Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Balcony in Bloom (oh, well...)

Someone (you know who you are) asked me for me a "balcony in bloom" post. Actually there isn't all that much in bloom at the moment. However, I suppose one advantage of blogging is that there's nothing really to prevent me from mixing present and past!

The thing is, my balcony is very much exposed to Wind and Weather; and we have been having quite a lot of both.

The month of May was rather chilly with a lot of frosty nights; which means most of my "gardening" consisted in covering and uncovering my faithful perennial survivors: the two clematis plants climbing up a trellis on the wall, and one small balcony box of small strawberries. 

The clematis seemed to appreciate my care and rewarded me by being very lovely at the end of May and beginning of June, though:

 By now they're well past their prime - but still rather decorative in a more subtle way:

(A bit later on I'll probably be cutting off many of the seedheads to try and tempt the plants into producing a few extra flowers instead.)

The strawberry plants have grown green again and it seems I can look forward to a few berries too (if the birds don't get them first!)

The orange flowers are kalanchoes which I bought in full flower and just put out in the pots in which I bought them (in holders that one can hang on the railing). I've often had kalanchoes indoors but it struck me that being succulents, they might actually be able to cope with the varied climate on my balcony too. (Ice cold showers one day, and hot burning sun the next...) So far, so good - even if these too are about to lose their prime glory now. (I've had them for just over a month.)

On the balcony table, I have a geranium which I can easily just take inside if the outdoors climate gets too extreme. (Like this week, when it's been sunny but still so windy that one day the pot just fell over, in spite of being in the most protected spot... It's also been too windy most days to have the parasols up. Which means I haven't really been out there myself much either, except to give the struggling plants some water when needed!)

I never got round to buying any pansies this year - partly because of the frosty nights, and partly because the neighbourhood florists' shop closed down earlier this year. (So no longer just a spur of the moment thing to go and buy a plant or two...)

What I did though, actually on the day before my Famous Fall towards the end of May ('famous' only among devoted readers of this blog), was to prepare a box for planting some nasturtium seeds. And as I had done everything except put the seeds into the soil, I did manage to do that a day or two later (in spite of my sore arm).

This is their status a month later (yesterday evening). Six out of seven have come up. Whether they'll also produce flowers remains to be seen!

That's it! - for now. 

Linking to
Outdoor Wednesday


  1. I love this post! You are a wounded warrior, making things grow beautifully while having to nurse your elbow. The Clematis were gorgeous! They die when we buy them. And when they are past their prime, there is another kind of beauty. All silvery and like a plant from another planet. I love the color of the Kalanchoes. The geraniums are the prettiest I have seen. I have not seen this color. All the ones around here are red and I don't care for them very much. Cards on the way!

    1. Ginny, the only thing I've done these last few weeks is a bit of watering!

  2. The clematis still looks great, and with your TLC I am sure the seeds can be persuaded to produce new flowers for you. Good luck with the strawberries!

    It has been (and still is) very hot here; above 30 every day, and hardly cooling off during the night. Last weekend, I helped O.K. choose some flowers for two planting troughs he's had standing empty in front of his cottage. We planted them on Saturday afternoon and gave them plenty of water to ease the settling-in. But two or three of the plants are already wilting, O.K. told me on the phone last night; maybe it was too hot for the move.

    1. I'm glad our weather hasn't been as hot as that (and doesn't look like it is going to be this weekend either). (It soon gets more than hot enough in my flat anyway whenever we have a few sunny days in a row in the summer.)

      As for the clematis, I think I failed to explain myself properly. The seed heads (if left alone) come to resemble those of dandelions and will blow off with the wind eventually. But I doubt they take root as easily as dandelions do (or there would be lots of wild clematis plants about). I'm not sure it's even possible for an amateur to grow clematis from seeds. (?) However, producing the seeds takes a lot of energy from the plant... and if one cuts off the seed heads one can sometimes get this kind to produce a few more flowers later in the season instead.

  3. The clematis is quite spectacular, love the

  4. The clematis is quite spectacular, love the

    1. They are two plants, each in their own pot, with flowers in slightly different colours (blue/purple). The branches on the trellis are so intertwined by now though that I couldn't sort them out if I tried ;)

  5. It's amazing what can be done with a small space, perseverance and ingenuity.

    1. Graham, once upon a time in a past life (the previous century and my previous flat), I managed to grow a 2 kilo pumpkin on my balcony!

  6. Great job with the plants and the photographs!


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