Category Archives: Photo story

Spring in the balcony garden part 2 – A photo story

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When your window sill turns into a small jungle you know it is time to move into bigger pots and make a jungle out of your living room instead. That is what happened next in my spring.

The small jungle
The small jungle
Those who are ready to move to bigger accomodations
Those who are ready to move to bigger accommodations
Getting the gear ready - washing and cleaning
Getting the gear ready – washing and cleaning
Those who are left in the small jungle in order to do a bit more growing
Those who are left in the small jungle in order to do a bit more growing

I don’t really have the option of making a big mess when planting as I do it in my kitchen in my rented apartment. So I use a mixing pot for mixing the soil I use. The soil is a mixture of “old” soil, new soil and organic fertilizer. All my soil on more or less my entire balcony goes through my hands every spring.

My mixing pot
My mixing pot

I always use clay pellets at the bottom of the pot. They help retain water, provide air to the roots and prevent rotting of the roots. In Denmark they are known as Leca but in other countries they are known as clay pellets for hydroponic gardening. They are very common in Denmark.

Leca clay pellets
Leca clay pellets

I have removed the leaves at the bottom as I plan to put that part of the steam underground. That helps promote more roots.

In with the new tenant
In with the new tenant

One tomato happy in its new 10 liter pot.

Happy spring
Happy spring
Dirty hands are the proof of a gardener
Dirty hands are the proof of a gardener
All the new tenants happy in their new homes
All the new tenants happy in their new homes
More from the small jungle join what is aiming to be the big jungle
More from the small jungle join what is aiming to be the big jungle
And even more - this is now quite a big jungle
And even more – this is now quite a big jungle

Last year I had great success sharing some of my crops with my neighbors. Salad, herbs and peas. Especially the peas made the one year old next door really happy – that and my cat Luna. So this year I am planning on doing the same. I have decided on mostly herbs and a window box with edible flowers. But before that can happen I need to get the herbs ready and into new pots.

All new pots
All new pots

I have had an apple tree for 4 years now and last year was the first time I hand pollinated it. The first year it did not give any apples and the year after only one. I figured there were not enough insects and decided to give nature a hand. That resulted in at least 50 apples last year and I had to prune off fruit to not strain the tree. So I decided to repeat the success and here I am with my brush.

The beauty of the apple blossoms in spring
The beauty of the apple blossoms in spring
Me and my brush
Me and my brush

End of part 2 – Enjoy Sara

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Spring in the balcony garden part 1 – A photo story

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Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans. That apparently means that all your plans for doing a lot of cool post on what is happening in your garden gets waylaid by life. So I have decided to do a photo story in 3 parts about my spring –  the blog stood still but the gardening did not.

This is where I left you in February with a garden still in the wraps of winter and a lot of seeds in pots on the window sill.

February 2015
February 2015

The first signs of life outside.

Rhubarb making its way towards the light
Rhubarb making its way towards the light
Lemon Balm peeking through
Lemon Balm peeking through
The Chocolate Mint has survived
The Chocolate Mint has survived
The Garlic Chives has started as well
The Garlic Chives has started as well

Last year I lost one of my window boxes with forest strawberries to clogging in the self watering part of the window box. It was the one that had wintered from the year before. So I thought I would make sure that did not happen again. So begins the mission “Unclogging”.

First you turn out the entire patch of dirt, roots and strawberry plants.
First you turn out the entire patch of dirt, roots and strawberry plants.
The you clean the window box for roots and dirt
The you clean the window box for roots and dirt
Then you put the dirt patch back and you are good to - I hope
Then you put the dirt patch back and you are good to – I hope

Starting on releasing the garden from the wraps of winter.

Taking a little at a time - the garden might be small but the work load is not
Taking a little at a time – the garden might be small but the work load is not
Still a ways to go
Still a ways to go before spring

During April more and more green finds its way to the balcony and you really start to get the sense of spring.

Mint
Mint
Thyme that survived the winter
Thyme that survived the winter
The Parsley are coming along nicely
The Parsley are coming along nicely
I do love the color of Basil
I do love the color of Basil
A new patch of Garlic Chives
A new patch of Garlic Chives
The tomatoes and peppers are coming nicely
The tomatoes and peppers are coming nicely
They grow and grow
They grow and grow

As April progresses the outside is picking up more and more speed and weekly you see more green.

The apple tree is getting its leaves
The apple tree is getting its leaves
The Rhubarb is no longer just peeking through
The Rhubarb is no longer just peeking through
Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm
Chocolate Mint
Chocolate Mint
Garlic Chives
Garlic Chives
Some Forest Strawberries decided to move in with my Apple tree - waiting for spring
Some Forest Strawberries decided to move in with my Apple tree – waiting for spring

End of part 1 – Enjoy Sara

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Life in a third story balcony garden – A photo story

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Who would have thought there would be so much life on the third floor in the center of a big city?

This summer I have made a point to take pictures of the creapy crawleys I come across in my garden. I am amazed how many different kinds of insects and like have found their way to the third floor.

