Friday, June 03, 2011
Where did spring go?
Normally, by early April I'm longing to plant my containers on my balcony,... I look at gardening catalogs, maybe order some stuff, and plot out what I want... list the herbs, brainstorm flowers, etc.
This year, we had a really warm few days in April and I remember thinking "Oh I want to plant! But it's much too early." And as if to prove that the case, the weather turned cold and stormy. *Very* stormy. And it rained for pretty much all of May. So before I know it, it's almost Memorial day weekend and I haven't even so much as glanced through a gardening catalog.
Ooops. And to make things more interesting, last weekend we were out of town, this weekend is packed solid, and I won't be able to go shopping for plants or plant anything next week, either, so that meant that I had to get it done this week or it would be mid-June before anything got done.
And they repaved the parking lot in front of our apartment this week, so we had to park far away and I didn't want to have to carry flats of plants and bags of potting soil that far.
But yesterday the parking opened and I went to go get my flowers. Saturday I'm going to a farmer's market and I m hoping to pick up some herbs and either a couple of tomatoes or a tomato and a bell pepper.
So today I planted all the flowers, and even repotted a couple of things that needed to be re-potted. For those of you who haven't followed me, I have a big balcony--8 feet by 22 feet. our old apartment balcony was small and I completely filled it with plants--tiered, even, so that there was barely room to get out there to weed, deadhead, and water them. Now we have this huge balcony and I can't afford to fill it with plants like that but we have approximately 20 pots, 3 window boxes, and 2 upside down containers. Now, a lot of those pots are pretty small, but still, it fills the space nicely.
The downside of shopping for plants so late is that the selection is poor. I wasn't able to et my normal one or two show pieces, flowers that draw humming birds and/or butterflies, etc. This year it's pretty much petunias and mini-petunias (superbells), with a couple of daisies and some moss roses for variety. But the upside is that everything was on sale, so it was probably the cheapest year ever.
This year the color pallet is a little different, too. For the past 9 years, I've stuck to a rich dark purple, bright yellow, and red-golds. This year I opted for softer colors of the same--so softer purples and a softer yellow; no reds. Everything is minimal maintenance--I won't have to dead head anything, so all I have to do is keep them watered, and with the self watering containers that's easier; I can usually get away with watering only a couple of times a week instead of every day like I used to have to.
I took some pictures, though keep in mind this is still very much a work in progress so I have bags of dirt etc. still on the balcony and 2 window boxes, 3 pots and 2 upside down containers still to fill, my bike is still on the balcony, and my window boxes aren't put up yet. But I am hoping to post pictures soon if I can, since people were asking for pictures and the only picture I have of the balcony on sparks is the picture of me standing out there this spring, when everything was still pretty bare and the balcony mostly empty (we do have some furniture--a nice bistro set, a bench, a shelf unit, a small table, and some storage units that stay out there year round; it's a really big space so it basically serves as an outdoor room.
Unfortunately, I have a crazy-busy weekend, so I don't know if I will be able to get on line or not. But fingers crossed.