Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Maintenance work

Last night/evening I did some maintenance work on the balcony. You know weeding, watering, removing dead flowers, turning pots and things like that. Because of the heat wave you can only do this late in the evening when things have cooled down a bit and lately I've been too busy "mini vacationing" to do more than watering so I was a bit behind in my chores.

Curious kitty!

My balcony isn't kitty proofed so I can't let my cats out there but last night I badly needed to open up the door more than the narrow cat-safe opening to let in some cool air (I've got mosquito/cat net in my bedroom window so I can keep it fully open but it's just not enough) and of course two scared but very curious kitties followed me out on the balcony. It slowed down my maintenance work a bit to keep them safe but it was worth it.

And yes, I know there is (or rather WAS) weeds in the Deadly Nightshade/Belladonna pot *blushes* It's gone now though!

My poor, bald, lanky Hydrangea/Hortensia

It was time to remove the withering flowers from my Hydrangea to leave room for new branches (and hopefully new buds) but the poor thing is looking miserable right now (and so is the photo, the flash was really messing with me here). The Hydrangea REALLY doesn't like the heat wave but I hope trimming away the withering flowers will help it to feel a bit refreshed.

Lovely Petunias! How could I ever find them boring?

And look! One of the Wild Strawberries/Smultron is starting to turn red.

Pale blue Lobelia

I know the photo is quite blurry but I still think it's beautiful. I love the almost magical glow the flowers have gotten in this photo.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Heat wave

As I mentioned earlier we have a heat wave in Sweden right now! Phew! Today's been the hottest day so far with +36°C out on the balcony = way too hot for both me and some of my plants. (Let's face it, I'm Swedish! Complaining about the weather is a HUGE part of the Swedish mentality, no matter if it's too hot or too rainy. LOL)

There are only a few ours early in the day that when I can use the balcony and then I can't go out there until late evening. And the bright sun shining from a clear blue sky causes a really bad light for taking photos as well with harsh shadows and washed out colors. But I still want to document the growth and a lot of thing's happened since the last photos (all the heath and sun have finally encouraged my plants to GROW, as long as I give them plenty of water).

As you can tell the thee flower boxes have become a bit more lush.

Or you WOULD have been able to tell if it wasn't for the harsh shadows.

The corner is staring to look like a jungle (a lot prettier IRL than in this photo)

I've been able to find the first (yummy!) Sweet Pea pods

There's buds in two of the pelargonium plants

The Hydrangea/Hortensia bud seen in the last entry has begun to blossom.

I've also spotted tomato flowers (but no baby tomatoes yet)

And look at how big the radishes are (I soon need to remove some of them
to give room for the others, I just want them to be a little bit bigger first

The striped Petunia has gotten a lot of flowers...

...and so has the tiny, pink one...

...and the tiny purple one as well

Pale blue trailing Lobelia

Pink trailing Lobelia

Better late than never!

Oh no! I just realized that I've never showed these photos (and I'd even fixed them up and uploaded them, I just forgot to create the post *blush*) I think I'll blame it on the heat wave we're having right now and the fact that I've had kind of a mini vacation for a couple of days (even though I spent the nights at home, much to the relief of my thirsty balcony flowers)

Anyway, these photos are from TUESDAY, JUNE 23, 2009 just like the foggy night photos (these are taken during the day after that night though).

Hydrangea/Hortensia buds

Blue trailing Lobelia/Hänglobelia

Pale blue trailing Lobelia/Hänglobelia

Purple trailing Lobelia/Hänglobelia


Tiny Petunia

Pytte with tiny Petunia and Sweet Alyssum/Strandkrassing

Pytte hiding amongst the Petunias

The Radishes/Rädisor

The bonus flowerbed has started to blossom

I've taken some recent photos today as well that I will show later.... if I can remember it!!! LOL

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Misty Mountains

Or well, at least there COULD be mountains out there, I wouldn't be to see them anyway. LOL

Night fog

The last couple of days we've had sunshine! Yay!!! The same can't be said for the nights though. Well, yes I know, sunshine is a bit rare at might anyway but I'm talking about clear skies. Or well, actually, I AM talking about sunshine as well since the sun actually rises at 03.30 at night at this time of the year and these photos are taken well passed that time but still at night. And as you can see, no sunshine what so ever! (or clear sky for that matter)

I've said it before, this costal climate takes some time to get used to!

Wild Strawberries/Smultron

It's still light enough to take night photos of my little Wild Strawberries/Smultron though. I'm looking forward to taste them later on..

Sunday, June 21, 2009

About scents and smells

As I've said before, I think it's important to experience your garden and balcony with all you senses. The problem is that when you have a balcony it's hard to control these things yourself, you're a victim to other people as well and because of this the scents and smells on my balcony aren't always that enjoyable.

