Here’s a minor diversion from mum-based things to a gardening book written by a talented friend of mine, How to Grow Stuff by Alice Vincent. Alice is a non mum and self-described gardening newby and she’s published a book on the basics of getting into growing your own garden – something that’s perfectly applicable for any mum starting out on the gardening tip or looking for an easy home-based activity to do with toddler twerps.
How to Grow Stuff is an easy read for entry level gardeners, or even those that need a little reminding of a few basic principals. I know that there’s plenty of knowledge I used to have pre-childbirth (like the entirety of my international relations degree) so it’s useful to have someone like Alice so neatly sum up the basics in a book that’s easy to dip into from time to time.
Alice steers you through the essentials from growing and not killing herbs, deadheading geraniums to keep them looking nice, how to easily grow your own veg and what you can achieve even without any outdoor space. She simplifies a range of gardening terms and illustrates each section with beautiful photos she’s mainly taken herself.
Alice’s gardening credentials include a garden-based upbringing, her own much-documented balcony garden in South London, her gardening column in The Telegraph and her addictive Noughticulture newsletter and Instagram account @Noughticulture. Over-achiever much? Her insta account alone is one sure way to live the life of a gardener vicariously if you’re stuck home with a newborn on your teat.
One of the best things for me about this book is that it doesn’t presume you have acres of space or need thousands of pounds to have fun gardening. It sets out a range of practical projects that you could do on your windowsill or in a small London garden. That said, if you’ve got lots of space going spare, you can do her projects in that vast expanse too.
I recently read some trash talk about buying plants in some irrelevant insta meme saying that you shouldn’t be buying them in your twenties. Ball cock. Half of London has ditched their Aperol habit to fund their houseplant obsession. So if you enjoy oxygen and breathing and such, knowing how to grow your own plants to produce your own boost of o2 could be your new parental hobby too.
Buy How to Grow Stuff by Alice Vincent, £12.99 published by Ebury press.