This year there has been especially many ladybugs in my garden in many different colors and it is quite something to see your first ladybug larvae. I must admit the first ladybug larvae I found got thrown of the balcony. I didn’t know then that it was a ladybug in waiting. After looking it up on the net the rest were allowed to stay. Ladybug larvae and ladybugs have a very fine quality; they eat aphids and there has been plenty to eat this summer. It was like a food festival for aphids in my garden this spring.

The grasshopper was a surprise and I have only found the one. So I think it just needed a place to rest before flying to where ever it was going.

Another surprise are all the worms. Throughout this growing season I am constantly amazed by how many worms I find in the soil in my containers. I don’t know how they find their way to the third floor but they are most welcome.

The big beetle scared the daylight out of my husband one night as it flew against the window. They are about 2 cm long and it is quite a bang when they hit the window but they are very pretty. I knew we had large beetles is Denmark but I didn’t expect to find them in my garden.

Some of the insect I don’t know, others are very familiar and some are just plain surprises but almost all of them are welcome in my garden. Enjoy the Photo story and happy growing – Sara

A bumblebee had lost its way and needed a ride into the garden again.
A bumblebee had lost its way and needed a ride into the garden again.
This spider lives between my beetroots and my window box. I sometimes throw him a fly swatted inside.
This spider lives between my beetroots and my window box. I sometimes throw him a fly swatted inside.
One ladybug.
One ladybug.
Two ladybugs.
Two ladybugs.
Three ladybugs.
Three ladybugs.
Four ladybugs and its discarded shell.
Four ladybugs and its discarded Shell.
Five ladybugs.
Five ladybugs.
Six ladybugs.
Six ladybugs.
Seven ladybugs.
Seven ladybugs.
Eight ladybugs - so new that it hasn't got its spots yet.
Eight ladybugs – so new that it hasn’t got its spots yet.
Ladybug larvae, looks pretty monstrous.
Ladybug larvae, looks pretty monstrous.
Ladybug shell before the coming out party.
Ladybug shell before the coming out party.
Long legged spider.
Long legged spider.
Grasshopper.
Grasshopper.
No idea :)
No idea 🙂
A small grey nose beetle.
A small grey nose beetle.
Green caterpillar.
Green caterpillar.
Also long legged spider.
Also long legged spider.
A caterpillar.
A caterpillar.
A worm in my tomato pot.
A worm in my tomato pot – how it got in my garden I don’t know.
Centipede of some kind.
Centipede of some kind.
Aphid - scourge of my garden.
Aphid – scourge of my garden.
No idea :)
No idea 🙂
Ants in my spinach - thankfully not a lot and quickly gone again.
Ants in my spinach – thankfully not a lot and quickly gone again.
Don't know the English name.
Don’t know the English name.
No idea :)
No idea 🙂

 

No idea :)
No idea 🙂
Hoverfly.
Hoverfly.

 

No idea :)
No idea 🙂
No idea :)
No idea 🙂
Honey bee - very welcome in my garden.
Honey bee – very welcome in my garden.
More aphids in my chamomile.
More aphids in my chamomile.
Another hoverfly - also very welcome in the garden.
Another hoverfly – also very welcome in the garden.
No idea :)
No idea 🙂

 

The big beetle.
The big beetle.

 

Brown bee - needed a bit of help to get outside in the garden again.
Brown bee – needed a bit of help to get outside in the garden again.

 

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The beauty of the veggie garden – A photo story

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How can a veggie garden be beautiful? Some people have the notion that veggie gardens are just for growing food and that it is all about practicality. There cannot be much beauty found between potatoes, salads, tomatoes and beans. Nothing could be further from the truth; you just have to look for it. The beauty of the veggie garden is not an “in your face” beauty, it is a more subtle beauty. You have to go in close, move leaves aside and seek out the beauty of the veggie garden. But when you make a little effort to seek it out the veggie garden delivers in spades not only with flowers but also with leaves in beautiful colors and textures, but that is a subject for another photo story.

Enjoy… Sara

The blossom of a pea plant
The blossom of a pea plant
The blossom of a pea plant
The blossom of a pea plant
The blossom of a red pepper
The blossom of a red pepper
The blossom of a banana pepper
The blossom of a banana pepper
The blossom of an apple tree - still going in juli
The blossom of an apple tree – still going in juli
The blossom of a zucchini
The blossom of a zucchini – female
The blossom of a zucchini
The blossom of a zucchini – female on the left and male on the right
The blossom of a zucchini - open female
The blossom of a zucchini – female
The blossoms of salad
The blossoms of salad
The blossoms of salad
The blossoms of salad
The blossoms of salad
The blossoms of salad
The blossoms of New Zealand spinach
The blossoms of New Zealand spinach
The blossoms of New Zealand spinach
The blossoms of New Zealand spinach
The blossom of a French bean
The blossom of a French bean
The blossoms of bush tomatoes
The blossoms of bush tomatoes
The blossoms of bush tomatoes
The blossoms of bush tomatoes
The blossoms of beef tomatoes
The blossoms of beef tomatoes
The blossoms of chamomile
The blossoms of chamomile
The blossoms of lemon basil
The blossoms of lemon basil
The blossoms of the lablab bean and its purple pods
The blossoms of the lablab bean and its purple pods

 

 

 

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