I skipped last week, oops. Not because I had no harvests, but because I had no time. I spent so much time repotting tomatoes and finishing the work in the community garden (now I can leave it alone until mid-May, except for occasional watering and weeding, but with how well-mulched it is, it shouldn’t need too much of either.)
The last of the parsnips I had stored in one of the empty planters on the balcony.
Red mizuna, which does not photograph well.
Lunch on Sunday, a salad with three different kinds of lettuce (Lollo rosso, Lollo bionda and Forellenschluss), arugula and chives from the balcony (and some store-bought tomatoes and cucumbers and a bit of tuna). Eaten in the sunshine on the balcony. I’m finally taking a bit of time to enjoy the balcony, too, not just work there!
I can’t stop taking pictures of my purple kale right now:
It’s just so pretty!
I can’t even stop in the middle of the night:
It’s a beautiful warm night, and I got a lot of stuff done today, so I’ve been rewarding myself with a few hours of sitting out here among my flowers and pretty vegetables by candlelight and the somewhat less romantic glow of my laptop screen.
This time I didn’t forget. I even took pictures in time. But then I stayed out until 8 every day, working in the community garden (8 is when it gets dark, otherwise I would have stayed even longer) and was simply too tired and short on time to write a post.
I have some Abutilons and Schlumbergeras blooming inside, but was in too much of a hurry to get good pictures of them (they’re all in the bedroom, in a messy tangle, which makes it hard to take pictures), so you only get pictures of the balcony. But that’s currently much pretttier than the indoors anyway, with lots and lots of violas and a bit of other stuff, too. Just pictures and no more words, because I’m tired.
Nothing much to show. Just kale. I mean, it’s pretty kale, but there’s still no way to make it look very interesting.
I’ve been throwing it in lots of stir-fries lately, and it looks pretty cool in those, even if the pictures I have are kind of crappy…
I could probably have radishes by now, to have something different from the endless kale and greens, if things at the community garden weren’t such a frustrating mess and I could have started planting when I wanted to… No, but I should stop being grumpy. It won’t help, anyway. I’m just really frustrated and just want to have my own garden so I don’t have to deal with people. But on the upside, I have a much bigger plot this year.
… and that problem is compulsive plant-buying. Seriously. The downside to feeling more motivated and energetic lately is that I use that motivation and energy to go to all the flower shops and garden centres around here… And things like this happen:
25 new plants in about two weeks, and that’s not even counting the seeds and bulbs. And then because that wasn’t enough yet, three more.
And that’s not even counting all the vegetables and flowers for the balcony. I need those, and they’ll only be around for a few months at most. These 28 are plants that I hope will be permanent additions to my jungle, and I don’t really need more houseplants.
Although I did kind of need these twlo Calatheas, because I was replanting the big mixed pot in the living room, and they were just what was missing. And I absolutely needed a Saxifraga stolonifera in a magnetic pot, because… because I just needed it, all right?
I actually remembered to write a list of all the new plants, although I’m not quite sure what some of them are – many of them were mini plants (in 5 cm pots), because the flower shop down the street was selling them at 99 cents, which is an excellent price, so I just grabbed anything that was vaguely interesting, and tiny baby palms are kind of hard to tell apart. I find palms difficult at the best of times, but at this size? Impossible.
Calathea ‘White Star’
Chamaedorea elegans (maybe?)
Chrysalidocarpus lutescens (maybe?)
Dracaena marginata ‘Bicolor’
Dracaena marginata ‘Magenta’
Dracaena marginata ‘Tricolor’
Dracaena sanderiana (white variegation)
Dracaena sanderiana (yellow variegation)
Ficus benghalensis (?)
Ficus benjamina (yellow variegation)
Ficus binnendijkii ‘Amstel Gold’
Maranta leuconeura (variety?)
Maranta leuconeura ‘Fascinator’
Oxalis articulata (pink)
Oxalis articulata (white)
Pilea ‘Moon Valley’
Pilea ‘Silver Tree’
Schefflera arboricola (variegated)
Schefflera elegantissima (variegated)
Many of these tiny plants now have to share pots, because it’s so much easier to water one big pot than two or three tiny ones. And I kind of like the idea of a pot with three different varieties of Dracaena marginata. I think this will look very nice.
A day behind again, oops. Easter kind of threw me off – Monday was a holiday, and I spent most of the day sleeping. Finally, a day to myself, after spending Saturday and Sunday with family (I love them, but being around people all the time is exhausting.)
A bit of mizuna (which as far as I remember went into a ridiculously big bowl of pasta salad).
Some red babyleaf lettuce and arugula (and some store-bought tomatoes and cucumbers) – it has become a tradition by now that on Easter Sunday, the Clown Brother and my mother come over to the Nettle Nest for Easter eggs and some balcony-grown salad.
It seems like only yesterday that work looked like this:
Lots of brightly-coloured primroses and pansies in some of the greenhouses, not much yet in the outdoor areas, and the fields and hills across the road bare and brown…
Tables full of plug plants in another greenhouse…
… and the other tables mostly empty…
… and me at the potting machine all day to fill them up.
(Speaking of potting machines, a funny moment from my classes this winter. Or rather, from on the way to school. I always rode the train with two classmates, and one morning, we were talking about our jobs, about the plant nurseries we work at, and I mentioned the potting machine. And this guy looks at me and says, “You have a potting machine?” in this heartbroken, deeply envious voice. I thought he was going to cry, he wanted one so badly.)
Yes, it all seems like it was only yesterday, but in fact it was about six weeks ago, and a lot has changed since then.
I don’t actually have any up-to-date pictures, so you’ll just have to believe me that the outdoor area is now completely filled (or rather, starting to empty again), all the pansies and primroses are gone from the greenhouses, and that mostly-empty greenhouse from the fourth picture has not only been filled, but filled and emptied and filled again, as plants move from that one (our warmest greenhouse) to a different one as soon as they are big enough.
And I’m mostly not at the potting machine any more, because every time I walk back there to get some work done, another car pulls up and I have to go back to the front to help another customer.
And so much else is happening all the time, so much I should be blogging about, but as I said… time just flies by.