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Winter in the Garden

December 15, 2011

This is what the balcony garden looks like in December:

OK, the peppers in the corner are gone now, put I only pulled them up a couple of days ago. All the Salvias are still out, as well as the Lantana, Clivia and jasmine (but those three are in the other corner), and I’ve still got several kinds of herbs, kohlrabi, leeks, carrots, and some of the radishes are getting big enough to eat.

And even the Tradescantias are refusing to give in to the cold:

Sheltered under the bowls with the radishes, they refuse to die despite the frequent night freezes.

The radish bowls, and the fleece – most of the time, the garden actually looks like this:

All fleeced up to keep warm. I’m a bit worried they’re not getting enough light (it’s a pretty thick fleece), but so far no-one’s complained, and I’m too lazy to put it up at night and take it down in the mornings, as I used to do for a while.

In this picture you can also see that one row of railing planters is still up, but what you can’t see is that they’re really not looking good any more. I should probably take them down as well. Yellowing chives and carrot leaves and mildewy Swiss chard don’t look that good. But at least the neighbours can’t see this:

Caterpillars, caterpillars, caterpillars. I just learned there are two species of Cabbage Whites (actually, there are more, but two that live here), and these are Small Cabbage Whites, Pieris rapae, while the prettier patterned caterpillars that were devouring my cauliflowers in spring are P. brassicae. (Now this could get a little confusing, since there’s also a plant genus called Pieris.) I don’t think I’ll try to grow napa cabbage again, and I should probably get rid of that plant so they don’t pupate and overwinter here.

Speaking of overwintering, when I checked on my potted tulips and crocuses, I found this guy:

Using Wikipedia to look up the English name (which is also how I learned that there are two kinds of Cabbage Whites), I found out that European Peacocks hibernate and then lay eggs in spring…  on nettles. How appropriate that this one is hibernating in the Nettle Nest!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 15, 2011 20:33

    How cool to have a hibernating visitor, and such a pretty one to boot!

  2. December 16, 2011 03:49

    Adorable! I love moths, they’re so underrated! It is indeed quite fitting that it’s living in the nettle nest, sometimes it’s like nature knows what’s going on inside peoples’ heads!

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