Spring garden 2012 on our balcony in Lausanne…

Since I have shared on the parents’ garden, I decided that I will share a little update on mine, too. After all, the parents had not been the only ones in the family who had been very busy working on their garden. I was too … albeit on a smaller scale and a different type of garden! ūüėČ

Even though the daddy-man was hoping that we would stay one more night so that we could come to the barbecue down in the wood that Saturday evening; however, I was glad that we did not … but went back home instead.¬†¬†So, I was able to take advantage of the change in weather and the rise in temperature since the weekend to resume work on my own spring garden on our balcony!

Like their garden, my own garden is still a work in progress … but it is slowly growing and taking shape, especially since the past few mornings … as I have started to plant more seedlings outside. Although I have not managed to fill all the empty containers that are standing ready to host some plants … still … if the good weather stays, then hopefully I will be able to plant out even more seedlings over the next few days … or weeks (since we are going away this weekend for another extended weekend excursion, but with the parents this time and outside of Switzerland).

So while the parents’ garden are blooming with colourful and pretty flowers as well as fruit trees … mine is filled with something less spectacular — just vegetables mostly!

Okay … let us see how my balcony garden is shaping up …

As you can see, there are now more pots filled with plants on our balcony … and I have shifted all the split-bottom pots that rest on the railings to the right side of the balcony and filled them up with different variety of strawberries.

I decided to include flowering plants in some of these strawberry pots … such as these beautiful geraniums that I had bought during a weak moment as they were on sale at 50% discount! But then geraniums are supposed to repel a variety of insects … so they are not there just to look pretty, you could say! ūüėČ

But I think my most prized purchase this spring is this particular variety of strawberry which I had been trying to get my hands on for sometime …

… a deep pink-coloured flower strawberry plants! With this particular variety, I do not even have to include a colourful flowering plant to help them look pretty! hehehe …

I could not believe my eyes … and my luck … when I saw this variety of strawberry on sale at one of the garden centres which I had decided to drop by for an unplanned visit last week. If I had listened to my hearts, I would have bought lots of them … but in the end I listened to my head and bought only two small pots lah! ūüėČ This everbearing variety is called Camara, a new variety with elongated fruit. Hmmm … I cannot wait to see and taste the ripened fruit!

But I suppose I will not have to wait too long to taste some of these … nice! ūüôā

The strawberries are not the only ones flowering in my balcony garden.

These dwarf broad bean plants have also started flowering. It is the first time that I have seen the flowers of broad beans.

Not very colourful … but it looks quite interesting. I read that I must mist the flowers to help the fruit set. But with the regular rainfalls we had had of late¬†… I did not have to do much misting! There were lots of flowers on this particular plant … so maybe there will be lots of beans too! I hope …

And I am happy to notice that my raspberry plant (which we bought last year thinking it was a variety of a strawberry plant!!) has started to form flower buds! The fact that it is thriving came as a nice surprise as it seemed to be having a hard time adjusting to life on our balcony last year after we had brought it home from the garden centre. Thinking that it would die on me, I had not even bothered to protect it during snowfall in winter. Interestingly, it seems to have spring with a new zest for life this spring, It has not only grown taller … but has also sprouted more stems from below the soil. Not sure if we will get lots of raspberries from it … but to see it thriving and hopefully bearing some fruit is already a source of great satisfaction to me!

And then … remember that I mentioned the hubby ordering something¬†on line¬†for me to grow my potatoes this year?

This is it … orange-coloured plastic planting¬†bags (left picture) … specially made for growing potatoes!

I would not have bothered with them (since I could use the garbage bags just as well for growing my potatoes this year, as can be seen from the picture on the right with some potato plants already emerging through the straws) … but since it was not too expensive (it was on offer at that time … and still is) and because this potato¬†planting¬†bag has an opening at the bottom which allows one to check on the potatoes growing inside the bag and thus be able to harvest some of the ready potatoes while allowing the rest to continue to develop … I decided to give this bag a try. You can click here if you want to see the picture that I saw on the internet and the name of the¬†company from which¬†we ordered the bags.

And here is my first and only (for now at least) self-watering planter box … filled with pepper and chilli plants, a coloured chard … and a marigold in the centre to help deter unwanted guests!

Unlike last year, I decided that this year I would try to grow most of my plants in big containers (or pots) as much as possible … so that I would not have to water individual small pots at watering time and that the soil would not become dry as quickly. This¬†was why I was looking for wooden crates to grow my plants this year!

One of the two discarded wooden crates that I have adopted for my balcony garden this year … which is now filled with more coloured chards (since I like this vegetable) and a melon plant. As there were still some empty spots in the crate (since the other seedlings intended for this container are still too young for planting outside), I decided to make use of the space to put whatever small pots of plants that I have. As you can see, the radishes growing in the small square pots are about ready to be harvested.

They are the thinnings that I picked off from this box of radishes (ps: growing in the box below are pak choy seedlings). Although I read that radish seedlings do not transplant well, so far I have found that I have had no problem doing so. So I do not waste any seeds that sprouted … and transplant the thinnings in whatever little pots or spaces that I can find …

… such as in this big pot where I am growing onions … as well as the pot behind where I am growing pepino melon.

The other wooden crate for now is being used to hold pots of mints, chives and marigolds … while waiting for the seedlings on our windowsill to grow big and strong enough for planting outside.

And my bowls of salads and herbs.

I decided to do away with the earlier arrangement (where I stacked the pots) as it was more tedious to water each individual pot of herbs and salad greens … and the soil dried much too quickly to my liking! This is still temporary as I have in mind to try something else that I saw on the internet to help me cut down on watering my herbs and salads.

This year is all about trying to cut down on watering effort, recycling … and of course, to grow as much as I can on our small balcony lah! ūüôā

So I have plants not only on the balcony floor itself … and on the railing …

… but also on our balcony ledge …

… and hanging from the railing, too!

These are just some of the plants that I have growing on our balcony as of two days ago. I have planted several more yesterday as it was another nice and sunny day … and more will join this balcony garden club as we slowly get closer to summer. I am happy to say that we have already started eating from our little garden … even though for the time being only the salads and herbs!

A cousin of mine told me that she and her hubby were able to eat off the vegetables that they grew in their garden so that they did not have to buy any the whole summer. Now … that is a hard goal to achieve for ourselves since I only have a (medium-sized) balcony to grow my vegetable. But … we will see … how far self-sustaining we can be this summer … shall we? ūüėČ

Other entries on my balcony garden:


4 thoughts on “Spring garden 2012 on our balcony in Lausanne…

  1. Hello, janganlah envious. I win some and lose some. I get to enjoy strawberries but missed out on many of our tropical fruits because its too cold to try and grow them here!:(


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