Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Other garden loveliness is eluding me today too. The first red sunflower and the white cornflower opened on the balcony. I wished I could stay and bask in their newly opened glory but alas the sheer volume of work cut this to a few measily seconds. Still it was enough time to take photos and I will upload them sometime soon.
So to keep me happy, and to let you bask in the balcony garden too, I posted a pic of its recent state at the top of this post. Greeny goodness, Enjoy.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Yesterday's post was all about my new hibiscus. I had wanted one for a while, after discovering they may just work in a pot and in full sun with a little shade on occasions, it was all systems go. Given the full sun aspect of most of the balcony their former characteristics were the major drawcard.
When Mum came to visit a few weeks back, and we had a spare half hour, we went on the hibiscus mission and visited Town and Country Gardens Nursery in Malvern. Now I am normally a north of the river girl, but we visited my Great Aunt (and I guess you would call her Mum's great Aunt) who resides down that way and had a little time to spare before lunch which was also south of the river. After a quick phonecall to my local gardening cousin he suggested a few gardening places we could try, one being Town and Country Gardens as it was on the way. OK so he didn't remember the name, he just told us it was on Malvern Road and near a pub. Funnily enough that was all the directions we needed!
Well, suffice to say, I wish this was my local nursery. The plant stock was amazingly healthy and the staff reasonably friendly. They even didn't bat an eyelid when mum and I got into a little tizz about whether or not she used to grow daphne at our old house. Definitely on the pricer side of things, but the quality was worth it. What a lucky find!
Anyway, the plan was to get a hibiscus that was pot suitable, maybe two if I had the cash. After rummaging through reds and oranges and beautiful yellows I found the white hibiscus which you saw in yesterday's post (and in a few days will hopefully see bloom.) Next to these lovely frilly flowers were Chinese Lanterns. Looking at the tags they seemed to cope equally well in full sun or partial shade (preferring the latter.) So instead of purchasing a second hibiscus in a varying shade I fell in love with, and bought, this deep red chinese lantern.
It seems to like its position on the balcony, right outside my bedroom door! It has flowered regularly since purchase and grown a good foot and a bit! Both plants will get even bigger pots in the Spring, but for now they must make do with the reasonably sized ones I gave them.
So for those south of the river in Melbourne let me recommend Town and Gardens nursery and for everyone let me say, that one month in, it seems that these two plants are ideal balcony garden members, so try one in your balcony garden one day.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I've tried again, with limited success to photograph the 'black' cornflowers. Technically they are dark purple, noticeable more in the flash photos above, but they are labelled black so I am going to stick with that. And unlike the yellow cornflower experiment (which were marigolds in disguise according to housemate H) these deep, royal, purple beauties actually are cornflowers. They look wonderful, with about three or so clumps scattered around the balcony. One is next to a purple basil which makes an interesting colour combination.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
The 'leaves' are browning where the hail dented and scratched them. The edges are similarly browning from where they were torn. Not sure whether to cut it all back to the very small, new growth underneath, or get rid of it entirely and plant something else. Decisions, decisions.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Mine is smaller than most and never seems to be clean, but is perfect for the balcony garden. What I speak of is my garden fork and this is my little post to join the fork brigade. The first pic was put up by Dan standing with his hefty sized and hopefully useful fork. The next to join in was Annie's Granny. So here is my action shot! Totally Inept Balcony Gardener and her fork, in her best superhero pose.
To let you all know, I don't normally dress so formally for a spot of gardening! Usual attire is pyjamas for early morning waterings or whatever I am wearing to uni for later watering and tendings. This time I was all dressed up for my free 8 course degustation dinner at Libertines. It turned out to be the only time I had a friend to photograph me and remembered to do it. A review of our dinner will be up soon!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
We also have to introduce a new arrival, the chinese lantern, which has the most amazing red flowers (my ancient camera does not do them justice)
And of course, who could forget, the sunflowers.
Turns out I have a reddish sunflower too, which I only noticed one day when I looked up as I entered the apartment complex. See this fellow faces outwards and is deceptively yellow from the backview! The things you find out when you just look up. No photos though!!!
I harvested the zucchini Saturday week ago, before the big storm, which was lucky really because the host plant literally melted into a puddle of rotten, brown sludge after the hail stone infused deluge. Bye bye Zucchini, we have had many happy times together, the risottos, the pastas, the occasional frittata.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
But it is not all doom and gloom. The time has come for Autumn planting and this destruction gives me a good excuse to remove all the plants I should remove but might not have given they had a little life left in them (that was until the storm hit.) So it is out with the cukes and the zukes and the matos and the mess, and in with broccoli, snowpeas and more lettuce. The dead flowers will be replaced by an autumn sowing, most likely a random blue mix or gerberas. From destruction there will be new life. And if it manages to stop drizzling I might even be able to clean up the leaf litter too!
And I did manage to salvage some produce from before it hit, a zucchini and two ripe habaneroes. Pictures soon.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
Now I also have some lovely cousins and an aunt and uncle with massive vegetable gardens. I visited them yesterday before heading to Hanging Rock Harvest Festival, a festival in which producers local (and not so local) to the region show their produce, and the rellos did not let me leave without loading me up with veggies. The festival itself was mostly stalls filled with wine and olive oil but I did find some lovely Yarrawonga fetta. I put it on my salad tonight.
along with a yellow carrot from the balcony garden,
tomatoes from my Aunt's garden,
and cucumbers from my cousin's garden! So not only is this a harvest post for the balcony garden, it is a harvest postfor my relatives' gardens!