Sunday, January 18, 2009

My Kitchen Kitchen Garden

No, yours truly hasn't suddenly developed a stutter, I am talking about my new kitchen garden that is situated in my kitchen, hence a kitchen kitchen garden.
In my kitchen kitchen garden I grow lettuces and rocket salad, all of which are very yummy and taste well in a salad or on a sandwich. About a year ago heads of lettuces in pots and such started popping up in supermarkets.
This yummy lettuce I bought at Albert Heijn,
and the other head of lettuce and this rocket salad (ruccola) at Lidl. But there's no law against sowing your own lettuces, salad leaves and herbs to grow in the windowsill of your kitchen.

The kitchen is the most logical place to have a kitchen garden when you think about it. It is where you actually need the veggies and fruit to prepare them for consumption. With my new kitchen garden in my kitchen I don't have to go out into the garden, which is great now that it's bucketing down most of the time, to pick a bunch of salad leaves for a salad or to stuff a sandwich with, to make it taste fresh and crunchy.
And there is more growing in my kitchen garden. I love ferns and when I went to Ikea, as you do, I found these cute little ferns complete with earthenware white pots totally irresistible.They were only 1 euro each, including the pot, so resistance was futile, to coin a phrase.
The ferns are flanked by tea light holders shaped as miniature greenhouses, very garden-y, wouldn't you say?
To cheer myself up even more I've created a Spring garden in my kitchen too with lovely grape hyacinths
and mini daffodils (Tete a Tete) and crocus. The daffodowndillies and grape hyacinths I bought at a builders merchants. The crocus bulbs in the basket on the far left were bought at a supermarket (Lidl). It's amazing where you can buy flowering bulbs, veggies in pots and plants nowadays, isn't it?
And yes, you've found me out, I'm addicted to fruit even more than chocolate or drop and that's saying something.
Having a mini indoor garden like this quite close to your kitchen tap is really the ideal place for it, because how often do you walk over to that tap in a day? A zillion times sounds about right , wouldn't you say, and every time you do, there is this plethora of plants, veggies and flowers to brighten up the dullest day. Not bad now that so many of us gardeners are stuck inside, gasping for a smidgen of garden-y happiness to tide us over til Spring comes and we can all go out into our beloved gardens once again.

Addendum: in answer to the question frequently asked about the members of the Bliss Team: all of them leave my lettuces and rocket salad alone as they also leave my plants and flowers in the vase alone. There is one exception to this rule and that is African Violets; they are totally irresistible to my Maine Coon Vita who picks off the flowers one by one and then proceeds to remove all the leaves with the flick of a fingernail. I provide my cats with enough alternatives such as cat grass, papyrus and spider plants so they don't bother the veggies, plants and flowers.

copyright 2009; Y.E.W. Heuzen

A gardener wishing to have and keep a good collection of plants, needs patience, liberality and a catalogue.
Canon Ellacombe, In a Gloucestershire Garden, 1895


Anonymous said...

How wonderful. I'd never thought of growing lettuces in pots indoors! I've got wheat grass (for Jane), paperwhites and an African violet but I may expand into lettuces....something I eat every day!

Anonymous said...

Hi YE, your kitchen kitchen garden looks like spring! I love the photos, especially the grape hyacinths against the frosted glass, pure magic! The little ferns and the lettuces in pots makes it almost too easy, like cheating! :-) One question though, how do you keep the cats away from the lettuce? My Hazel is a lettuce-aholic and there would be nothing but shreds and the occasional gift from her stomach everywhere if that was growing on my kitchen window?

Green thumb said...

You surely know how to have the maximum out of life. The idea of Kitchen kitchen garden is amazing! I guess with that kind of ambiance, coupled with the sub-zero outdoors, the whole Bliss family would be hanging out in the Kitchen.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a lovely surprise to find so much growing in your kitchen garden. One would be tempted to often snitch pinches of the lettuce to go along with the fruit.

TYRA Hallsénius Lindhe said...

Hi Yolanda (and Tara) what a wonderful mini potager you have got! I wish I could have the same but I haven't got the space for it.
It looks really fresh and tasty.

xoxo Tyra

Libby said...

Beautiful Yolanda. I have a windowsill in my kitchen that is either too hot or too cold and I'm not sure anything would survive for long on there. But I could have done a few bulbs, I will try and rememeber for next year!

Gail said...

Hello YE! I would love to have the space behind the sink for plants. Your kitchen plantings look perfect and make me smile. There is something sweet about grape hyacinths in a basket. I second Frances' questions...there is no way I could keep Coal from the lettuce. gail

Anonymous said...

