Spring is in the air, the clocks were ‘sprung’ ahead, Kiki and Nerica (my dogs) have been overly exhuberant – dare I say it again – I have the fever – gardening fever. So in the last week of March, I found myself amongst armies of chocolate easter bunnies. Yep I love me some chocolate but I love #plants more, my heart sunk for a moment, had all the perenial plants been sold out? Noooooooooooo and then in a moment joy overcame me again, turning I caught a glimpse of #plant life and a few boxes with printed pictures of what is to come. I was pretty excited! The last boxes of plants were hidden away from the new items, shoved into the aisle that almost no one ever goes to (lucky for me.) I couldn’t resist. Now 2 weeks have passed and finally the conditions were right today to plant the last three items that I purchased:
Dahlia ‘Purple Gem’ one cluster of tubers
‘Aquilegia alpina’ three small root systems
Each of the perenial plant packets noted above cost around 7 lei or approx 1.50USD or 1.75EUR
Now I had already purchased the Aguiea Alpina and planted that batch in a different box. The three previous root systems that I planted took off. So that inspired me to purchase it again besides it’s one of my favorite plants. I was a little concerned about planting them because we had some crazy weather it was too wet and I didn’t want them to rot so I waited and then we had a couple of too hot days where I felt like it would be too much for them. Today was the day, =the sky was overcast and the air was cooler so it was their lucky day and mine to as I planted them today on Leonardo DaVinci’s birthday. So I’ve included a flower study by Leonardo too.
On my wish list: Hydrangeas
Hydrangeas make me think of my grandmother Sophie. My grandmother had a beautiful garden filled with fruits, vegetables and flowers. They also make me think of my aunt Rose & uncle Frank’s home, they had several in the front of their house with an over abundance of flowers. (Although I’m not sure that you can actually say that any flower is overly abundant, since I can never get enough.) They were gorgeous. It takes a few years for a hydrangea to become strong and show so many flowers. The picture of the Blue Hydrangea shown here was planted on my balcony in 2010 – it didn’t make it past the first year but it was beautiful. Hopefully this week I will purchase a hydrangea. I’ve tried hydrangea a few times in the past on the balcony and usually the heat is just too intense. They survive but the sun even in the quasi-sheltered spots, it is just too much. They all have survived through the entire summer, although it seems to weaken them so that they just can’t make it through the winter.
Last year I added some more reed panels to the balcony. I created one taller one that was supposed to hide the kind of messy area on the balcony. It was perpendicular to the railing on the balcony. This year I turned to to be parallel to the rail and also added a height of chicken wire alongside of it to create a little more privacy and to provide more shade. (Will post some pix soon) So this year I will try once again to grow hydrangea on the balcony. I believe it will survive the next winter, not only because it won’t be battered as much by the sun and I plan on planting it in a larger pot then wrapping it in burlap sometime in late October, early November.
Planted seeds and they are sprouting
Seeds are sprouting – spinach, the fragrant flower mixandra (Matthiola Incana), poppies and cipru (Kochia scoparia) all of which are new seeds for me this year. I’ve longed for cipru and this is the first year that I found seeds for it – it is commonly known as the Burning Bush plant as it becomes a fiery pink colour in fall. (pic shows it in its earlier state) There are other seeds as well and I will feature them in another pose that is if they grow one thing that I couldn’t find this year that I really adore are the Clema Cleopatrei Cleome Spinosa. I did plant them one year my balcony and only one plant survived was quite disappointed because I thought they were pretty hardy plants. Seed pix coming in a few days but here is a picture of several Kochia scoparia – ‘Cipru’ plants –
Let me know what you planted in your garden and/or what you want to plant. Happy balcony gardening!
ps Following are some reference links the first is a link to a great resource loaded with pictures of all kinds of plants – there are versions of this site in several languages. Easy to use and gorgeous photos. The second link is to a Dahlia page with a wiki and several slow motion videos of Dahlias opening. As the site evolves, you can expect more info pages. Enjoy!