A brand new gardening season for 2014 …

It is April Fool’s day … and on this day, a year ago … I was busy planting out my potatoes. Not this year, though … as I am a little late with respect to my gardening, which I knew that I would be, after having decided that I would go to Singapore for a few weeks to visit the family and my friends.

My potato seedlings are ready to be planted … but the planting medium and the receptacle for growing them are not! The grow bags that I used last year are still filled with soil and different plants from last year …. and we have not bought new composts for me to add into the existing ones. We did some ‘garden’ shopping during my first weekend home, and we bought some mediums to start my seeds sowing, etc … but I have not found the compost that I was looking for to start my potatoes. So the potatoes will have to wait to be planted.

In the meantime, I have re-planted some of the other plants and sown quite a lot of seeds. My edible balcony garden for 2014 is currently a ‘work in progress’! 😀

Messy balcony  at the start of spring 2014

Messy balcony at the start of spring 2014

The balcony is still in a mess … but the spring weather seems to be better this year, so that I should be able to make good progress on tidying the balcony and whipping my edible garden into shape … and, hopefully, I shall also not lose any of my seedlings to a sudden change of spring weather as I did, last year. We shall see lah!

Seeds on windowsills, end March 2014

Seeds on windowsills, end March 2014

So while waiting for my newly sown seeds to grow and provide me with fresh new edible plants that I am hoping to grow this year … I take comfort in those that I have managed to keep alive from last year … with some already happy to share their bounty with me! 🙂

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Plants growing inside the living room in winter.

My babies that had to be brought inside in winter … still looking well enough upon my return from Singapore. Except that when I started looking more closely … I soon realised that unwanted visitors had been having a ball of a time while I was away … despite the ‘water guy’ having put on his best pest-busting act!

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Hungarian black pepper plant continues to produce peppers while growing inside the living room in winter

Both the Hungarian red and black peppers were flowering and producing a lot more peppers … but they were also badly infected with the dreaded aphids! Thankfully, the aphids population has now been brought under control. Nobody (even tiny ones) messes with my babies when I am around! hehehe … *evil grin*

Curry plant

Curry plant inside the living room, end March 2014

My curry plant, which was about to bloom just before I left, lost all the flowers and the developing seed buds upon my return! So no seed to collect and to keep (and to share) … much to my disappointment. 😦  And it was also starting to be infected with scale insects. Again, the unwanted visitors were quickly brought under control so that I do not lose my one and only curry plant!

On the positive side, the leaves on the plant have grown quite big … even bigger than the thickness of my thumb!

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Flowering and fruiting ground cherry inside the living room, end March 2014

And despite growing tall and lanky, deprived of bright sunlight inside the living room … my ground cherry plant has continued to grow … and to flower … and to fruit! I loikeee … 🙂 I still have not decided whether I should trim the plant and lose the developing flowers and cherries in the hope that fresh shoots will appear so that the plant will become bushy … or to just let it grow taller and taller! I shall have to find out more info before chopping it off!

Out on the balcony, I was surprised at some of my plants which are ready to be harvested … if I so wish it. Apart from the usual herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, marjoram and several pots of chives …

Bean and pea shoots

Pea shoots (top) and broad bean shoots (bottom) left to grow over winter.

… my pea and bean shoots are also ready for the plate … after having left to grow very slowly on the table outside in winter    but, of course, covered lightly in bubble sheets lah!! They are now in the greenhouse shelf as I need the table to do some of my garden work!

Onions family

White (top) and red Florence (bottom) shallots in spring, 2014

White and red shallots or spring onions. Some are ready to be picked and eaten, too!

Tom Thumb peas

Tom Thumb peas, end March 2014

My Tom Thumb pea plants … which I left growing on the balcony wrapped in a protective plastic sheet. The ‘water guy’ totally overlooked these plants for the whole of 5 weeks that I was away. But when I opened the plastic wrap on my return…. I got a lovely surprise. The plants were busy flowering and producing pea pods inside their plastic cocoon … despite having to battle the aphids and the lack of water! 🙂

Roots veggies

Radish and carrot plants at end March 2014.

