What a show …

What a show … even if I do say so myself!

When, at the beginning of May, I decided to put in the summer bedding (& hope the weather would warm up & that I wouldn’t lose them!) little could I have imagined the weeks & weeks of extremely hot, dry, sunny weather we were in store for from mid June to the end of July 2018! (& still counting!)

My wife & I bought some packs of Petunias in town just before the Early Spring Bank Holiday, (7th May), which were part of a special Bank Holiday weekend offer – 4 packs for £3! So we got 3 packs of Petunias & a pack of Dark Begonias.

Petunias

‘Candyfloss Mix’:

‘Light Blue’:

‘Moonshine’ mixed:

‘Candyfloss’ flowering on balcony railings (From the outside) 1st June 2018:

‘Light Blue’ flowering on balcony railings (from the outside) 1st June 2018:

‘Moonshine mixed’ flowering on balcony railings (From outside) 1st June 2018

I put the pots, 2 plug plants to a pot, out on the balcony railing on the Bank Holiday Monday. As there were 6 plants in each pack & I had 9 pots I was able to group them according to their colours in groups of 3! Later on my wife decided they would look better if the colours were mixed up! So I had to break up the groupings of colours which made it more difficult to photograph them in the following months!

Petunias just potted up & put on balcony railings 7th May 2018

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Begonias sempervivens

‘Dark mixed’:

‘Dark mixed’ in bedroom window 25th June 2018:

Begonias in bedroom window from outside 26th June 2016:

I don’t have a more recent photo because, (as you can see from the last one I took), there is too much glare on the windows which makes it almost impossible to get a half decent photo!

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Variegated Geraniums:

As I had a lot of Geraniums that I’d overwintered I thought I could put them to good use by putting them in the new troughs I had bought, to take the place of the old ones which were falling to pieces.

‘Vancouver Centennial’ just planted out in new trough on balcony table 18th April:

Green & white just finished planting up in new trough on balcony table 18th April 2018

‘Black Prince’ just planted up in new trough on balcony table 18th April 2018:

I put the same variety of Variegated Geranium in each of the troughs on the centre bar of the balcony railings & then repeated the same ones in the long white troughs below them, on the balcony floor.

Green & white in troughs on balcony railings & floor 6th June 2018:

‘Vancouver Centennial’ in troughs on balcony railings & floor 6th June 2018:

‘Black Prince’ in troughs on balcony railings & floor 6th June 2018:

Green & white on balcony railings seen from outside 16th July 2018:

‘Vancouver Centennial’ on balcony railings seen from outside 16th July 2018:

‘Black Prince’ on balcony railings seen from outside 16th July 2018:

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If you’ve reached this far down then I think you deserve to see what the title of this blog is all about!

So, if you are ready?

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Then let’s lift the curtain then & not have any more suspense!

Balcony as seen from the outside

Left 16th July 2018:

Centre 16th July 2018:

Right 16th July 2018:

As seen from the street on 16th July 2018:

As seen from the street on 22nd July 2018:

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What you can’t see from the above photos are the many tomato plants growing on the balcony!

Would you like to see the balcony from the inside? Yes, I’m sure you would! So I’ll close this blog with a few photos of the interior:

Tomato plants:

Tomatoes ‘Red Robin’ in hanging basket:

Strawberry ‘Toscana’ flowering in hanging basket:

Strawberries ‘Delizz’ in hanging basket:

Petunias on balcony railings:

Hope I haven’t bored you with this show!

But … the show must go on!

So another time I’ll do another blog on our balcony – with a different perspective!

See you, folks!
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Flower Mod

Flower Mod

Sorry for my erratic appearances here in the last month or so many things have been occupying my time recently & it makes it more difficult to comment on peoples photos & blogs – let alone writing blogs myself!

If I don’t seem to be around as much as I used to be don’t worry because I’m still here but the title I’ve chosen for this blog really explains a lot as well!

Flower Mod refers to me have become a Mod on about half a dozen flower groups on Flickr! I have to look at & approve, or otherwise, 100’s of photos daily! Fortunately the great majority of photos are great photos of flowers – which makes it a lot more interesting!

