Shortly after I moved to Amsterdam I decided to grow a few plants on my balcony. I was really lucky to get myself a beautiful, large and sunny apartment with a nice balcony overlooking the canal, and it seemed like the right time for me to bring new life into this world. Nothing too fancy nor high maintenance, I had a terrible record at keeping plants alive. Tulips of course, perhaps a small tree? And (might as well) some cannabis. One of the most popular urban legends here in Amsterdam is that it is legally allowed to grow/possess up to 5 cannabis plants at home as long as they are grown outdoors and destined to personal use. It’s not. I didn’t know that at the time though (not that it has changed anything today now that I do), and happily believed this convenient piece of (fake) information.
I chose to grow 3 plants and not 5, probably because my seed pack included 3 seeds (logical mind, eh?). I proudly transferred my 3 germinated seeds from cotton to small pots and started to watch them grow. I came home from work one day and immediately went outside to check on my babies: they now had beautiful green leaves and were visibly growing by the day. All was well. I walked inside for a grand total of 3 minutes to get some water for them and when I got back on the balcony: horror. All three plants had been cut/eaten/jealously removed from right below the leaves. I could see saliva (or bubbly drippy saliva-like liquid) dripping off of them. I looked at the kitty and she looked back in disbelief. Who! She never told me. How did I know it wasn’t her, you ask? Few reasons: not her style (I know her ok!), she’s not that quick, she looked disheveled and scared but kind of ready to attack, hence in line with my theory: it was a bird, the bastard.
Fast-forward 5 years and here am I, same Amsterdam, different balcony, giving it another go. This time I wanted to take you on my journey as part of my blog series ‘Grow it’. Don’t look for it, it’s not there. I didn’t grow ‘it’. Or anything for that matter. Ok ok that’s not entirely true, the plants are still alive yet very small (I germinated the seeds on June 1st, do the math…). One of them, the auto-flower Northern Lights plant, consists of one small bud. It’s very cute, see for yourself:
Not quite worth the blog series though… In April I’ll try again I promise!
A couple of weeks ago I glanced at my plants in the morning from my bed. Horror! One of them is bent and seems to have been attacked. Damn birds! Just a few days prior I had caught a huge pigeon fiddling in one of my big flower pots, maybe he came back! I ‘ran’ outside and indeed, ‘someone’ had eaten a couple of the leaves, on both leafy plants (the mini bud remained untouched). Saliva was still dripping off of them. One of them was bent and was probably pulled. How could I protect my babies from the harshness of this world?! After mere reflection, I came to the conclusion I had no other option and they should remain on my balcony table, small yet sunny. Was I taking a risk? Sure, but I had faith in the universe. I was also definitely too lazy to engineer a solution.
A couple of days later, as I enjoy my morning coffee and joint on my balcony, horror. Utter. Horror. The Kitty, my own flesh and blood, was savagely eating my babies’ luscious green leaves! How could she?! And why now!? Were they not big and juicy enough for her a few days before that? Did she take a bite one day and realized there was simply no going back? Did she still resent me for all those years of absent parenting when she was a kitten? She never told me. But now I know. And it all makes sense. As a temporary solution I have placed the plants on the window seal but they’ll soon need to be transferred to bigger pots and the Kitty will be able to access them unless I install a fence. On the plus side: judging by their current growth’ speed, I have plenty of time to figure out something! Suggestions welcome.