Oh how lovely! It looks like you have wonderful light and counter space for your little kitchen kitchen garden. I love the images of the plants against the frosted glass. And just noticed the "honorary cat" on your side bar :-D

Anonymous said...

Yolanda, I'm sure I commented on your last entry, but it seems to have disappeared. In it, I mentioned that I hadn't seen your email with your address to claim your cat quiz prize. It may have landed in spam folder. Can you send again?

Anonymous said...

Call me weird but I think lettuce leaves, all crinkly and lush with edges of burgundy, rival any flower. Same goes for ferns. But your flowers are lovely too. If I did this, the arugula would look awful because I'd constantly be pinching off leaves. It's addictive. But healthy. Nice post. I think I've got some arugula seed lying around somewhere....Grace

Cat with a Garden said...

That IS a lovely view! I would have to defend the plants against the resident "nibblers" though...

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful idea. Unfortunately I haven't got a suitable windowsill.
I always think ettuce are so appealing with their different shapes and colours.
Watch out you don't nibble the ferns by mistake (lol)

Anonymous said...

Yes- die leuke kleine varentjes kon ik ook bijna niet laten staan..;-) Je vensterbank ziet er zalig uit!
(geweldige plaatjes van die hondjes in dat witte grasveld..:-)

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

I like the ferns in the little pots.

Salad stuff can look so decorative.

I'm going to grow ruby Chard this summer purely for aesthetics!


Unknown said...

Such happy colours and textures, Yolanda! I love those little ferns in their clean white pots, but here some bad cats who share the house with us would regard the ferns as 'salad for kitties'. Bad, bad kitties!

Pamela said...

What a great idea! I love it.

I have enjoyed reading your blog.I shall be back often!!


Anonymous said...

Kijk, daar kan ik nou jaloers op worden, hoe heb jij je katten nou "afgericht" dat ze van al die smakelijke en mooie dingen afblijven? Hier moet àltijd òveral van gegeten worden, om het daarna uit te spugen en meteen weer vrolijk opnieuw te beginnen.
Bloemen staan daarom altijd buiten, zo blijven ze wel heel lang vers (vermits het niet te hard vriest).
De vetplanten laten ze met rust, maar iedere nieuwe plant die ik probeer wordt vakkundig aan zijn eindje geholpen door het kattenvolkje, kortom ze zijn onverbeterlijk :-(

Ik ben nog steeds niet 'bijgelzen' hier, maar het werd weer eens tijd voor een reaktie!

groeten, Marian

Anonymous said...


Lori said...

A creative solution to getting your green in the winter, and the greens themselves are quite pretty! I do have one question, though. I can't tell how much sun the plants are getting. Are they near a window, or do you have a full-spectrum light mounted under the cabinets?

Anonymous said...

I think you just might have the best kitchen sink garden I've ever seen. All I have on my kitchen sink is plant cuttings.

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Hi all and welcome to kitchen sink Bliss!

* Casbah kitten: lettuces are easy to grow indoors and you could also sow some herbs, radishes and whathaveyou in pots. The main thing is to have a big and light windowsill.

* Frances: I used to have a lettuce-a-holic too, my dear Chuck, who'd appear in the kitchen as soon as I opened the fridge begging for a lettuce leaf. None of the current members of the Bliss team are keen on lettuce, so it's no biggy that they leave my lettuces alone. ;-)

* Green Thumb: my kitchen is very light and bright, almost as light as the conservatory but much warmer in winter so yes, we all do hang out there a lot. And with all that spring greenery around, who can blaim us? ;-)

* Lisa: one is often tempted and one succumbs often too to the leaf pinching and subsequent munching. ;-)

* Tyra: glad you like it so much and what a pity you don't have the space for it. But never mind, you have that gorgeous greenhouse of yours. Tara says: woof! ;-)

* Libby: mine is east facing and gets a lot of light. The sun, when it's shining, shines through my kitchen window from when it gets up till around 2 in the afternoon. In Summer it's there till half past 3.
It's perfect for growing things as it is never too hot or too cold there. By all means, do try bulbs in your windowsill next year as they really brighten the place up and we need that in winter.

* Gail: glad it made you smile! And you are right, grape hyacinths look great in baskets, many plants and flowers do that's why I have such a ginormous collection of baskets. ;-)

* Nikkipolani: Finally someone who noticed the honorary cat. ;-) I will try to send the e-mail again!