If you post photos on Flickr & are a member of one of the flower groups you may very well find your photo has been approved my me – or otherwise! (Look out for D@viD_2.011)

Before I finish I’m going to include a photo of my Amaryllis on our living room table & another of what our balcony looks like at present.

Geranium cuttings in kitchen window

Geranium cuttings 2018

I have a lot of Geranium cuttings on the windowsills of our kitchen & 1 bedroom. Most of them are variegated Geraniums but I have some brilliant red Geranium cuttings as well. These have mostly rooted very well & are growing well. I have to remove the growing tip from most of the otherwise they will grow too long – in spite of being in windows that get a lot of light & any sunlight going – all year round!

Double red Geranium in kitchen window

Geranium (Brilliant red) cutting in kitchen window 2nd February 2019

A couple of weeks ago I missed a bud on a brilliant red Geranium cutting till the first flower began to open. Now the whole head is open. I didn’t want this to happen as I wanted them to concentrate their energy into making roots, ready for transplanting in the spring, before their final planting up into bigger pots in the summer.

Variegated Geranium on bedroom windowsill 11th March 2019

‘Pinky’ or not ‘Pinky’?

‘Pinky’ or not ‘Pinky’?

This it appears is a blog which I saved as a draft back in March 2016!!! I may have forgotten to publish it at the time!

Anyway as I was writing a blog today I noticed this was sitting in the section on the right hand side of the page where it says “Saved drafts”. I opened it & saw that I could almost repeat it word for word this year, 2018!

It’s flowering at the present moment on our living room table, rather later than March as we are 3/4 of the way through May 2018!

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‘Pinky’ or not ‘Pinky’?

It’s now March 2016 & ‘Pinky’, or what I took for being ‘Pinky’, is flowering again – only it’s not the original bulb I was sent by a lady on another gardening forum I post on several years ago. That one hasn’t shown up so far this year! No, this is a different bulb as I’ve never had a pink Amaryllis before – other than ‘Pinky’. This is the first time it has flowered – only the flowers are distorted! The lower petal hasn’t formed or hasn’t formed properly. On the pot I’ve written “Red with white veining” but that is clearly wrong! It’s actually white diffused with pink veining & a white stripe down the middle of the petals – very pretty & unusual – at least for me!

The bulb has just three flowers but has produced several offsets which are distorting the pot! That means I will have to remove the offsets, repot them & the mother bulb.

The first 2 photos are the ones I mistakenly thought were ‘Pinky’, the following two photos correspond to the original bulb I was sent by a lady from the Scilly Isles & the last photo is a close up of the first flower to open before I started to think it was ‘Pinky’ hence the caption on the photo “White with pink veining”.

‘Pinky’ has very wide open petals with almost no vestige of trumpet like the other Amaryllis have. This bulb has almost the opposite – as you may be able to see in the photos – a quite a nice shaped trumpet form.

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I obviously forgot to add photos & since the computer they were originally on went west about that time I no longer have the original photos. Nevertheless the photos I’ve added above correspond more or less to the description I had written back then.

Here are a few photos taken this month of the same bulb as that which I wrote about in 2016. In spite of the different colours they are all of the same bulb. Which just goes to show just how important it is to have the same lighting conditions! (Obviously I didn’t!)

To finish I’m going to add one last photo where this bulb is flowering amongst many others on our living room table:

I did a search for more photos of mine tagged ‘Pinky’. Google found at least 29 on just one page, including those I posted on GoY!!! I’ve also come up with the first picture I took of Amaryllis ‘Pinky’ in a blog I wrote back in 2014! (there are a couple of others as well!)

I still have no idea where this one come from & even though I’ve been naming it as ‘Pinky’, it very obviously isn’t! Perhaps it is but something has happened to it to cause this distortion.

If anyone in interested I’m putting a link in that will take you to the blog I wrote in which I posted a photo of ‘Pinky’ when it opened its first flowers for me!

http://www.growsonyou.com/balcony/blog/25975-springtime-means-amaryllis-time

Excuse me if you remember me posting this blog before (2 years ago) then please forgive me for repeating it. If anyone does know if it was published before please put a link to it in the comments below.