First of all, as I've told you earlier, there's a pizza parlor just below my balcony. This means that every now and then my balcony smells of pizza and while the pizza aroma makes you hungry and it's not a typical garden scent. LOL

But the main problem with the pizza parlor is all the cigarette smoke. Yuck!!!! You're not allowed to smoke in restaurants in Sweden which means that many smoking customers take a cigarette before entering the pizza parlor and often as soon as they exit as well. And when they're low on customers the pizza guys them selves take long smoke breaks under my balcony too. Cigarette smoke is absolutely vile and disgusting and I also have serious problems with it because of my asthma which means I can't enjoy my balcony AT ALL (not even keep the door open) when someone's smoking nearby. *insert all kinds of angry, not very family friendly words here*

Another smell that doesn't exactly fall under the category "lovely flowery scents" is cow dung. LOL I have a farm not very far away and during the summer nights the smell of dung usually reaches my balcony (for some reason you don't feel it during the day). I'll take cow dung over cigarette smoke any day though (maybe even over pizza, I'm not that fond of pizza. LOL). It reminds me of my childhood summers.

This summer I've tried to add some lovely scents as well. I love the wonderful sweet honey scent of my Sweet Alyssum/Strandkrassing and tonight while burring my nose in flowers to hide it from the cow dung I also discovered that the tiny, purple Petunia has a very lovely fragrance that the other Petunias lack. And later on in summer I will hopefully get Sweet Peas/Luktärt as well, if it just gets warm enough for them to grown.

Now I just wish I could add roses, lilacs, honeysuckles/kaprifoler and such to my balcony as well. (Or even more so I wish the pizza parlor would go bankrupt LOL)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

My mom's garden

I was visiting my mom yesterday to celebrate Midsummer and I thought this was a great opportunity to show you some of her garden (again I assume that balcony blog readers have an interest in other similar stuff, like gardens)

Unfortunately the weather and, because of that, the photo conditions were really bad. It was rainy and humid and those thick thunder clouds that makes the light so weird. Even if it didn't actually rain when I took my photos all of them turned out more or less blurry and well just not generally very good. I really wish I had a better camera (6 years is old for a digital camera) Maybe it's not fair to show my mom's garden in a less flattering way but I still think you will get a feeling for how lush and absolutely gorgeous it is.

This is just a part of her HUGE Rhododendron
(unfortunately the flowers had been a bit knocked down by all the rain)

They have deer problems which is why the young
apple tree in the background stands in a cage.

The potatoes and strawberries are caged too

White Bleeding Heart/Löjtnantshjärta and a little fellow made of birch


Part of the huge flowerbed below one of their porches

Garage/car port/weaving cottage seen in the background.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The bonus garden - part 2

Lookie, lookie what they've done today!!! Pretty!!! (Okay so one of the edges are a bit crooked but it's such a fantastic improvement anyway so I don't care... much. LOL)

The stairs below goes to a pizza parlor not to our front door. I'm not particularly fond of pizza though so that's NOT a bonus. LOL

Pretty, newly weeded flowerbed

More tidy than yesterday

And I'm sure you all can guess what I think about today's weather? LOL

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My bonus garden

I use to think of the grass, the rose bushes and the flowerbed below my balcony as my bonus garden. After all, I get to enjoy this little area as soon as I lift my head and peak over the reeling (Well, symbolically that is, even if I AM short in reality I'm not REALLY short enough to have to lift the head to peak over the reeling, I can see things fine as long as I'm standing up. LOL) In fact I see most of the greenery surrounding this house as my bonus garden.

Everything was very neat, tidy and well kept the first summer but not so the last one. I guess both the drought we had and all the dust and dirt from the road construction site made the landlord (big, local landlording company) ignore all their gardening chores (after all, I pretty much had to give up on the balcony that summer as well). On the other hand people living in this house also tend to voluntarily take care of the gardening as well, especially on the other side of the house where people (read: old age pensioners) are doing guerilla gardening and dig their own flowerbeds. LOL (The landlord doesn't mind, it's all well taken care of and makes this house feel very much like a home for the people living here and personally I love it)

Anyway, back to the part of the bonus garden that I can actually see from my balcony.

The bonus flowerbed

As you can see the flowerbed is still in dire need of some weeding! I wonder if the landlord or the guerilla gardeners are in charge of that one? I assume the sooner (or else it would be tidy LOL). I know that at least lawns, threes and shrubs fall under the landlord's responsibility and today they've actually had people out taking care of the rose bushes.

The bonus roses (they're still nned to tidy up here)

Now personally I prefer roses bushes to keep their free, organic shapes (some cutting are of course always needed anyway to remove dead wood etc) instead of the square shapes they've cut the shrubs in to today. But it's still a positive thing that they're starting to take better care of my bonus garden again (EVEN if they've cut away a lot of this years rose buds). Hopefully they will weed the flowerbed as well soon.

I promise to sneak out and take some photos of the guerilla flowerbeds another day but meanwhile you will have to settle with a photo from my balcony instead. And *faint* it's a miracle! We're having sunshine today too!!!

The tiny, pink little old lady plant Petunia

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What a difference a day makes!

Today we've had sunshine! I mean real actual sunny sunshine, not just the sun trying to shine through thinner layers of clouds like yesterday, but sunshine form a nice clear blue sky. And all of a sudden both me an the plants starts to blossom a bit more.

For instance my Bleeding Heart/Löjtnantshjärta started to flower today and I've found sugar pea flowers too. Okay, pea flowers aren't that exciting (even though they're cute if you give them a close look) but this mean that I will soon have sweet, yummy pea pods to munch on. Yum!!!

And guess what, my rugs have stopped squelching! By tomorrow they might be completely dry.

Bleeding Heart/Löjtnantshjärta

Sugar Pea/Sockerärta



My stunning view (also known as the building site)