Archives for category: Vegetables

IMG_3700The Cubana flowering tirelessly.

IMG_3707Also in abundance are the tomatoes; with three plants this year I wanted to have enough for cooking, and I did. I picked off enough to make just under two litres of sauce and when I got back after the weekend the plants already looked like this:

IMG_3702Shortly hereafter, the one on the left toppled and left me with the harvest in the top photo, which is now just sitting on the counter.

Late summer means more debris and more insects. Anyone recognise this guy?

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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.

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IMG_358240°C – in the shade. Afternoon temperatures can get a bit brutal on the balcony. A newly-watered container dries up surprisingly quickly. For this reason, I mainly put pelargonium and lavender along the balcony railing, but the little single rose Lupo is also doing quite well there.

The sun only hits the clematis late in the day, but scorched several leaves off it during a heatwave. The flowers were drooping badly but recovered (it’s just a shame the camera never does their vibrant blue colour justice).

IMG_3599 Read the rest of this entry »

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_3083The balcony has survived a spell of heat, thunderstorms and rain. Blauhilde, the purple runner bean, is now about three metres tall with weather damage on the leaves – or at least that’s what I think it is 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 »

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 »

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 »

IMG_2002I ought to be showing a flowering finale and harvest here but the blooms above are only what I deadheaded before my vacation – to save Hassan three floors below having to sweep the pavement in front of his beer café every morning. While I was away, the heatwave in Berlin continued and this time most of the balcony withered. Read the rest of this entry »

stanley2013The warm weather continues and the balcony is practically exploding. Lots of fun for the cat. Over in the green corner, the tomatoes are getting unruly. I’ve had to cut a few branches that blocked the way but there’s plenty of growing crop. They’re thirsty and demanding balcony plants though; the mini tumbler variety is clearly the way to go (hidden from view here by the now gigantic chili plant). Read the rest of this entry »