Some of my carrot plants and radishes from last year’s growing season.

And last, but not least …

Raspberries and strawberries

Raspberry and strawberry plants at the start of spring 2014.

… my berries bearing plants are growing well, too. The strawberries have started to flower … which means that I should be able to taste some early strawberries … if there are no last-minute snowfall or hailstorms in spring lah!

So despite being a little on the late side in the seed sowing department this year, … by taking the risk of having grown some of these plants late in the growing season last year, this seems to have paid off for me. It might not be much … but I am already happily harvesting my broad bean shoots …

March 2014 mini harvest

Mini harvest from my balcony garden at the end of March 2014.

…. as well as these little guys at the end of March! That two cute little peas are my first peas for this season and to me … they are the sweetest peas that I have ever tasted! 🙂

So everything considered … I am one happy gardener, especially as I have brought back something from my trip home to Singapore to plant in my edible garden this year! 😀

 

 

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7 thoughts on “A brand new gardening season for 2014 …

  1. What a pity, I could have provided both of you with some ‘travel tips’ – as I used to live in Geneva before I moved to Lausanne (and I also spent some time in Zurich). Anyhow, I hope both of you had a great time in spite of the poor weather conditions — how unlucky given that to visit the Lake Léman region or the Zurich region when the weather is fine really makes for a different experience, in part because the scenery then stands out more clearly.

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  2. Salam Azian, sorry that we did not get to have any Swiss tea together. Belum ada rezeki untuk berjumpa, yet … insyaallah next time, perhaps. 🙂

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  3. Salam Kay, thank you for writing to me and the well wishes. It is so nice to know that you have been following my blog, although I must confess that I no longer write as often as I used to. How lovely to hear that you are in Switzerland … and had even visited Lausanne! Did you take the train or drive a car? It is a pity not to have been able to meet up while you are in Lausanne. But as you said, insyaallah maybe on another visit, perhaps? You are the second reader of my blog who had come to visit Switzerland in recent weeks! (ps: if you are still near Lake Leman area, the Tulip Festival in Morges is still on until this Sunday. Morges is situated between Lausanne and Geneva)

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  4. Salam/Dear CT. I’ve been your blog follower & silent reader for more than 2 years now…. have been “fascinated”by your green hands on the balcony ( I am a no no gardening person!😔) as well your write ups on your excursions & trips. And love the beautiful pics of Switzerland that you posted & long to visit the beautiful country. In 2012, we (my hubby & 2 other friends ) did make our way to Switzerland but only to Zurich on our way to Austria/Italy ( you & family were also on holiday to Italy at that time). Well .. Alhamdulillah we are on our Europe vacation again this time with one of our sons & we are today in Lausanne. We reach the city centre around 4pm & drop by a kebab shop for late lunch ( we had ‘chocolate’ lunch at Maison Cailler chocolate factory at Broc earlier – thanks to your blog, it has helps us in our travel plans. We are spending a nite at Ibis Crissier & will proceed to Geneva tomorrow. Would have love to meet up with you but time may not permits.. Insyallah di lain kali. Wish you all the best in your balcony gardening this year.

    Kay
    Kuala Lumpur

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  5. Hi siti, i will be in zurich on 21st April. How far is your house. May be i can have swiss tea at the comfort of your sofa. Hotel not confirm yet

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  6. Salam Ros, terimakasih kerana singgah. Tapi sayangnya, tuan rumah tengah busy bercucuk tanam dan mengemas balkoni sekarang ni … so tak ada masa nak bercerita kat sini! Insyaallah, bila senang sikit, I akan berkongsi cerita dan gambar dan balas emel you. Maaf ye belum balas emel you lagi. Semuga you tabah dan banyak bersabar ye. Take care!

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  7. Salam Sity,

    Lama tak singgah rumah you, dah mula nampak meriah tanam-tanaman di balcony. Saya sedang ‘cuti’ bercucuk tanam sekarang ni. Tumpang tengok kebun you, mudah-mudahan jadi pembakar semangat…!

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