Tuesday, 5 May 2009

It's a gorgeously breezy sunshiney evening out. Having been away over the bank holiday we came back to find everything in the garden almost twice as big as they were before. I've started dreaming about plants too. The last dream I had suggested that it was time to repot the sunflowers, and I think I agree (see pic above).

Excitingly, the sweetpea has started climbing the willow support I made it last week. It has a tentative little grip, like a tiny baby. I'm amazed at how this happens!

Unfortunately the strong winds today knocked an old bucket onto my newly repotted tomatoes and one of them was sliced clean in two. Sad. Perhaps it will re-shoot from the base.

James and I went to Little Venice at the weekend for the canalside festival. We couldn't resist picking up a few little plants from the guys at Herbal Haven. I've never seen so many brilliant inspiring herbs in one place. Somewhat to my dismay we resisted buying less utilitarian (and edible) plants such as woad, and instead opted for some stunning colours and scents: Purple basil, mustard leaves, curry plant and black peppermint. They look amazing together.

While the balcony has so far been immune to slugs and snails (joy), pigeons and aphids present themselves as our new little enemies. The pigeons come and stand around like park thugs, littering the balcony with gooey poos. I've seen there's a string you can get that 'hums' when it's pulled taut, apparently they hate that. Aphids are having a great time on the apple mint. I'm going to try spraying it with diluted washing up liquid - and failing that, I'll probably be carrying out a range of experiments to get rid of them....sorry aphids!

Growing in small spaces is definitely a challenge, and it seems the more climbing or trailing plants you have the better. I've decided to have a stab at making my own wicker hanging baskets. The ones at the garden centre are too expensive for me, plus they don't really spark my imagination, plus I have all this willow left over from a kids lantern making workshop I ran a couple of summers ago. If it's not dead fresh willow then it needs to be soaked in water for a few hours which makes it bendy again. I'm soaking mine in the bath. I'm imagining a teardrop shape hanging basket, something like a cocoon; with trailing plants. Or perhaps a strawberry shaped hanging basket painted red, and then we can grow strawberries in it.


  1. Hello, did you make the baskets already? If you could make photos while working and put it here, this could be veeeeeery helpful ;) I am thinking about hanging some baskets in my balcony or a pot with a tomato hanging with his roots up (good decision for small spaces), but I am not sure I will not make the neighbours' balcony drop on mine :D

  2. Thank you for the link to making newspaper pots - that's very smart! I've just started growing veggies and herbs on my balcony myself, so I am very grateful for inexpensive tips like this. Thanks!