Blooms on the Balcony

Strawberry

I’ve never been a very good gardener, but this year I’ve started to get the hang of it and it’s really blooming out there on the balcony. We live in an apartment, so it’s all pots, but there’s a lot you can do on a balcony or windowsill that can be really rewarding as you’re learning. I made a lot of mistakes the last few years, but this year I’ve managed to get the watering schedule right (I used to over or under water) and to feed my plants so they get the right nutrients to grow well.

Pink Poppies
Sage

I started out with herbs mostly, because things like mint are meant to be pretty easy to grow. As I got the hang of that, I added some more things. I have mint, catnip, chocolate mint, lavender, sage and rosemary, all of which are beautiful plant in their own right, but are lovely to use in the kitchen too. There’s something really special about cooking with fresh herbs that you grew yourself.

Strawberry

I also picked up this strawberry, which has loads of blossoms on it now that are all growing into little strawberries. I’ve never grown a fruit or vegetable at all, and I really love this dear little plant. Watching it grow fruit is really cool.

Red Poppy
Snapdragon, I think.

I had a left over piece of seed roll which I’d never had much luck with before, but this year it’s grown little white flowers, snapdragons and poppies in different colours and a bunch of other things that haven’t bloomed yet. It’s basically a cheap thing I got to try out and it looks a bit like carpet. You can cut it with scissors and just roll it out as a garden edge or on the top of soil in a pot and it has a range of flowering plants in it. I managed to get it to grow a little in past years, but never much. This year I figured out a better spot for the pots and things, and it’s growing all kinds of weird and wonderful things.

Miniature Rose

Finally, roses. I have never had much luck keeping them alive at all, but these miniature roses have been pretty hardy. In past years, they got eaten by aphids, which are now my arch nemesis. I hate them so much. But I’m getting the hang of little natural tricks to discourage them. I’ve never had a rose bush that bloomed, but as you can see, there’s buds on them! I got two mini roses for Valentines Day, and something that you might not know about the ones you often get in pots at the store: there’s actually three or four baby rose plants in each pot! So from two little pots, after they bloomed and as I was re-potting them, I found seven plants! They’re all in separate pots now in a row and all have a bunch of buds on them. So, I’m doing my best for them, feeding them a little, watering them… and I check them each day to see if they’re blooming yet! ha ha! I really love them. Roses are my favourite flower and I’m so excited to not only have kept them all alive but also to have them growing happily and with buds on them.

So, that’s my balcony garden. I’m really proud of keeping all the plants not just alive, but healthy and blooming. I’m starting to really enjoy learning more about each plant and their needs and things. They’re all really amazing and have some fascinating adaptations to their environments and things. I may be able to become a green thumb yet….

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