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Watching the Garden Grow

April 9, 2012

Looking up from the street, the balcony garden doesn’t look much different from three weeks ago:

But the violas are becoming a bit more visible, and it’s getting greener as well. I’ve also started bringing up the bamboo canes back up from the cellar to build trellises.

The Asian greens in the window boxes at the kitchen and bedroom windows are growing well, and I should probably thin them out again.

I added two Swiss chard plants to each of the boxes – let’s hope they don’t get completely overgrown.

I also put chard into all the railing planters on the balcony. They, too, will have to grow quickly if they want to be smothered by violas, parsley and other out-of-control greenery!

In addition to the chard, I also planted more herbs last weekend: sage, thyme and lemon thyme into the planter that already held the lavender (which is definitely still alive, but I’m not sure it is still variegated) – there’s still a bit of free space so I can add marjoram and oregano later (hm, did I mention I always overplant?) The rosemary got its own pot, so I can move it inside more easily next winter – I put the pot onto the parapet and used some wire to tie it to one of the bamboo canes so it doesn’t get knocked/blown off. Another planter holds lemon balm, chives, some borage and “Red Flesh” radish seeds, and two pots of bulb flowers, to be replaced with basil when it’s warm enough.

Speaking of “warm enough”: Even if it was very warm for a very long time this March: It’s not May yet. And our last frost date isn’t until mid-May. So there’s a good chance it’ll turn cold again (and it is pretty cold right now). Basil, cucumers, zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplants etc do not like cold weather (neither do I, but that’s beside the point).  So it would be very nice if my dear customers would stop asking me for those plants, and looking completely baffled when I tell them it’s too early. Just because the big chain garden centres like Bellaflora have them already doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

My neighbour has tomatoes outside already, in a railing planter. Well, I hope three things: 1. that he’s checking the weather forecast every day, and is ready to cover the plants again if it turns cold, or move them inside, 2. that they’re small determinate varieties, 3. that he has long arms – I had one tomato plant in a railing planter last year, and harvesting got a little difficult when they hung down on the outside!

I don’t think I’ll plant any of those trailing tomatoes this year. At least, I didn’t sow any (didn’t have any seeds any more)… I could buy a plant, of course. And I still have one railing planter that I have no plans for yet… hm…

The peas are getting tall enough that I got out the bamboo canes and started building trellises.

The second pea pot is in a kind of awkward place (I still need to put up a railing planter behind it), so I could only build a rather unstable tepee trellis:

Even though my balcony/loggia is rather sheltered from the wind, I prefer it if the bamboo canes are tied to the railing or hooks in the wall, or at least wedged between the parapet and a railing planter.

The lovage is big enough that I have already harvested the first leaves, and the self-sowed viola babies in the same pot are also blooming already, and so are the tulips in one of the radish bowls. The radishes themselves are just starting to form – right now, they’re only cherry pit-size, so I still need some patience!

I’m not yet harvesting enough to invite human guests, but I already have the first animal visitors:


6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 9, 2012 19:56

    Your balcony garden is beautiful and so colorful, you sure pack a lot and many varieties is those boxes. I see a lot of time and love spent to keep the window boxes watered and the plants well fed, congratulations.

    • April 9, 2012 20:09

      Yes, watering definitely takes a lot of time… we’ll see if I have enough love to keep them well fed through the summer, too! 😀

  2. April 9, 2012 22:49

    I love this time of year! Nice post, Ivy!

  3. April 9, 2012 23:50

    Everything already looks so good! I personally can’t wait for the “OHMYGODTHEMORNINGGLORIESATEMEINMYSLEEP” posts later in the summer.

  4. penny permalink
    April 10, 2012 09:49

    Lovely! – inspiring and uplifting.

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