* Grace: welcome to Bliss! And no, I don't think you're weird at all, I like to mix and match flowers, lettuces, cabbages, fruit, shrubs etc. in my garden because many veg look great and are worth growing for their beauty alone.
Go find the seeds and start sowing! Soon you will be pinching and munching your own arugula! ;-)

* Cat with a Garden: It does look great and I enjoy the view every time I enter my kitchen. ;-) My kittycats have impeccable manners and don't munch the leaves of all the greenery. Very thoughtful of them , wouldn't you say? ;-)

Thanks for visiting, commenting and restraining yourselves from nibbling on my lettuce leaves, I do appreciate it very much. ;-)

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Firstly, what a lovely, lovely kitchen kitchen garden! Secondly, Ikea rules! Thirdly, I'm also lucky my cats leave me plants alone. Fourthly (?), ah, Albert Heijn. You have me waxing sentimental. That (in a very short time) became my favorite grocery store while vacationing in Holland a few years back. I took almost daily walks there from the hotel to get provisions. (I tend to travel cheap and get stuff from the grocery store to eat.) Also, I take great joy in looking at what brands are the same and different! Plus, I speak and read German fluently and was amazed I could understand all the Dutch packaging. My favorite newly-discovered treats? Chocolate Hagel and the way you eat yogurt with cereal in the way we'd use milk here. I still have a mini glass that used to hold AH "nutella" that Fiona now drinks out of. (I mean, no, I would not carry an empty glass jar--with a little frog on it--across the Atlantic to use solely as a drinking class for my cat. That would be weird! Um, yeah.) HA!

stadtgarten said...

Your kitchen kitchen-garden really looks like spring!
And it is a very good idea to grow lettuce at the kitchen window. Did they sell those plants only a short time ago or do you have them for weeks now? How long do they survive inside (if not eaten before)?
Groetjes, Monika

A wildlife gardener said...

How wonderful, Yolanda! Best kind of interior design I've seen in a kitchen :)

As you say, the perfect place to have all these lovely bulbs, salad crops and herbs...and the fruit-picking is within arm's reach :)

Great pics which cheered me up on this cold, dull Winter's day :)

Looks like a bit of everything too..evergreens and new bulbs bringing an early Spring into your home :)

May 2009 bring you many happy indoor and outdoor gardening days, with all the kitties and Tara for company :)

Anonymous said...

Now I think I need a pot of lettuce growing in my kitchen! I'll have to start it from seed, so do you have any reccomendations what kind would work well?

Jan said...

Hi Yolanda Elizabet, My spirits have been lifted by seeing these wonderful photos of your kitchen kitchen garden. It's a fabulous idea and I wish I'd thought of it. I might take your advice and try something similar...I have a wonderful windowsill and I could certainly do it. Right now I have paperwhites there, and a pot of parsley. Your inside garden is a winner in my book:)

Barbara said...

It's indeed a great and lovely idea to have this sort of kitchen garden in winter. I tried it once with basil, parsley and other herbs, but unfortunately there was not enough daylight for a successful growing (window is north faced). But on my kitchen windowsill I have some Spring flowers too.

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Hi all and welcome to kitchen sink Bliss!

* Easygardener: lettuces can be very pretty too, I agree.

* Marl1: die vensterbank ziet er smakelijk uit en al die blommetjes en het groen fleuren de boel lekker op.

* Rob: welcome to Bliss. Ruby chard is one of my favourites in the garden as it is both very pretty and very tasty too. Good luck with yours!

* Jodi: Bad kitties indeed! For some reason mine are quite good with most plants I'm happy to say.

* Pamela: welcome to Bliss! Glad you enjoyed it so.

* Marian: ik geloof niet dat ik ze afgericht heb maar ze luisteren over het algemeen wel als ik nee of foei zeg en ik bied ze groene alternatieven om op te knagen zoals bakjes kattengras, papyrusplant (zijn ze helemaal gek op) etc.

* Lori: my kitchen kitchen garden is situated on an east facing windowsill where the plants get lots of light as the windows are very big and reach up to the ceiling.

* Mr Brown Thumb: thanks! And I've got some cuttings there as well.

* Monica: AH is my favourite grocery store too and I'm not suprised that you could read Dutch as most of it is quite similar to German. I've saved those fun nutella jars too and don't think it's weird you took it home with you. That glass jar now contains water for your cat and happy memories for you.

* Monika: I bought the lettuces in the pics about a week ago. They last (if you don't eat them) about 3 to 4 weeks and then I either buy some more or sow some myself.

* WG: every time I pop into the kitchen the sight of all that greenery and those bulbs cheer me up immensely. Thanks for your best wishes and the same to you and yours!

* Msrobin: most will work well, you can either sow lettuces or salad leaves, radishes or water cress will do well too. And herbs are great as well.

* Jan: good luck with creating a kitchen kitchen garden of your own. It's great fun!

Thanks all for visiting and commenting and for (wo)manfully restraining yourselves from nibbling the lettuces. ;-)

Hannele på Hisingen said...

Lovely in January.