Up on the roof & shouting: ba-siiil!

I suppose that’s the mark of a high-brow; someone who can see a charming Italian herb without thinking of Fawlty Towers.  Well, while my German is at a similar level to Manuel’s English (it takes more than one book, let me tell you!) the roof-garden is growing as only something with limited space good.  Contrary!  We’ll have to call it Mary.  I suppose one of the advantages of buying all your earth from a garden centre (amazing what you can fit in bicycle saddle bags) is that it tends to be more fertile – no need to worry about whether it’s chalk or clay, it just works.  I must admit though, the basil surprised me.  Talking to a friend a few weeks ago, she told me that the general advice for growing basil was “don’t bother”.  It’s very difficult to keep it alive.  However in the spirit of contrariness (that my dad would think is well deserved on my part), my garden is determined to go against all odds.  Here are two I grew earlier:


2016-06-20 11.43.58

About a month ago, I went to an Open Garden event with some friends and was given a cutting of a beautifully scented plant.  I went home, planted it in a pot of earth just to see what would happen.

It was this:

Basil Lots and lots of basil plants.  No idea what happened to the seed head I’d actually planted!

Never mind, I re-potted them all this morning so there’s still a chance they’ll all die.  I hope not though because I’ve just promised a couple of tomato plants to someone who has offered me a western-style, acoustic guitar and I’d like to be able to fulfil my part of the bargain – with added basil – tomorrow.

So let’s go and have a look at the roof-garden:

2016-06-20 11.50.48

Cor, isn’t that lovely? At the back is the rosemary, with lavender on the left.  I’m not sure you can make out the peas on the far right but you can’t miss the tomatoes.  I’m amazed they survived all the rain we’ve had recently.  Only last week they were taken indoors to stop them getting bashed down by the rain:


2016-06-01 09.41.26  But now look at them!

Fruit!  We’ll have to wait and see whether or not they’ll ripen but it’s looking promising.  As long as the rain doesn’t come back.

2016-06-20 11.51.01

So, until next time!  Hopefully it’ll be a tale of pasta and passata and not a case of “Reader, I lost them.”


About afewwordsinpencil

An English writer of novels and theatrical pieces. My first novel, "And I Shall Be Healed" (Quickbeam Press) follows the experiences of a young army chaplain on the Western Front 1916-7. I am now back in England after a few years spent in Bonn, Germany and working on my next novel, "Lost & Won". This is the sequel to Healed and will bring an end to that story.
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