31 July 2009

Relocation Relocation

Acer TreeI've always had doubts that Acer trees are meant to live on balconys, although I haven't previously voiced this opinion as it would lead to a serious "I told you so" session with Mrs M.

Today however I swallowed my pride and admitted I was wrong, the poor little Acer was looking a little scorched and wind beaten. It was time for it to go to a new home.

Fortuantely one of my work collegues, who I have come to think of in recent months as a good friend, and his lovely horticulturalist wife kindly agreed to take it off my hands (with some communication through a rabbit). Thank you Mr & Mrs C.

Tom & Barbara GoodThe departure of the Acer has given me more space in which to put some planter bags for the pepper plants (seedling lettuce and spinach now destined for the concrete troughs) and concentrate a little more on plants that provide produce. Just call me Tom...or Barbara.

29 July 2009

Pepper Pots for Pennies

hot and sweet peppers in potsDrawn in by the SALE banners, I called into Homebase on the way home for a mooch. Not feeling the need for a cut-price sit on lawnmower, gazeebo or shower cubicle, I headed out to the garden centre area and discovered these bargain peppers.

Reduced from £2.99 to 69pence a plant, I snapped up two "Romital" Hot Chilli Pepper plants and two "Kouros" Sweet Pepper plants. All organic and grown to Soil Association standards according to the labels.

I've given them a bit of a water and moved them to the balcony edge, letting the rain give them a rinse. The plan is to plant them into the nomadic concrete troughs, a job for the weekend!

28 July 2009

In the Beggining...ish

It's been nearly a month since the Christmas tree went off to live with my folks and the rowing machine (eBay bargain...I have no other defence but that) was sent off to the great big recycling pile in the sky.

This left a rather barren looking red Acer tree, four concrete troughs that have moved home with us three times, and a couple of pots of mint which seem to grow no matter how much I ignore them.

Obviously I needed some garden stuff!

strawberries in elho flower bridgeA trip to the local garden centre saw me come away with eight strawberry plants (a mix of Cambridge Favourite and El Sante), 50 litres of organic compost and four rather wonderfully named "flower bridges", part of the Corsica range from Elho, which balance on balcony railings and lock together underneath.

To date we have shared a bumper crop of five strawberries. Not the best ROI but man alive they were fresh.

A week or two after this, far too late to start my own plants (thanks for the seeds mum) I felt the need for tomatoes, so popped back down to the GC and got a huge Red Plum plant for a bargainous £1.99. This got the Organic Compost treatment and is now heavy with the weight of 20 big green tomatoes, a little more summer and they should ripen nicely.

galvanised miniture glasshouse from habitatFeeling the need to grow something from seed, and thanks to a previous Birthday gift from my rather lovely wife, I had the perfect environment to start them off on the otherwise exposed balcony.

Reusing an old seed tray destined for the tip, the last of the organic compost and some Duchy Originals Spinach and the excitingly named Dynamite and Delight lettuce seeds (I guess you need a flashy name when you're a green leaf that gets coated in Salad Cream), I filled the little glasshouse and now await the first green shoots.

Bring on the greenhouse effect!