Last of the year’s “garden” work

After packed weekends at weddings and the Green Party conference, and with my fiancee away for a week, I’ve spent a very nice weekend doing those things I always mean to do.

Top of my list was to build a cold frame-come-greenhouse for overwintering my herbs. One salvaged broken chair, a trip to the DIY store and a few hours work later and I had fashioned the rather nice frame pictured opposite. It is sitting on our small balcony, the only space available to most Londoners. I’m not really sure which of the strawberry plants, rosemary, mint, coriander, broad-leafed parsley and the chives will survive the winter but at least they now have a cosy little added help.

In between ironing, cleaning, sit-ups and press-ups, I’ve also caught up on some of the debate following the autumn Green Party conference. No mention online of my motion introducing policy on Community Land Trusts being passed, but there is plenty of chatter on the Bright Green Scotland group blog and a very nice roundup from top blogger Jim Jepps.

Thanks to Jim I stumbled across Molly Scott-Cato’s defence of her motion on living within our means; I spoke against this, and have left a comment outlining my reasons. What is interesting is that she ascribes all opposition to “an influx of socialists who are understandably disillusioned with the Labour Party”. Now that certainly does not include me though I have noticed a growing number of self-described socialists, particularly in the Young Greens.

No, what I enjoyed about this conference was the growing number of people interested in policy relevant to our MP, MEPs, London Assembly members and councillors, not just to those who like to think in terms of broad political theory. After weeks of theory and politics crammed into my working day, evenings and weekends, some time with a hammer and saw has been very nice indeed.


  1. clarkey said:

    only corriander will struggle to survive. rosemary will be quite happy without any sort of snug housing! don;t forget that you’ll need to keep watering throughout the winter as they won’t get any natural precipitation.

    good work – you;ve inspored me! i think i need to hang around the recycling bit of the dump to get some suitable wood!


    19th September 2010
    • Tom Chance said:

      Thanks Helen, that’s reassuring. The rosemary is sitting up on the window ledge unsullied by the greenhouse, though I do have some fleece in case of a very cold snap.

      On watering them, my next project is to devise a cunning tray + absorbant mat + hose system to make it easy peasy from the window, i.e. without having to climb out onto the balcony every time!

      20th September 2010
  2. Pete Shield said:

    Ironically Coriander is my big winter success. When I plant it in the Spring it bolts and goes to flower zippidy click, but when it goes in in the Autumn I can a whole winter’s worth of delicious leaves.

    But as Clarkey says it needs water, just not when temps way below zero.

    22nd September 2010
  3. lili said:

    don’t mean to sound all yorkshireman here, but ‘you are lucky to have a balcony!’ all of our edible plants are on our bathroom window (inside) & there’s only a limited amount of space on the sills :S
    great job btw

    24th September 2010
    • Tom Chance said:

      Eh, you’re luckt to have a window!

      Ours isn’t really a balcony, it’s downstair’s bay window that I sneak out onto with some difficulty but it’s definitely bettter than the window sill I used to use!

      24th September 2010
  4. lili said:

    hahaha oh we have something similar but to access it you’d need to remove all the plants currently on the bathroom window sill then through the bathroom window and onto this thing. actually… when would you plant potatoes?

    24th September 2010

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