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Creating a home away from home with winter windowsill gardening


Faculty: Business and Law
School: School of Economics, Finance and Law
Course: LLB (Hons) Law
Category: Law, crime and investigation

29 January 2020

Pot plants on a windowsill

Law student Syeda explains how she's made her accommodation in Cambridge more homely by tending winter plants.

Do you have a hobby? Swimming, yoga or painting? I have recently picked up a new hobby: windowsill gardening!

Moving away from home for the first time to a new city was so exciting. I never had a passion for gardening even when I had a big garden outside my home.

But, moving out and staying in accommodation, especially over the Christmas break due to my job, made me want to start a new hobby.

Sowing seeds

I have really enjoyed growing winter herbs, vegetables and indoor plants. It has kept me busy, watering & fertilising them. I wake up every day so excited just to see if they’ve grown and I love the reaction I get when I say I have a little windowsill garden at my university accommodation. 

As we all know, December is a wonderful time of year but it is the same month where the sun goes down before 4 o’clock and I can struggle emotionally with the lack of sunlight.

However, picking up this hobby in December gave me a new purpose and I was cheerful, excited and very busy. Plus, I always get compliments on my plants and this makes me a proud plant-mum!

Green and clean

The residential services here at ARU are a friendly bunch and always here to help. But if you do want a hobby like this in your accommodation, make sure you are careful and respectful to both the property and your flatmates.

I keep everything tidy and clean – never leaving dirt or soil around. I also ensure nothing I do will cause any damage to the property. My flatmates have been quite impressed with my plants growing so fast, too.

A sustainable hobby

In my opinion, planting is therapeutic and relaxing, especially when the plants start growing because of your hard work and tender care.

It also encouraged me to research and write about how to use kitchen waste materials as fertiliser and cut down on food waste. It is satisfying to know I am doing my bit to go green.

If you are a student staying away from home in university shared houses or halls, I strongly suggest taking up a new hobby as a way to relax and keep yourself busy so that you don’t miss home so often.

It has been quite a transition for me coming from a big household to a quiet university hall, however this hobby kept me busy and helped initiate a lot of conversation between me and my flatmates. The bonus is I’ve now started a hobby that I think I’ll have a passion for a long time to come!

Syeda studies Law at ARU in Cambridge. Find out more about this and other degree courses at one of our Open Days.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.