Balcony garden update in absentia of the chief gardener…

I suppose some of this blog’s readers must be wondering how the chief gardener’s ‘babies’ are faring in her absence. Well, I must admit that the level of care has dropped to a considerably lower level since the chief gardener left for Southeast Asia … partly because I am not at home for long (I have been cycling or running back home – but not from Geneva – in the evenings), and partly because I am only a ‘trainee’ gardener and one not that much interested in his duties to make things worse …

However, I have been watering the plants reasonably regularly and the watering system chief gardener had set up before leaving has worked reasonably well – although one part (the ‘jerry can pipes’) has not yet been tried out. What do you think?

Fortunately, we have had some rain showers two or three times (especially at night) because the temperature has been rather hot – on Wednesday evening when I ran home from Morges to Lausanne on my way back from work, I found that the temperature made it rather difficult to complete the full 20km (I gave up about 1km from home) as it was still 29 degrees Celsius at 7:30 pm when I reached the area near Lausanne railway station.

From left to right (click to enlarge), the various watering systems in terms of their success (as at 21 June): the bottle system was still full of water one week after … so this morning I emptied it, tried to loosen its nozzle a little and filled it up with less water so as to see whether this dripping system will work over the next few days before I fly over to Singapore myself.  As for the middle picture, the black container was three quarters empty and the plants it has been watering seem OK, so I guess I could say that it has worked well, albeit probably at too fast a pace considering the time I shall be away (10 days). As for this strip-based watering system on the picture on the far right, the container was totally empty as the plants had already soaked up all the water. This makes me wonder whether I should leave the awning stretched open (to protect the plants on the table from the scorching sun) or roll it back in (so that they can enjoy some drops of water in case it rains while I am away).

I have to admit that I have not been feasting on these delicious salads at all as I have been on a protein-only diet this week (with the occasional chocolate relapse) so as to lose weight (I want to take part in the Lausanne Marathon towards the end of October and I would like to have shed 7 kilos by then so as to be in optimum racing weight). However, I will be eating some of these delicious-looking leaves starting from today because it would be a pity not to do so…

Of course, I hope that as many as possible of these strawberries will have ripened by Wednesday … so that can I have them for dessert.

I still have not made up mind about going to the mountains tomorrow (I am thinking of the Aletsch area with its beautiful glaciers) or going for a 20km run in the morning, then taking it easy for the rest of the day with some suitcase packing and … also attending to the balcony garden. In June, when the days are so long (with day light extending from 5:10 am to 10 pm yesterday), however I feel it would be a pity not to make use of these conditions for a walk in the mountains … Anyhow, right now I guess I should go out and buy some chocolates to bring with me on Thursday (although I could still do so from Zurich airport)   😉

Postscript: the sun having showed up in the meantime … I was able to spot some nice growths I had not noticed previously so I could not resist taking these pictures …

The balcony certainly looks better when the sun is out, no?

And a nice surprise (click to enlarge): some vegetables I had overlooked, although they are growing nicely …

Other entries on the balcony garden (2012):

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7 thoughts on “Balcony garden update in absentia of the chief gardener…

  1. Pingback: Why add another blog to the millions already around? « paulzan

  2. Hi Kak Maz, oh yes, the chief gardener is very happy to see that her babies are still surviving! hehehe …

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  3. Ros and Maznah, thank you both. This is kind of you. Although I have done nothing else but fill in watering cans and then emptying them … Argh, I decided not to go along the panoramic trail to the Swiss Alpine Club’s shelter at Oberaletsch as I would have had to catch 6:20 am train, I would have got at the Belalp cable car station at 9 am and then would have had to make sure I would catch the 6:20 pm (back home around 9 pm) – the panoramic walk from Belalp to Oberaletsch is 4.5 hours each way … But it would have been grand (some Dutch visitors have put up a presentation with stills at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSxV7hGU9sc&feature=related). Maybe I can take my second half there in July or August and we stay at the shelter overnight. So instead I went running along the lake – I’ll try to post some of the photos I took …

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  4. Good job Paul! The balcony is looking good. I am sure the chief is happy looking at her babies. Enjoy your summer!

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