It’s probably the best time of year. Fresh green foliage, the palest of pink flowers and the cat napping in his favourite spot. This corner of the balcony doesn’t need much preparation – the rose, the clematis and the pelargoniums manage on their own. I did replace the reed wind break this year though – and bought an extra chair for me.

The roses on Herzogin Christiana deserve some close-ups. Their apple and citrus scent is as crisp as you would imagine from these photos.

Late April and May tend to bring one heatwave after the other, and the roses sadly don’t last very long once the intense afternoon sun hits them. On the other side of the doorway, the climbing rose is also thriving (and blooms wilting).

It does offer some shade for my sage plant though. The neighbouring rosemary is coming back to life after I nearly killed by forgetting it in its supermarket packaging for about a week.

“Herb garden” is the name of the game this year – and making full use of it is the goal. I’ve planted french tarragon, basil and Jamaican black mint from the nursery, as well as chives and parsley that I’m trying to train through the wire shelf for ease of harvesting. Couldn’t resist a strawberry plant, though I tend to forget and dry them out, too. This one I’ve mulched with a layer of orchid bark and I may pot it up again before it starts to develop flowers. Missing from this photo are a couple of pots where I’ve sown some old dill and spring onion seeds, hoping they’ll germinate.

The boxes are for sowing rocket and lamb’s lettuce. This area of the balcony gets four to five hours of direct sun, which should be enough. 

I planted a half-mummified tomato from last year. It quickly sprouted and I picked out two seedlings to raise. The mini greenhouse is already getting too hot, so I’ll just use it as a nighttime cold frame from now on.

The balcony railing, with its full sun and heat, has usually been too much even for the mediterranean herbs, when left to fend for themselves for a couple of days. Single flowering rose Lupo does well here, though.

As do my old pelargoniums and a eucalyptus.

IMG_4523This solar-powered irrigation system from Irrigatia was a gift from my dear friend Ola and it’s up and running this year. I’ve initially installed it only around the kitchen garden area.

You can decide where you want the drippers and cut the tube accordingly, so a few can be grouped in large tomato pot, for example. I have high hopes.

 

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IMG_4400After practising feet-up gardening in 2017, this year it’s clogs on and at the ready. That February sting in the tail I tentatively predicted in my last post turned into weeks and weeks of hard frost, so at least spring did not get ahead of me. Read the rest of this entry »

IMG_4276They said it would be a cold one. So far, it has been mainly wet and windy (hence the out of focus), but February sometimes has a sting in the tail here. I think that is what happened in 2013 and that went on and on. Read the rest of this entry »

Last Christmas, I picked up some seeds from the black bat or devil flower, tacca chantrieriin the Natural History Museum in Vienna (from the gift shop – I didn’t pilfer them from a display). Read the rest of this entry »

Two magnificent early flowers on the clematis, as the rest of the vine continues upwards. Read the rest of this entry »

Since I took the “feet up” approach to gardening, most of the action is happening elsewhere: blossom on trees, tulips and forsythia. The balcony is stuck in its eight-months-a-year colour range of green to maroon. Read the rest of this entry »

Interest was lukewarm at the annual disrobing-of-the-balcony event. Read the rest of this entry »

img_3965A ranunculus and twigs salvaged from the office flower arrangement on Friday afternoon. Gather ye rosebuds while – and where – ye may. Read the rest of this entry »

Apart from Lupo – good flowerer, attracts bees, hips look nice in a flower arrangement and light up winter – is there anything this rose can’t do? Read the rest of this entry »

img_3823 Read the rest of this entry »