Archives for category: Spring

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.

Although I do take proprietary pleasure in the new rose leaves, the photos tend to get a bit samey.

Sometimes ridiculously so – remember the sprouted bulbs, accidentally kept in room temperature all winter, that I planted at the end of February in the hope that they might flower anyway?

 Yes, what happened to them?

Not a lot.

So I’m going to plant them in the courtyard and hopefully surprise the neighbours with a small, blue guerilla border next year instead.

On the other hand, I usually worry that my geraniums are a bit too warm in the stairwell over winter, but now I’ve read that they don’t really need harsh treatment or to go dormant.

Since they don’t look too lanky or unhealthy, I’m going to stick with this new advice. What they do need, I’ve noticed, is gradual exposure to the sun – or their leaves go bloody maroon too.



Interest was lukewarm at the annual disrobing-of-the-balcony event.

Whether or not all the sackcloth and bubble wrap made a difference – at least everything is alive and growing. Including the clematis (on the floor) emerging for the sixth year from that little base of twigs.

I also unravelled a very raggedy-looking Lupo. I’ll have to cut that back.

The top of Herzogin Cristiana in the foreground, Cubana in the background.

I’ll just put my feet up then, and wait until it’s time to get some companion plants.

IMG_3424Here it is – the first rose of the year. Slightly shredded, but a luminous pink and a welcome contrast to all the green on the balcony. Read the rest of this entry »

IMG_3288Spring has been a long time coming and the balcony an inhospitable place, so until this weekend I’ve been indoor gardening. Most flowers end up in the bedroom window because the radiator is hardly ever on here. The cat grass is to stop the cat accidentally poisoning himself. Read the rest of this entry »

20160206_001This hellebore flower has caused me a lot of worry; ready to open after Christmas, it was interrupted by a cruel repetitive freeze-thaw cycle. I know they’re extremely hardy in the ground, but wasn’t sure how that translated to a pot on an exposed balcony. It was all getting a bit dramatic – I’m pleased it finally has the chance to shine! Read the rest of this entry »

20160128_010Clouds of bougainvillea in La Hoya, Tenerife.

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IMG_2925The brilliant pink of this cheap zonal pelargonium is the reason I keep it over winter, and it now has pride of place in the glazed pot. Read the rest of this entry »

IMG_2906The plan is to get a small vegetable crop from the balcony each year and so far I’ve successfully grown radishes, sugar snap peas, rocket and tomatoes. This summer, I’m attempting some purple common beans with the pleasingly Wagneresque name Blauhilde (captured here last week, when they were just peeping up from their coir pots). Read the rest of this entry »

IMG_2888From this: Read the rest of this entry »

IMG_2873It was time to try my hand at rose gardening, even though I know they’re not the most suitable balcony plants. I got caught up looking at disease resistance and pretty colours and ended up buying exactly the kind of sturdy climber they particularly advise against for container growing – as well as the more suitable, bushy Cubana (above left). They were delivered on straw to the Späti on the corner. Read the rest of this entry »