Poor balcony garden … we had rejoiced too early after finding out last week while we were still in Singapore that it had rained during our absence (by as much as 42 litres per square metre in Lausanne on the night of Thursday to Friday apparently).
The more so as this morning while travelling on the train back home from Zurich to Lausanne we had noticed that the water levels of Switzerland’s longest river, the Aar … along which the train passes from Aarau to Berne … were really high.
So although the weather was nice, sunny and pleasantly warm (in comparison with the hot and humid weather in Singapore), the hubby’s only concern was that last week’s storms might have left their mark on our small balcony garden and he feared that, in the worst case, either one of the jerry cans had tipped over onto the yellow raspberries, that the wind might have left the stems of the corn stacks bent at 45 degrees … or … even that it had blown some of the smaller pots off the balcony!
However, as we had enjoyed a perfect journey back home starting with the smooth check-in process at Changi Airport … given that our suitcases weighed 25kg and 23.75 (on top of which we brought on board hand luggage of 7.9kg and 5.7kg & a small rucksack respectively) … plus a pleasant flight during which were able to sleep for at least 65% of the duration, a smooth passing through the customs at Zurich Airport, followed by almost no waiting at the conveyor belt and a train to Lausanne not long after that, well … I suppose that we were entitled to err on the optimistic side lah.
However, we soon found out that some plants had shrivelled, having been affected by the warm sun during our holidays … and that others had become intermingled with other plants (photo on the left) because of the recent storms. In other words, there had been some casualties …
…. such as this potato plants which had been growing so nicely just before I left … but now reduced to dried stalks! arggghhh ….
And then … several among those that had survived the storm and warm sun were unfortunately besieged by swarms of aphids …
… in particular the broad bean plants … another argggghh!!! They looked so gross all covered with black aphids that I decided to get rid of all the three plants as soon as I noticed this … even though it broke my heart to do so since they were fruiting! haizzz …. what a waste of several months of efforts … 😦
Actually, I had been a little worried when I saw that there were spots of black aphids colony on the bean plants farmed by black ants before I left (even though I tried to get rid of any that I managed to spot). However, I certainly had not expected the plants to be totally overran by swamps of them by the time I got back … yucks!!!
Fortunately, this was almost completely offset by seeing that the main elements of our plant watering system had worked according to plans.
And there certainly were also some bright spots in the garden to cheer me up upon my return …
… especially when I spotted this fruit. Yup, yup … I am finally seeing my very first pepino melons! And as you can see, one of the fruits is already quite big with another smaller one growing at the side. Hmmm … I cannot wait for them to ripen! 🙂
And then there are also these two sweet corns which have started to form very nicely … with the cucumber on the right growing even fatter than when the hubby last showed me its photo.
The green chillies and peppers also seem to have been faring well enough over the holidays in their self-watering containers.
Plus the tomatoes … we could see more tomatoes developing on the plants, and they did not seem too affected by more than a week of neglect … nice! 🙂
And so … that briefly sums up the state of our balcony garden upon our return from our holiday in Singapore. It is going to be a bit of a challenge trying to turn it around after being left to such a state as a result of our holidays … but to tell you the truth … I really look forward to giving it my best shot! hehehe … 🙂
Co-written with the hubby
Other entries on the balcony garden during our summer holidays 2012:
- Good news for the plants while we are away …
- Balcony garden update in absentia of the chief gardener
- Time to say bye-bye to my babies…
- Damage control…
Entry on the balcony garden upon our return from our June holidays last year: