Now we’ve decided we’re going to stay put for a while, and because I am totally over my failed attempts at having an English Cottage garden, the time has come to plant a New Zealand garden because I know it definitely won’t die. We’ve been going to Columbia Road quite a bit of late. I used to feel quite sad for New Zealand plants in England. Taken from their lovely tropical home and planted into the English weather.
Perhaps it’s because this Kiwi now feels at home in the English weather. Living in London. Maybe it’s because I’m happy with my decision to stay in London that this Kiwi now feels that it is possible for New Zealand plants to thrive in a London garden. Plus I checked with the Kiwi guy at Columbia Road and he says the climate here is about the same as the lower South Island.
So now, every Sunday I get a bit of cash out and we get to the market really early. The Kiwi plant guy is right at the beginning – and I’ve discovered an amazing place next to him – Cordylines are £5 each and Hebes are £2.50. I got the lovely fine purple tiger lilies £5 for six. The wonderful New Zealand native groundcover is £8 for 3. It’s so cheap there – I don’t know why I’ve been shopping for plants anywhere else.
Soon we’ll take delivery of our new Rob Ryan print, which is also all about staying put in one place. I don’t want to move now. But it’s taken me a long time to realise that. We’ve been floating around since we left New Zealand, trying to buy a house. Realising at last that prices have shot up since we arrived here. So a few months ago we bought a little flat in Dalston. It’s really cute. But the huge back garden has been turned into parking. One day I’d like to band together with all the other flat owners and rip out the concrete and put in a lovely big lawn. It was such a frustrating exercise, the whole trying to buy a house. Then realising that anything we could afford sold within minutes (quite literally) and usually over asking price. We also looked at buying a flat in Leeds at granarywharf.co.uk because that’s where Kevin is from.
But in the end we fell in love with Dalston. Funnily enough it’s just around the corner from where I first lived in London. And every house I’ve lived in I’ve always planted a garden. It’s nice to finally be settling down. Even if it’s not actually in a house we own – we’d not be able to fit into the flat we do own, it’s a one bedroom! We’ll get there eventually. We’ve got a plan. Some useful tools here. Keep on saving. Wait till our little flat goes up in value.
But above all. Just enjoy being where we are for now.