LIVE: Kew Gardens.

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I know; look at all these vegetables I’m not eating. I had a black-bottomed cupcake for lunch.* 
(*To be fair it was a free cupcake, and ‘free’ is the most important word in my vocabulary- ostensibly because I am Northern and Impish but actually because I haven’t had a steady income since 2013 and am never sure where my next meal is coming from. The good news is that this particular cake marks the beginning of a new job for me at the Hummingbird Bakery here in London!  I’m still doing freelance film work, obvs, but to be honest the lack of a proper schedule wasn’t doing me much good. So, all good news!)
But, back to the vegetable patch and the hardcore garden inspiration going on up there at the top of the post.
Since early spring this year I’ve been building up a tiny garden of my own, something which sounds like a very reasonable ambition until I remind you that I live in a single room, with only one windowsill that could charitably be called ‘outdoor space’. I think I watched too much Agent Carter and started thinking it was the 1940′s. You know, telling myself that instead of just living in poverty, sewing up ladders in my tights was all worthy work for the war effort, that kind of thing. It’s a weirdly effective coping strategy. The point is, it suddenly felt very important to grow as much swiss chard as possible, in order to like,defeat Hitler or something
Anyway, it’s September and my Victory Garden now includes not only swiss chard, but also Alpine strawberries (still resolutely producing fruit!), basil, chives, and mint, plus a little draping English ivy and ten thousand tiny succulents. I’ve become, without even really noticing, a nerd a gardener. 
I also don’t really do anything by halves, so you can imagine my reaction to the student vegetable plots at Kew Gardens, in the pictures above. I nearly died with envy, by which I mean I sank to the ground to photograph tomatoes while making little sad seal noises. They all had purple basil, which makes me feel like a GODDAMN FOOL for having green basil. UGH. What was I THINKING. It is ALL ABOUT PURPLE BASIL NOW. Cabbages bigger than my cat! (which is saying something as my cat is pretty fat.) Courgettes with huge golden flowers! Great frilly lettuces! –And yes, chard, which even kind of looked like my chard; which I am taking as confirmation that I am a master gardener. 
So next up: I mean, I gotta buy some sage. Why don’t I have any sage? Why don’t I have any shelves to put sage on? I gotta put up some shelves before Hitler wins. 

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© papillon.Maira Gall