Okay, I know that I have been extremely quiet this April. Not a squeak from me since my last entry on April Fool’s day … This is why I thought that maybe I should try and ease my guilty conscience a little by taking a short break from working on my balcony potager (as we say here in French) … to share what has been keeping me busy all these weeks!
Since my return from Singapore, it has been a busy period for me … on the balcony! There is sooo much to do … that I am often torn between the urge to continue my gardening prep work on the balcony and my desire to go out to the nearby woods to do a little spring foraging … when the day is nice and sunny, that is. So far, the pull of my balcony potager has been stronger … so that I have yet to step foot into the nearby woods at Sauvabelin or even further uphill in the magnificent woods of the Jorat, near Mauvernay … to try to check out for any free wild edibles!
In addition, when I am not working on the balcony … the urge to sit down and share on this blog has to take a back seat to the more important and (I must admit) more interesting task of reading up about the different plants that I am growing and those that I intend to grow during this gardening season. This is the time of the year when my gardening reference books get to leave their boring spots on the bookshelves and spend some good quality time with me! hehehe … 😀
Although this year I did not buy a lot of seeds (more on my seed buying spree in a future entry) … I did get some new ones, including a few plants and herbs. So I need to read up about them to know exactly what I am to do with them … in order not to kill them! 😉
As my balcony potager is still very much a work in progress … and as it does not look that much better since I last showed pictures of it … I am, therefore, going to show only selected pictures of the plants growing in my balcony potager lah!
Okay, these pots do not belong to me but to my neighbours above … some pretty flowers hanging on the railing to brighten up their balcony.
Me … I prefer to brighten up our balcony railing with something that we could eat … like these strawberry plants, for instance.
Their flowers are just as pretty as those of my neighbours above (at least to me) …
… and then once the flowers are spent, I shall get to enjoy some delicious strawberries!
Or like these broad bean plants. These were the very same ones that I had grown in winter for their shoots. But as I have not been harvesting the tops regularly …
… they have started flowering, instead! So maybe we shall get to enjoy some broad beans, after all … even though I had decided that I would not be growing any dwarf broad beans plants for their beans this year! hehehe … I love nice surprises! 😀
Some plants basking in the spring sunshine on top of the garden shed yesterday afternoon. However, having learnt from my painful experience last year … I have decided not to let my precious seedlings currently growing on my windowsills to join these more established plants outside until the warm season has truly arrived!
Blood-veined sorrel which I was happy to have found during one of my visits to several garden centres. I had wanted to get my hands on this beautiful plant ever since I saw it in one of my gardening books two years ago. Strangely though, just one week under my care and the leaves had started to turn quite red … so that it is not looking as pretty as it should! Hmmm … I must be doing something wrong! 😦
Okay, a few more pics …
Garlic plants with some radishes just starting to sprout. I had hoped to get more garlic this year … but, unfortunately, those garlic bulbs that I planted in another pot failed to sprout, much to my disappointment.
Potato shoots finally making their appearance! Unlike last year when I grew three different varieties of potatoes, I chose to plant only two this year so that I will have some space to grow two different varieties of sweet potatoes instead.
Purple podded bean plants and a sweet potato plant sharing the same basket. After the bean seedlings took quite a beating from strong winds lashing through our balcony more than a week ago, I decided to cover them with plastic sheet. Apart from the wind, it also helps to protect against a sudden drop in temperature on some nights.
It is a hassle having to put them to sleep in the evening … and then letting them have some fresh air to breathe on hot sunny afternoons … BUT … better to be safe than sorry lah! It serves me right for being too eager to plant them outside! 🙂
My pea plants also get to be put to sleep every evening. This year, I did two sowings at two different times … just to see if it will extend their growing season. And I also trimmed off the tops to see if this will help them to become bushy … and, thus, produce more pea pods, hopefully?
Siow Pai Tsai seedlings … helping to fill the vacant space in two of these pails while waiting for their rightful owners to grow big enough to take over the growing spots! From last year’s experience, it did not take long for these oriental greens to grow big enough for harvesting!
And last but not least …
… these are the two herb cuttings that I brought back from Singapore last month … Vietnamese mint and centella (otherwise known as kesum and pegaga in Malay). I had tried growing pegaga from seeds last year, but the seeds failed to sprout despite several tries. So I was very pleased when I found this herb with its root intacts being sold at a fresh market in Singapore. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the pegaga will like growing in my balcony potager! 😉