Archives for category: Autumn

img_3823I had been thinking to myself, and remarking to others, that it was soon time to winter the balcony. Then all of a sudden it became very chilly and I remembered I had pelargoniums and dwarf roses left fending for themselves along the balcony railing. Things have been running a bit wild out there; once the big roses finished blooming and the harvest was taken care of, I stopped fussing.

So I had a busy Saturday morning, whipping the pelargoniums into the stairwell (no one seems to mind), clearing out annuals and preparing the perennials. Although tucking the pots up in bubble wrap, coir mats and sackcloth feels good, in an anthropomorphising sort of way, I realise at most it will protect them from too frequent thaw-freeze-cycles. As usual, I pin my hopes on the balcony maintaining its own microclimate along the wall.


img_3829Still a warm autumn light on a freezing November morning. It will get warmer again before winter sets in, of course.

img_3819Rosy cheeks on Lupo. I wonder how it will fare, it’s supposed to be very hardy – but that’s in the ground.




Ok, the Protea and the purple berries are from the flower shop, but the rest is from the balcony, including the ivy (which has been in exile in the courtyard over summer) and the rose hips.

IMG_3661It’s the Nightshades, Solanaceae, that are heralding the changing of the seasons on the balcony. Not wholly unwelcome of course – I can’t wait for the tomatoes to fully ripen, and I know the brilliant orange of the trusty physalis will be more or less alone in lighting up the balcony once the great greyness descends.

IMG_3662As a further harbinger of autumn, I found a tiny little mushroom patch down by their roots.






IMG_3197I suspect it’s already here; the physalis has lit its lanterns one by one, and the balcony is starting to look a little bedraggled. Read the rest of this entry »

November morningSummer, that is. I spent a lot of time on the balcony this year, but forgot to post. Of course, like everything else, it’s about the journey; the blog is a way to pass the time when growth is slow and anticipation high.

For now, a look back: Read the rest of this entry »

atumn_clematisThe clematis has produced one last hurrah in faded, water colour violet. Foliage hasn’t been looking its best, hope it’s just general withering and nothing more serious.

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heatherThere’s still some colour left on and around the balcony. Here’s pink heather against a rare blue sky.

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deck tiles autumnBack when Google was still generous with the search terms, I saw a lot of traffic coming to the blog via queries about wooden decking tiles – particularly the ones from Ikea, Platta, that I’ve mentioned here – Are they any good? How long do they last?  Etc.

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spring bulbsWell, that’s what I’m hoping for at least – perhaps I shouldn’t get too carried away with the alliteration just yet. The bulbs have only been in the pots for a week or so, and I suspect it will be a bit of a challenge to keep the soil at a reasonably even temperature over winter. I’m also not sure how much water they will require – if any – after the first soak. Read the rest of this entry »

physalis alkekengiYou can’t keep a good balcony down. Eventually it recovered from its heat wave hiatus and I bolstered the surviving plants with a few seasonal acquisitions. Heather and chrysanthemum are given, but my favourite is the chinese lantern plant, physalis alkekengi. I was pleased to learn that it’s perennial and tolerates frost, so I transplanted it into a slightly larger pot lined with bubble wrap and hope that it’s a keeper. The bright orange calyces are exquisite, no wonder the plant has its own festival in Japan: hōzuki-ichi. Read the rest of this entry »