#plantybois

2021, goals

Hello,

When I asked my fiancé what I should write a blog post about, he said gardening, which is actually a semi-sensible suggestion – he said I should talk about my gardening goals, I said I was better at ‘house planting’ (obviously a real word) and he said ‘yeah, house planting and gardening goals’.

Then he suggested the title should be #plantybois and I knew everything was okay, because there’s no way he could make a sensible suggestion without saying something unquestionably weird.

But I’ll go with it regardless!

I really wanted to have a garden full of homegrown veggies this year – tomatoes, courgettes, carrots, peppers, maybe even some herbs like thyme, rosemary and oregano.

That didn’t happen…

I had plans of digging up the existing plants around the border of the garden and replacing them with more manageable bedding plants and finding some cute garden furniture to put all my pots on so my garden was pretty. What happened is the astroturf managed to grow weeds and I spent £70 on two garden loungers for the decking.

I’m much better at house plants! My Monstera plant is flourishing and my fiancé is mildly concerned about the amount of new leaf tentacles it’s growing and I’ve got a bunch of plants that I bought when they were in teeny tiny pots and now they’re triple the size and I really need to pot them on but I haven’t got round to it yet.

Conclusion: inside plants – thriving, outside plants… alternating to between burning to a crisp and drowning thanks to the Great British Summer!

So here’s what I want to work on to prepare for the vegetable garden of dreams I’m going to have next summer (I’m manifesting, okay?).

  • Dig out the plants around the border of the garden – there’s a big old tree that’s try to grow that isn’t meant to be there so I don’t want it to knock out the wall (the wise words of my gardener Dad). I think I’ll wait till next summer to replace the bedding plants or I might see if I can get some slate or gravel to match the existing slate around the property.
  • Sort out the weeds – I really need to spray them with the weed killer and pull them all out but it sounds like a really boring job and I’m lazy. I have no other excuse.
  • Collect old plastic containers to start my vegetable collection next year – my dad always starts his tomatoes in his old milk cartons so if I’m using plastic containers I might as well find ways to repurpose them!
  • Find some furniture or beds to display or store my potted plants next summer – currently I just have an array of pots on the floor. Outdoor furniture is really expensive so it’s figuring out whether I can weather proof some indoor shelving, find something second hand on Facebook Marketplace or buy a drill and repurpose some old pallets or something.
  • More garden furniture – whilst our two loungers are lovely, it would be wonderful to have friends round and be able to spend time outside when the weather’s nice. I’d love to have a rattan sofa with a little table for summer evenings with ciders and card games (maybe even plugging in a lamp and staying out after dark!).

I like to think I’m a bit of a gardener but I’m still learning – the fact I got even a little tomato that didn’t grow to full size this year is very exciting for me, so I’m definitely going to try and do what I can in the Autumn to be ready for a more bountiful crop next summer!

All gardening tips and tricks are much appreciated.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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how I’m cutting down my screentime

2020, books, creativity, lifestyle, mental health, writing

Hello!

I know that I don’t need to reiterate that quarantine is hard, we all know that, but one thing a lot of us have inadvertently spent a lot more time doing is looking at screens – from scrolling through Instagram, to working from home with a less regimented schedule, to Netflix to video games; so much of our entertainment is on screens.

Something I’m noticing more and more recently is that spending all day going from my phone to my laptop to the TV and back isn’t doing me any good – I don’t think it’s helping my sleep and I know I feel better when I’ve spent some time away.

I thought I’d collate a little list of the off-screen things I’m really enjoying at the moment so I can come back so it when I’m feeling a bit uninspired and maybe it’ll give you some ideas too!


  • cross stitch

I bought one of those little kits from Hobbycraft before everything closed and then ignored it for weeks. So when the weather picked up I sat outside with my cross stitch and it was lovely – I’ve been doing it on and off and I’ve nearly finished it now. It’s lovely to sit down and follow a pattern and make something creative – something that takes just enough brain power to keep you occupied but not enough brain power that it’s too hard. I’ve just bought a new kit from Etsy and I’m really excited about it.

  • knitting

I swear I have other creative hobbies that aren’t related to sewing. In my house I have one set of knitting needles and one ball of wool, but my mum sent me a pattern to make ‘ear savers’ which is essentially a headband to make face masks more comfortable for front line medical staff so I’m learning new stitches and hopefully I’ll actually be able to make something useful. Once you’ve nailed the new stitches it’s very therapeutic too!

  • making lists with coloured pens

Post-quarantine lists, things to do in quarantine, daily to do lists, weekly meal plans – everything is more exciting when you use coloured pens.

  • skincare

Spending even 5 minutes just to look after your skin and moisturise, maybe doing a face mask or a foot mask – it feels like a nice to make that time to treat yourself! Go all out and have a bath if you like, I have to wait for our new bath plug to arrive though and that’s a bit anticlimactic.

  • reading

I know I’ve been banging on about reading a lot this year but considering my goal for 2020 was 12 books and I just finished my 20th and I’m feeling more creatively driven by reading and writing than I’ve felt in an awfully long time, I’m justifiably excited about it. With the weather being typically British (unpredictable), reading is the perfect activity for sitting out in the garden catching some of that vitamin D or snuggled inside while the wind does its best to tear the trees down. So many of us have an ongoing ‘to be read’ pile and we might as well make the most of trying to cut it down a little whilst we’re encouraged to stay indoors.

  • gardening

I don’t necessarily mean landscaping your garden to make raised vegetable beds and only eating your own homegrown produce this summer! I mean making the most of the space you have (a windowsill, a balcony, any outside space) and growing something – there’s so many lovely indoor plants that can flourish at this time of year.

And it doesn’t have to be expensive – I bought a bag of soil, a small set of pots, a selection of flower seeds, some basic tools and gardening gloves in my weekly Asda shop for less than £20 and the joy of watching the seeds I planted turn into little shoots and flourishing is so satisfying and going out and watering them every day is incredibly therapeutic. I have to resist buying more every time I go shopping!

If you’re not sure where to start, I believe you can buy kitchen windowsill herb kits and grow the seasonings you use to cook! Our kitchen doesn’t have a window so I’ve opted for flowers this year but I definitely want to try tomatoes, peppers and courgettes next year!

  • journalling

If the world feels a bit big right now, I can’t express anything more therapeutic than getting all your feelings out on paper. It usually makes me feel like a weight has been lifted from my chest, sometimes it’s just a little bit so I can take a slightly bigger breath and sometimes I feel light as air but getting your feelings out of your head and onto paper is so healthy.

Then if you want you could even destroy the paper – I think I’m going to ceremoniously burn my journal when I’m finished with it. I can pretend it’s symbolic about a ‘chapter of my life ending’ but let’s be real; 1) a fire pit in the summer with friends is the best so might as well provide some kindling, 2) same applies to a BBQ, 3) there’s some parts of my life documented in that journal that I would really enjoy destroying and 4) it probably would be quite symbolic and provide a nice sense of closure.

The destroying isn’t the key part – it doesn’t even have to be on paper; you could make a private social media account that’s just for you, you could do it on the notes app on your phone or have a document on your computer. You can do it however you want in whatever medium you want, but I thoroughly recommend it.


If you’ve got any hobbies or activities that you’ve taken up during quarantine – whether to spend more time offline or to help your mental health – leave them in a comment below! We can make a big master post of ideas!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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