Avalus continues his balcony gardening adventures and he has shared some more thoughts and pictures. This is from somewhere mid-summer, I only got now to actually publishing it.
The Blooming Buzzing Balcony
Things are establishing, the tomato plants are continually exploding and I get a bowl of salad every day, although with late June, it gets so hot that the salads are racing to bloom. And they are not alone. So today we look at colorful hot plant sexy bits.
First, a quick overview of what changed in the meantime.
Yes, more green, tomatoes racing up, and the added board gets really bent by all the pots. Time for a support beam. A yes, parts of an old alu camping bed will be perfect!
On the other side, my usual chaos, more greens, a rescued kumquat bush hiding behind the table, on the table more plants waiting to be potted. The tomatoes on this side take their time. In previous years, these would grow much faster. Both pots got fresh earth so it is probably down to the variety.
Nasturtium. The camera really struggles with their red shine. I really like putting these in salads or on just bread with cheese and butter. Yum-yum!
Sweet potato with an extra earth bee. Sadly the other won’t bloom and all the flowers fall off. I really would have been interested in growing them from my own seeds next year.
Ornamental Pea. I have them in a wide variety of colors but they grew down the outside of the balcony and I can’t get a good image (I am very afraid of dropping my camera).
A very prickly aubergine, I think I will need to cut most of them off, as the plant is still pretty tiny and I don’t think it could support the many flowers it produces.
Fiery red climbing bean, green leaves, blue sky. Contrast!
Tomatoes. I can’t wait for tomato season, my sister is already drowning in fruits.
Cucumber. They had a slow start and are not as sprawling as the years before. Maybe it is because of old seeds.
Mystery capsicums, probably sweet peppers. This one I bought but the tag had fallen off.
Tagetes, bumble bees really love them.
Strawberries, a monthly variety that steadily produces new fruit and is nearly as expansive with its shoots as the non-blooming sweet potato.
Stalked celery. Somehow, the wasps really love these flowers.
Sage, this is a very small steppe variety. I bought this to attract more pollinators to the balcony. I think it worked and the smell is fantastic.
Red cloves or small onions, leftover from last year.
And more Beans to close it off.
Soon there will be more. The Echinacea paradoxa is still growing, as are the sunflowers and the calendula. Then there is the thyme and one of the salads I left standing.
Overall, I notice a distinct lack of honey bees on the balcony (and in general) this year, the bumble and earth bees are also few and far between. On the other hand, I get several types of wasps that crawl all over my balcony (and occasionally me, which is a bit unnerving). The climbing beans have had dozens of flowers but so far only three have started to fruit, all the others just fell off, which is disappointing. The tomatoes fared better, but a number were stung by stinking bugs and developed a rot. But these are acceptable losses, one should never expect to have 100% success while gardening.
Next time, I think I will take a closer look at my “exotics” – tropical and half-tropical plants and my experiences. Because I really just can’t throw out avocado and mango pits, or pass by sprouting ginger in a shop … .