Call In The Experts – Poppy Norton

Following on our series of blogs featuring different creative experts in their respective fields of work, we are now delighted to invite the wonderful baby and Mother style guru Poppy Norton to our blog.

Poppy is a a London based stylist, she trained in product design at Central St Martins, Poppy has worked as a style editor and trend reporter for various clients including The Guardian, WGSN, Grand Designs Magazine, 4Homes Magazine, Kitchens, Bedrooms & Bathrooms, IDFX, Channel 4 and Roost Living. Poppy created the fabulous Baby Style File blog, in her own words Poppy describes herself as a“Mother with a mission to bring well-designed and beautiful products for babies and children to the attention of style-savvy parents.”  With over ten years in the business of finding the best and most beautiful things for homes and then months of being sicked on by a small boy, Poppy created www.babystylefile.com.

We asked Poppy to review our Half Pint Garden and to road-test it with her toddler, here’s what she had to say…

If you thought that cooking with kids was a great way of getting them to try new things, just imagine what might happen if you took it one step further…you could grow the food and then cook it! (If you’re three years old this is mind-blowing stuff). You don’t need to be a whizz in the garden (personally, I only have a talent for growing weeds) – in truth, you don’t even need a garden, just a sunny windowsill, a yoghurt pot and some cress seeds. But it’s much nicer if things stay tasteful, because who really wants to look at an old yoghurt pot, day-in and day-out? Trust me, its charmingly homespun appeal soon wears off.

It was at this point that The Balcony Gardener saved the day. They asked if I wanted to have a go at planting the Half Pint Garden with the toddler, and the thought of replacing the slightly battered yoghurt pot that was currently sitting in my kitchen seemed like a marvellous plan.

This cheerful milk carton packaging contains a plain white ceramic pot, complete with a peat pellet and three small packets of seeds (basil, mint and thyme). A most excellent activity for rainy days and dark afternoons…simply pop the peat pellet into the pot, add water (although probably best not to add it all in in one go like the toddler did) and poke it with a stick unit it resembles soil (we used the end of a paintbrush for this). Then add the seeds. The toddler being a typical impatient three-year-old wanted to grow everything at the same time. Now the challenging bit…waiting. And waiting. And waiting. Turns out that growing anything other than cress takes a bit more than a day. But low and behold the toddler is being remarkably patient about the whole thing and like a responsible parent he visits the pot at least twice a day to see how his growing shoots are doing, he waters it, strokes it and usually spills some of the soil on the floor in all the excitement. But the most charming bit….he proudly shows every house visitor his plant and he has given it pride of place on top of his play kitchen.

Two weeks on and a cluster of shoots has grown (although I’m still not sure what herb they’re going to be when they grow up!) To be honest, at this point I don’t really care as the process has been so rewarding.