Monday, December 3, 2012

Amazingly Hardy Snap Dragons!

I am in wonder and amazement. It is December 3rd and these snapdragons of mine are STILL in bloom and haven't been killed off by the frost yet?! We have had -0ºC temps for many days and yet, they still exist? All my others plants, even the chives, have died back for the year, but not my snaps. Begonias were the first to go when temps started heading south, followed quickly by poppies, and everything else green on my balcony. But not my snaps. Hail ye hardy magnificent Snaps!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fall Balcony Blooms 2012

I apologize for not blogging much at all this year as life had other ideas. But I thought I'd give you a wrap up of the year. Here are some of the blooms that are still happening on my balcony today, in October. 

Begonias did VERY well, as you can imagine, on the
north side balcony.

The red poppies did alright. Not as large as you would usually see planted
in earth on the ground and with more sunlight, but alright.

Snap dragons did VERY well! What a surprise. This is a shot of one
bloom in fall but through out the summer, planted from seed, the pink
and white snap dragons outperformed my expectations!

Lovely white snap dragons.

My peonies did not bloom and just seemed tired. I think that next year one might be gone and the other reduced to being even smaller than this time. Peonies are not suppose to live in containers so I can't blame them. They've done the best they could given the conditions. They did develop some mildew but were not overwhelmed by it.

The lilac trees are still going strong. They bloomed happily it seemed. The leaves are just starting to yellow now. I will pack some plastic bags under and around them and the peonies before it freezes.

The chives, surprisingly did NOT bloom. Oh well, they still came up though.

And that's it for this year! Thanks for coming by and we'll see what next spring brings. Keep warm and safe this winter. Best to you all!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Balcony Lilacs in Full Bloom

Tiffie the Cat sits at the open window and sniffs at the lilac bushes. She loves them too!

The lilacs made it through another winter. This time it was on a north side balcony. They both are a little lesser for it however, but not too much so. Considering I, again, took no extra care with them (other than moving them down to the floor of the balcony and giving them some Better World plant food). I have been greatly rewarded with this minimum of care! 

This shot was taken at about 5:30 pm, on May 21 2012. The sun comes around
at about 4:30 pm. I'll take note of when the sun slips out of view as it goes behind
the 10 storey apartment block directly to the west. 

The other lilac bush is doing well but does not nearly have as many blooms. The bush pictured above has many blooms and it's fragrance is intoxicating. It is the clear winner here and it's of the sugar plum fairy type. Both though have survived and bloomed so I am very happy with them. 

I may repot them this fall into larger containers but we shall see. Need to do a little research on when is the best time to do so. If I do, I shall report it here.

So, if you have really wanted lilacs on your balcony but were afraid they wouldn't survive, I'd say definitely go for it!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

New Balcony New Gardening Challenges

The new balcony - facing north and this view is west on the norther side
of the building.

This is facing east, again on the north side of the building. Hello sun?
Note all the containers empty at the far end. I am going to plant a lot fewer things
as this balcony is quite narrow and a lot shorter than the one I use to have.
Anyone need any empty containers? Lol!

The cat is confused. Why am I not allowed out there like I use to be? Because it's
seven floors up and there are little birdies in the trees that you'd leap to your
death for, that's why my cute little chickadee : )

Well, it's a new year with a new apartment and new balcony. This new balcony is north facing and that is going to be a challenge for my plants. The lilacs and are just blooming so I'll get a pic of that and post it asap. The peonies are also starting to come up. I'd say that this balcony gets about an hour and a half to two hours (tops) of sunlight right now. Am I thrilled about this? Hardly. But we'll see what happens this year. I have added Better World plant food twice to my plants/shrubs out there but they are going to need a lot more tlc to make it through this year, I am guessing. Stay tuned.

Monday, August 29, 2011

And the Winners Are...

These little orange flowers came back from the dead after our heat wave
and have been blooming non-stop ever since!
I wished I knew the name of these flowers. I came close to pulling this plant earlier in July when it looked like it had been killed by the heat wave. But I decided to give it a chance, continued to water it and sprinkle and feed it the Better World plant food. As if to show me that yes, indeed, it was a survivor it came back with a vengeance, a proliferation of flowers it has put out ever since. So, it is the clear winner on my balcony. It has survived and thrived all the heat, the winds and aphids. If you know the name of it, please drop me a line and tell me.

A little close up of this gem.

And the snap dragons have continued to bloom.
I have NEVER had snaps last this long, ever.
I also show the snap dragons as the runners-up. They were assaulted by all the same things as the little orange flowers, but I did spray them with insecticidal soap and they survived that. Very impressed and I have to say that the Better World plant food has perhaps, been of assistance in this.

Soon I will be leaving this balcony behind. I will take some of the flower baskets with that survived. Much of the garden is done now. I only got one cucumber from my plants so that was disappointing. But most of the flowers did well, the lettuce was fantastic, the peas good, and the spinach and swiss chard also did well. 

I will post how things go on my new balcony, as soon as I get settled and see how the plants are adapting. It is a northern facing balcony but only 7 floors up this time and it looks to be more sheltered. We'll see how things go. 

I hope my blog has helped answer some questions or give you ideas you were looking for this year. It has been fun and I have enjoyed meeting new friends as a result. Thank you so much for joining me on my journey and I hope you have had a great season as well. It truly has been a beautiful summer.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

After our Storms today

Well, I took down some of the planters from the balcony railings as winds as gusty as 90 kms were predicted. We really didn't get anywhere near that so I didn't really have to do so but I would rather do that then container overboard!

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Aphids are Here, Again

Well today I was out watering my plants. I fed them last week and another feeding day approaches but today I decided to just water. I noticed my little daisies weren't doing as well as they should be. I was about to write it off to the heat but a closer looks showed a shiny, sticky substance on their leaves. A closer look, yep, aphids. Again.

I got out the insecticidal non-toxic (to us humans anyway) soap. I trimmed back the plant so got most of them off that way, and then sprayed the heck out of it. I made double sure to spray the plant from underneath as well and then sprayed the dirt as well.

It seems that I am able to keep them under control, but they do seem to emerge during the heat of middle summer. I guess there is no getting away from them, but one can keep them in check. Good luck with yours!