) - except radishes which are amazingly fast. Rocket grows really well too - and mint.
    You can get compost from garden centres, and bamboo poles/trellis for things to grow up :)
    Covering bits of card/wood with tin foil, putting mirrors or shiny metal out can increase the light in the space.
    You need to keep feeding the soil cos they are in containers - you can make a really good fertiliser by chopping up nettles and putting them in a bucket, covering them with water and leaving them for 3 weeks - then diluting the liquid and using it to water the plants - it does stink tho!
    Attached some pics below...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've done a lot of work in my garden at transforming it, it's looking pretty good now. I'll post some pictures when I take some.

    How's everyone else's garden's looking this year?

    Fostress those pictures are awesome!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    To add to this thread - I have some strawberry plants which are fruiting now and I'm just about to move to a flat with no outside space, do you think they'll be alright inside? Any ideas as to what I can do inside? Lots of light but no chance of any window boxes outside - possibly inside though!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My VegTrug has arrived (www.vegtrug.co.uk), now I just need my Dad to visit to put it together! My sister sent me a load of veg seeds and I got a couple of books on growing vegetables. I'm so excited! I'll keep you posted.
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