A chilly Monday morning…

When I stepped out onto the balcony this morning, I could not believe how chilly it was … despite the sun shining brightly on the balcony! And so I decided to check the meteo online and I was quite surprised to see that the temperature read 7.9°C (at 8.15am)! No wonder …

Just last week, it was so nice and warm from Wednesday all the way to Friday, with minimum temperatures way above 10°C … especially on Friday when the temperature rose as high as 27°C in late afternoon (which at this particular time of the season is around 6 -7 pm as the sun will not set until nearly 9pm.). And then it rained for one whole day on Saturday … thus kicking off the downward trend in temperature! Haizzz … my poor plants on the balcony. Although the hubby had cautioned me about this phenomenon highly unfavourable to plants, called saints de glace in French, which happens on 11 to 13 May each year.

Of course with the cooler afternoon, it made it nicer to work on my garden on the balcony. And so yesterday afternoon, taking advantage of a sunny day, I spent several hours shifting some plants … beside planting a few seedlings. I had to do some shifting (or rather re-planting) of the seedlings that I had already planted in the big planters as I had realised (after reading up on a few guides to companion planting) that I had unknowingly planted certain plants which should not be planted together in the same containers! Oopps …

I know, I know … I should have read up about it BEFORE planting my seedlings! I had read some, just not in great details … and really, there are many different versions and pieces of advice on companion planting! But … better late than never, I always believe. No harm done … except to my back (having to re-do some of my efforts!). So hopefully now that I have quite a comprehensive list at hand on which plants are best buddies … or which are sworn enemies … I shall not make the same mistake lah! 🙂

So on this beautiful sunny … but chilly Monday morning, I thought I would share more photos of my balcony garden … especially on the flowers that have started to bloom from some of the plants.

With the re-planting of some plants, I also had to shift the planters around. It is too complicated to explain here, but I just had to. Which explains my backache … since these planters are heavy!! I could have asked the hubby for help … but as he was busy going through the boxes down in the cellar yesterday, I decided to just do it!

I also pinched one of the shelf frames from my plant shelf (since I do not need to use all of them in summer)  to act as climbing frame for my cucumber plants! Recycling, remember? 😉

Chives blooming so beautifully. I decided to re-pot some of the chives into smaller pots to give them away … since the chives seem to be thriving so well this year!

Pineapple tomatoes starting to flower. The other tomatoes are also starting to bud, including the Andes tomatoes. Nice! 🙂

The small white flowers of the equally small alpine strawberries.

Red and white flowers of runner bean plant. Definitely prettier than the black and white colours of the broad bean flowers … but not as profuse.

Unfortunately, my broad bean flowers have started to drop!

I decided to google to find out what is happening … and found out that it is quite common for the lower flowers to drop off the plants (and not develop into beans). I hope this is true and that it will not happen to the rest of the flowers! Because there had been others who reported that, despite the abundance of flowers, the broad beans never happen … so no harvest!

Basilic de provence with its dainty white flowers. I cut the rest of the flower stalks, leaving only these two (to try and collect some seeds) as it would grow too tall and lanky, otherwise.

One of the raspberry flower buds starting to open. A few more buds have started to appear on this plant which I had given up hope on last year! Just wonderful! 🙂

Eggplant or aubergine … just starting to bud. Check out the spike on the bud!

Flower buds of the pepino melon. When I first saw the darkish coloured stem of the buds, I thought the buds had dried up and were going to fall. I was quite upset as there were several of such stalks with flower buds. But upon closer inspection, I realised that it was just their natural colours! phewwww ….

Marseillais small pepper … starting to bud. This French heirloom peppers are yellowish orange in colour. Have never tried it before, so I don’t really know how hot is this pepper.

Although some of the plants outside have started to bud and flower … there are still a number of seedlings growing on our windowsills … bidding time to go outside. And amongst them … which I cannot wait to grow big enough so that I can start planting them outside are the followings …

Sweet potato (left) and honeydew (right).

After surfing on the internet to find out about how to plant sweet potatoes in containers, I decided that I would try to do so this year. Sweet potatoes are expensive here, so it would be nice to plant some for myself as I love sweet potatoes. As for the honeydew, I have started a few seedlings from the seeds that I had collected from the sweet honeydews that we had last year. But this one is special because it has an orange-coloured flesh, like a melon … and I had ordered the seeds from the United States. I just hope that both will grow well enough to give me something to harvest!! Hmmm … we shall see … at the end of summer.

And this is another batch of wild or alpine strawberry seedlings to add to my current collection of strawberry plants. Of course, I already have plenty growing on my balcony since these small strawberries are very easy to grow… but these ones are special.

Why?

Because … among them … only if I am lucky with my seed choices … are white strawberries!! Oh yes, I am hoping to taste my very first white strawberry!

Unfortunately,  the white strawberry seeds were sold mixed together with the normal red ones. So I can only hope that at least one among the several that grew is one of the white variety! haizzz … what a long and painful wait it is going to be … 😦

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4 thoughts on “A chilly Monday morning…

  1. You are welcome!
    If you want to see how pepino melon looks like and some info on it, you can click here. Or just do a google image search on that name. I bought it because the plant was on sale very cheaply, not even CHF 2! I myself have never heard of this fruit before this, which is why I only bought one plant to try. Not sure if rasanya sedap, harap2 sedap lah! 🙂 Chive on the other hand is a herb. It is an equivalent of daun bawang in S’pore/M’sia. Boleh tabur on soups, omelette, salads, inti epok2 kentang, etc! It is a very easy herb to grow and I recently found out that it is also supposed to e good for repelling aphids!¨

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  2. Lot of thanks….so kind of you to share the tips with me. Thank you very very veryyy much. Never heard or see the pepino melon. Is it same with rock melon or honey dew melon? The plant looks so different with the usual melon tree here…so jakun lah..! Last week i found a bread recipe that using chive as one of the ingredient. What is chive? Is it a herb? Sorry if i asked too much. Thank you.

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  3. Last year not all my plants were healthy as it was my first year starting a vegetable garden on my balcony. I had problem with aphids, too. But I have been reading a lot from books, magazines and internet and from there learnt quite a number of things. I will email you separately a few tips or links which I had found useful as it would be too long to write them here, ok?

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  4. Good work….so rajin tending them, your plant grow very healthy. You can be called ” Peladang Jaya”…here i had a problem with the aphid & bugs, destroying my seedlings and other plant make me sad. I don’t know how to tackle it. maybe i need to read more about gardening.

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