So, day one of the New Greener Me has involved a trip to Harringey Homebase to buy some herbs to grow on the balcony.
At about two metres square, it’s unlikely I’ll ever grow enough out there to become self-sufficient, but you’ve got to start somewhere.
I had intended to fully research balcony gardening before I went, to find out who likes sharing a pot with who, which plants I should be planting at this time of year, and which plants are most likely to thrive on the 37 minutes of morning sunshine our balcony currently enjoys.
Instead, I rocked up at Homebase with only a very vague idea of what I was going to buy, and quickly fell out with the store assistant: “Look, I just water the plants. I don’t know anything about plants” was the unhelpful response I got when I asked which type of mint she’d recommend.
I ended up struggling home on the bus with: two 70cm plastic planter troughs; a bag of compost; a pot each of mint, basil and coriander; and a ‘Pick-a-Pep’ plant which already has five miniature red peppers growing on it.
I have no doubt that sturdier, healthier, and more ethically-sourced plants are available from other outlets. At Homebase on a sunny Sunday afternoon, it was more a case of trying to find any plant which still had its label on. But now they’re bedded in and watered they’re not looking too ropey, are they?