Birthday Presents

A week ago it was my birthday. So my youngest son, who lives close by to us, thought he would like to make me a different “gift” this year!

He told me he would like to take me around all the places they sold plants here & that I could choose whatever I liked & he would pay for it! WOW!!!

How many of you have had an offer like that??? For me at least it was the first time in my 6 decades of life that anyone had ever made me an offer like that!

We joked about it on one of the messenger apps on mobile phones; I said “You don’t know your father! I’d buy ALL the plants available!” He wrote back saying “No, only half of them, as I’d buy the other half for me!”

The next day he wrote telling me the best day for us to get together would be on Sunday afternoon when I finished at church. He said he had thought better about visiting ALL the shops & GCs in town as he knew of a better GC half way to Cambridge. He said he had been there occasionally & that the selection of plants was greater & also cheaper & of better quality. So off we went on Sunday afternoon to visit the GC.

I’ve visited few GCs, not having my own car, so it’s not easy to compare one with another. At least THIS one had a great deal more plants than others I’ve visited & a lot less other stuff! It wasn’t very well signposted & neither did it look in any way “flashy”. All this seemed like a good indication to me as I don’t like the GCs where they seem a LOT more interested in selling expensive stuff than in selling top quality plants & having a good selection of them, which is all that interests me in a GC!

I wasn’t too disappointed either. There was quite a wide range of plants for sale at, I thought, reasonable prices. The quality wasn’t too bad either. Wandering around we came to the “greenhouse” & there we saw many tomato plants/seedlings. Here I was disappointed as a great many of the plants were in very bad condition! There were lots of plants a couple of feet tall in 3″ pots!!! Some even had flowers & I spotted one plant that even had tiny tomatoes!!! Some of these were the much more expensive grafted tomatoes. On the other hand they did have others that were in perfect condition & that I would have bought without hesitation. But as I have at least 5x the number of plants I can possibly grow on the balcony I didn’t get any.

As this is getting rather long I’ll show you the 3 plants I ended up buying:

My, doesn’t this Fuchsia really stand out when the sun falls on it! This will go in the trough on the balcony floor in front of the door onto the balcony where I can see it shine brilliantly whenever the sun falls on it!

Spring flowering Crocuses at Trinity Free Church

I planted out some spring flowering Crocuses on November 18th 2017 into the bed that surrounds Trinity free Church. The church is mostly circular & the flower bed, which is no more that a few feet wide, is planted up against the walls. The main entrance is covered by a canopy & the flowerbed extends partway in front of it. This is the place where I planted the Crocuses.

There is a stained glass window that goes from the ground up to, almost, the roof. It’s very narrow & I planted Daffodil & Bluebell bulbs under there a few years ago as well. During the summer I put out some bedding plants. There are permanent shrubs in the bed that have been there for very many years. Some are flowering shrubs others are evergreen.

I planted out these Daffodil bulbs quite a few years ago & they come up every year during the spring making the church gardens come “alive” again after the dreary winter months.

I don’t know how these miniature Irises got into the gardens but I don’t remember having planted them. Nevertheless they are so cheery & really stand out more than you might think for their size!

The miniature Daffodils in the gardens come from my balcony. I buy some bulbs one autumn, plant them in pots on the balcony railings & then, about May time, as the foliage is dying down I plant them in the church gardens. I just upend the pot, knock the whole rootball out & plant the whole thing in the flowerbed after which I can reuse the flowerpot for my summer display on the balcony railings.

Here there are a few Tulips amongst the Daffodils. These also came from my balcony & I did the same with them as I did with the miniature Daffodils. The church gardens really light up with the brilliant yellows of the Daffodils.

These Bluebells put on a lovely show after most of the other bulbs, like the Daffodils & Tulips have finished. I think these are the native Bluebells & not the Spanish species. The tops of the flower stem bend over which is a distinguishing factor between the two species.

’Spud McPat Face’ boat

Spud McPat Face

Last year I wrote a blog on the very original planting designs our local Town Council gardening dept came up with:-

http://www.growsonyou.com/balcony/blog/31501-a-bloomin-marvellous-effort

During the winter the bed has looked deserted & rather forlorn but at last I can show you what it now looks like in the spring:-

A sea of purple Crocuses around “Spud McPat Face” boat:

Spring flowers in the “Spud McPat Face” boat:

Scilla Siberica around ‘Spud McPat Face’ boat (Close up):

Flower bed near bus station in Huntingdon:

This is the place where last summer the Galleon ‘Pericles’ was “stranded”:

What a difference a month makes in the spring!

