WembleyWonderful Tips #110: Growing a vergetable garden in the city


Welcome to the 110th edition of WembleyWonderful. Some weekends are good, some weekends are not – this one was great, with high quality time with very dear friends, so I am thankful to be so well surrounded and in the best mood to start the new week. And I hope you are too! ENJOY AND KEEP POSTING YOUR ADDS ON www.wembleywonderful.com! AND PASS THIS E-MAIL ON TO NEW LIL PARENTS! [email protected]


Are you flying from London to Geneva on 19 April? Andrea is looking for someone who could take her daughter’s friend “under their wing” during the flight (the pun was truly unintentional) – more details here.

Are you moving back to France and looking for a job? Harmony Mobility is organising a “job search accelerator” workshop over 4 sessions from 19 March, more details here.


Yes, it’s that time of the year : the days are getting a bit longer, the temperature a bit warmer, and my desire to plant vegetables starts kicking in ! And if like me, you spend your holiday in France rather than in England, there a high incentive to start planting as soon as possible if you want to be able to harvest anything at all before the summer…

I’ve been growing vegetables in London for a few years and I am a total amateur – sometimes it works really well, sometimes it doesn’t, and sometimes I can’t even be bothered… In any case, here are the tips I can share from my (rather short) experience:

  • How to organise a vegetable patch? In our previous house I converted one large flower bed , which sat right in front of the terrace, into a vegetable patch. Although it was very handy, it turned out not to be such a good idea from an aesthetic standpoint– except for the summer, vegetable patches tend to be rather bare most of the year, especially if you’re like me and you can’t be bothered to go out gardening in bad weather. In our new home, I’ve (wisely) left flower beds intact and invested into a VegTrug – basically a large, deep, raised planter. Mine has never looked as vegetable-full as the one on the picture but it looks reasonably good even bare, for flat-owner it will fit on a balcony and you can plant quite a few things. Beware – due to its depth you will need A LOT of compost!!!
  • Where to get you seeds from? Most supermarkets will stock seeds at this time of the year, but they tend to be quite expensive and not necessarily reliable. When I got into my first vegetable growing frenzy, I very experienced gardener friend recommended “The Real Seed Catalogue” – and this is the real stuff, I would strongly recommend buying your seeds from them! You get zillions of seeds in each bag, there is huge choice for each type of vegetable (14 varieties of lettuces), each seed is explained in details; and more importantly the seeds grow into vegetable very reliably! In the past we’ve grown lettuces, tomatoes and courgettes with huge success.
  • Isn’t it a bit late to plant now if I’m back to France all summer? Not at all!!! You also have the option to buy already germinated plants, which will save you two months! Once again you can find them in most DIY shops and even supermarkets, but I would recommend going to a proper garden centre – this is the one we tend to go, near Stanmore; and this one is 5-minute drive from LIL.

So if I’ve tempted you, enjoy your gardening and (in a few months’ time) your home-grown vegs!



We had a very good time with you all on Saturday evening. Always nice to see you both.
Have a great week.


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