Archives for posts with tag: Berlin

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.

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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_2888From this: Read the rest of this entry »

IMG_2864Not much happening here. The weather hasn’t been co-operating – occasional hail, snow and gales makes the balcony an inhospitable place. I have a few seedlings on the go, above a dwarf cherry tomato from the 2013 seed harvest. There are signs of life and regeneration, but I should probably replace this second-year parsley with a new sowing, and the hellebores have already moved to the kitchen window ledge, to be spared the intensifying sun. Read the rest of this entry »

january morningLike last year, the winter has been rather gentle. A light layer of snow now and then, but none of those Russian weather fronts I’ve grown accustomed to here. And like last year, it was February before we had several consecutive days of frost. Read the rest of this entry »

ImageThis time of year, I’m expanding the theme slightly. Although I have no intention to branch out just yet, I live only a few blocks away from the giant unused airfield Tempelhof, and I’m considering at least entering my name on the waiting list for the organic urban garden, established on a corner of the field in 2011. The garden consists of raised flower and vegetable beds; in the spirit of container gardening everything should be movable, but there is also the fear of lingering fuel in the soil. These photos were taken in September and show some of the allotment site’s anarchic feel. Read the rest of this entry »

The weather forecasts say the temperature will drop to freezing in Berlin at the weekend, so I made use of the last (?) days of mild weather to prepare the balcony for the chill.

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I’ve always dreamt of a balcony; for a cup of coffee in the sun, a self-sufficient supply of kitchen herbs, a happy home for my geraniums, picking my own tomatoes…

In London, where I lived for over a decade, you’d be extremely lucky to have a balcony, so it wasn’t until I settled in Berlin with its relative abundance of affordable fin de siècle housing stock, that the dream came true. The first year, I impatiently made beginner’s mistakes: throwing out the plants to fry at the first sign of sun, underestimating the amount of watering required for terracotta pots – and one day in mid June I came home from work to find
the façade covered in scaffolding, which in turn enveloped the balcony in shade and dust for most of the summer.

This year, not only am I better prepared, I’ve also found myself becoming ever so slightly obsessed… The blog is meant to chronicle what works and what doesn’t – without boring friends and family to tears in the process.