Two magnificent early flowers on the clematis, as the rest of the vine continues upwards.

The roses start on the floor with the Duchess Cristiana, whose lanky shoots are blending in with the lower part of the climbing rose above.

Having been spoilt with glossy leaves for two years, so far this spring I’ve had black spot, powdery mildew and caterpillars. The black spot is under control, touch wood, it seemed to be mainly early foliage on the climber that was affected. Spraying with milk and water really takes care of the powdery mildew; it gets a bit stinky after a while, and I have to lug the pots inside for a shower, but it’s effective. The caterpillars seem unstoppable though.

The business end of the balcony, where we harness the power of the sun. Despite last year’s bumper tomato crop, I totally forgot to collect seeds, so this one is from the garden centre. Of the same kind though, and growing nicely. As are the chives and the parsley, also cheats from the same place, lovingly repotted (I could have done a better job with the chives, probably).

I’ve sown some sweet peas, too.

Pouting Duchess.

Lupo, the raggedy wolf of a rose bush, is in the pink.