Red Darter

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Who says you can’t have a garden on a boat?

Exactly. That’s what the owners of the canal boats in London must have thought.
Along the Regents Canal in Hackney many houseboats feature small gardens on their roofs, bows and sterns. It is a delight to watch them. Some I photographed today, grow tomatoes and even sweetcorn and strawberries! I also spotted a miniature poly tunnel and a hydroponic system.
So well done to London’s urban gardeners on their boats!

Here below, you can see a small vegetable garden on a boat roof with tomatoes and squash

Garden on Canal Boat, London

Garden on Canal Boat, Regents Canal, London

The owner of the garden is growing sweetcorn, tomatoes and strawberries. There’s also the small poly tunnel I mentioned

Garden on Regents Canal Boat, London

Garden on roof of Canal Boat, Regents Canal London

 Container gardening on two other canal boats

Conatiner Gardening, Regents Canal Boat, London

The owners of this boat are even growing a sunflower on the boat! And you can see their hydroponic system on the roof

Garden on roof of canal Boat, regents Canal Hackney, London

 Some succulent plants in pots grow next to salad in a hydroponic system 

Garden on roof of Canal Boat, regents Canal, Hackney, London

Two other boats feature water butts, a selection of herbs in pots and what looks like an olive tree

Garden on Canal boat, Hackney, london

 Tree reflections in the canal

Canal boats, Regents Canal, Hackney, London

And last but definitely not least, a green canal oasis in the middle of London on the same canal (Hackney, Regents Canal)

Regents Canal, Hackney, London

 I hope you enjoyed the glimpse onto what life is like on Hackney’s Regents Canal

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Urban Gardening: London (Holloway)

My friend C. has a lovely garden in Holloway. Well by now I should say she had this garden, as she’s moved out to a new house. In any case, I wanted to share a few pictures of her Holloway garden with you. I believe one can see the Scandinavian influence in the fabrics used. C, if you read this, where can we buy the cushions? For now dear friends, enjoy the view Garden in Highbury, London

 Luscious white climbing roses

White climbing roses


White climbing roses

Pear tree

Apple tree, London

 Ivy climbing on the house and London’s mild summer evenings

Garden in Holloway, London

 If you know of a nice garden you’d like to share, send me some pictures and they may feature on this blog very soon!

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Italian Lemon Polenta Cake Recipe

The recipe for this fluffy, incredibly yellow cake is part of my go-to recipes and I hope you try it out.  

Lemon Polenta Cake

The vibrant colour comes from the polenta and eggs and the cake is ideal for summer as it’s fresh and light.
If you prefer, you can use oranges instead of lemons.


• 125g unsalted butter
• 125g caster sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 70g polenta bramata
• 100g plain flour
• 1tsp baking powder
• the zest and juice of two lemons (or two oranges)


Heat the oven to 160C.
Grease a loaf shaped baking tin with butter, then coat it with plain flour.
Mix the butter and sugar with an electric whisk, then add the eggs one at a time and amalgamate well.
Now add all the remaining ingredients.

Lemon Polenta Cake
Pour the mixture into the baking tray and cook for ca 45 minutes, or until a wooden skewer comes out clean.

Buon appetito!

Lemon Polenta Cake


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Everyone can be an urban gardener! – Examples from London (Hackney)

Here are two examples of urban gardening I came across recently when walking around Hackney. I thought they are definitely worth sharing as part of the blog post series ‘Everyone can be an urban gardener‘. The pictures are not photoshopped – the blossoms were as immaculate as you see them below








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Urban gardening: Paris

A trip to Paris, on a summer day with unfortunately less than great weather.
However it still showcases great architecture and window ornaments as well as the clear difference between English gardens which tend to let plants to some extend free to grow, compared to French gardens which are much more manicured, with gardeners cutting plants into symmetric shapes. 






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How to make Elderflower Cordial

Elderflower blossom

A delicious and easy Elderflower Cordial recipe


  • 30 fresh Elderflower heads with trimmed stalks (it’s best to pick blossoms that don’t grow near a motorway)
  • 2 unwaxed lemons, zest grated and fruit cut into rounds
  • 1.5 kg granulated sugar
  • 85g citric acid
  • 1.5 litres of water
  • sterilized glass bottles with a firm lid


Place the sugar into a large sauce pan, add the water and heat up until the sugar dissolves, without bringing it to the boil.
Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the liquid to the boil, then switch off the heat.
Add the grated lemon zest, elderflower blossoms, lemon rounds and citric acid.
Cover with a clean cloth and leave to infuse for 48 hours.

Place a fresh, finely woven tea towel over a colander and pour the syrup through it into a pan.
With a funnel, fill the sterilized bottles, seal and store in a cool dry place.
The cordial is great with both still or sparkling water. Once opened, store it in the fridge.





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Cacti at Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens

This is the last in a series of three posts about Kew Gardens in London. In one day, we visited the temporary Orchid exhibition, the Palm House and a greenhouse dedicated to cacti. All three were memorable and I would thoroughly recommend a visit to Kew. Besides the three exhibition spaces featured on this blog, there are dozens of other glasshouses and specialised areas to see, not to speak of the Treetop Walkway, a viewing platform towering 18 metres above the ground which is accessible for free and offers mesmerizing views of London. Truly there is something for everyone. From the Japanese Gateway, to the Ginkgo, the Azalea and the Woodland Garden, several visits could offer a new experience every time. There are plenty of cafés and also a well-stocked gardening shop. 

Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens - Cacti


For more information about the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, visit:


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