I nearly missed April in my effort to wait to finish this blog. I had to wait so long before the Wallflowers started to come into flower! On the other hand if I hadn’t waited & gone back several times I would have missed the lovely Scilla Siberica around the ‘Spud McPat Face’ boat! I thought it was strange they should choose Crocuses, with their very short flowering period, over Forget-Me-Nots! Then I realized they had planted another lovely blue flower!

A couple of pages of Amaryllis

A couple of pages of Amaryllis

No, not mine this time! Though mine are now flowering & have been for the last two months. No, this is a couple of links to a couple of pages about growing Amaryllis in water – something I’ve never done before! A couple of people have asked me how to go about doing this but as I’d never tried it before I couldn’t give any advice. But after reading these couple of pages I’m sorely tempted to give it a try – some day! For this year I no longer have Amaryllis that haven’t already been repotted & started into growth.

https://savvygardening.com/growing-amaryllis-in-water/

I’ve written this short blog to remind me another day to try this out.

In a week or two I’ll post another blog on my Amaryllis this year & explain why I’ve had to drastically reduce the numbers I have.

Just a couple of photos to “animate” the blog a little!

100’s of tomato seeds!

100’s of tomato seeds!

My wife & I went to visit our daughter & grandchildren the other day. She was the first of our three children & she also has 3 of her own. She lived most of her life in Spain but came back to the UK 15 years ago. She always remembers the special days like Mother’s Day & Father’s Day from her life in Spain so she still gives us cards & presents on these days when they are celebrated in Spain. (As well as when they are celebrated here in the UK!)

Father’s Day is always the same date every year whatever day of the week it happens to fall on: March 19th San Jose (St Joseph) so this year she gave me a card & envelope she had made herself but above all she gave me 5 packets of tomato seeds! In all there are over 400 seeds!!!

Tomato seeds 5 varieties:

Sheet of photos done by my daughter.

Tomato seeds ‘Alicante’:

Tomato seeds ‘Black Cherry’:

Tomato seeds ‘Red Robin’:

Tomato seeds Speckled Roman:

Tomato seeds ‘Ukrainian Purple’:

Last year she gave me some tomato & Sweet Pepper seeds but far too late in the year to sow. So I kept them to sow in the spring of 2018. On March 20th I looked for the seeds but only found the Sweet Pepper ones, the tomato seeds (I think they were ‘Gardener’s Delight’) were nowhere to be found.

Pepper ‘Topepo Rosso’:

I didn’t realize till I went to sow them but the packet of Sweet Pepper seeds is from 2014! They were a freebie in a gardening magazine she bought. I suspect the tomato seeds were from then as well! I looked on the back of the packet & it said to sow by 2016! Nevertheless I sowed them on March 20th as the tiny envelope inside the packet was still sealed. If they germinate well I will have gained some Sweet Peppers I hadn’t planned on growing but if they don’t nothing’s really lost.

Anybody want a few seeds of ‘Alicante’ or ‘Red Robin’? Just send me a PM & I’ll send you some.

I’m planning on growing a few plants of each to put on the balcony & a few more for my daughter to put in her back garden. I must ask my son who also lives here if he wants a few plants. I gave both of them 10 plants each last year & grew 10 on the balcony for us.

Crocuses galore!

Crocuses galore!

Some of you will have seen the photos I uploaded to my Photos Page, others perhaps not. I want to share with you the wonderful show the Crocuses are putting on during March, not even the snow could stop them!

Pansies & Crocuses in pots on the balcony railings as seen from outside on 2nd March:

Pansies & Crocuses buried in snow in troughs on balcony on 2nd-3rd March:

What a difference a week makes!

I’ll finish with a photo of the only trough, pot or tub that doesn’t have any Crocuses!

An error! I didn’t realize at the time of planting the Crocus corms that I had missed this trough out!