Schnapps glas with Lathyrus chlorantus, Lathyrus odoratus “Baby’s Blush”, Zinnia “Green Envy” and feverfiew.
August is almost here and for the first time in years I don’t have loads of sweet peas blooming, but just a few: The species chlorantus – a gorgeous neon yellow non-scented wild variety, which thrives even in extreme heat – Blue Wonder and Baby’s Blush, a nicely-scented modern grandiflora which opened just this morning and has a hint of apricot on the wings, which my camera did not really catch. After last year’s extreme heatwave in the first week of August I decided to sow my sweet peas late this spring. Not sure if that was such a great idea – a coldwave (can you actually say that in English?) stunted their growth in April. So I am still waiting for the main bloom to start, which should be in about a week. In the beginning of July I enjoyed the non-scented Lathyrus annuus (supposedly “Hotham Red”, but most likely the species) a lot. Its flowers are small but show an unusual shade of orange, which changes from copper to peachy.
Lathyrus annuus, probably not “Hotham Red”
Now is a good time to look back at the summer so far. The balcony was already covered on the 1. of July: Cathedral Bells (Cobaea scandens) never disappoint. I hadn’t previously grown them from seed, so that’s one success in a year of germination failures. Since people keep asking whether I grow all my flowers on the balcony I decided to give an overview of my gardening space: This picture shows flat’s layout. Towards the courtyard it’s basically an “L” with several window fronts and a ledge that runs around it.
Balcony, seen from the kitchen window/door in the beginning of July
This zoom (again taken from the kitchen) shows a bit more detail of the balcony’s outside. On July 1st it was dominated by Agastache cana and Borage in my herb garden containers. They also provided a bit of privacy. Once the Sweet Pea-cylinders are up, they take over that job.
Balcony, seen from the kitchen, on July 1st.
The same view 4 weeks later:
Balcony on July 31st. My favourite umbellifers – Didiscus, Ammi “Green Mist” and Daucus “Dara”- are slowly turning into a romantic cloud on the outside.
In front of the kitchen I grow all kinds of herbs on the railing and two miniature meadows which stand on the ledge (secured with bricks from abandoned buildings, bungee cords and ropes). This picture is zoomed in from the balcony. It shows box 2, in the beginning of July dominated by Coreposis tinctoria “Roulette” and cornflowers.
Warm colour meadow, 1st of July.
L’Ami enjoying Saturday morning coffee on July 2nd.
Both boxes in the beginning of summer (1st week of June):
Meadow boxes in June, with Cornflowers, Hordeum jubatum and Linaria maroccana.
View from (inside) the kitchen in June.
Kitchen doors in June.
Right now, the meadows look a bit exhausted. After the window frames were painted last week, we changed their positions. The blue box currently contains loads of flax seeds (usefull for cutting), one Silene noctiflora, some self-sown Phacelias and an Achillea “Kirschkönigin”, which should bloom in a few weeks.
Kitchen meadows on July 31st.
On to the actual balcony. This picture shows a rare glimpse of its complete size (it’s usually very full). It was taken last Monday late in the evening, after a painter who redid all the wooden window frames in our flat had left. Most of my plants were actually inside at that moment. Only the sweet pea cylinders, the perennial boxes on the sides and the railing containers stayed outside. L’Ami had taken of the trellis, which is why it looks like the climbers are moving up into nowhere. The cylinders normally stand right behind the windows, and the big blue plastic tub is usually in our storeroom – I only take it out for potting or collecting rain water.
Dismantled balcony on July 25th.
A plant which ususally dominates the balcony will still stay inside for a bit longer, for its fantastic scent: Night Jasmine or Lady of the Night (Cestrum noctornum). It’s the biggest plant I grow. After the sun goes down pale green trumpets open and perfume the balcony (or the bedroom) with a delicious Marzipan/Jasmine scent.
This photo (taken this morning) shows what part of my garden normally looks like: Left left side of the balcony with the big cottage box. The other side still has to be reorganized, I will show some pictures next week.
Balcony on July 31st: Zinnias, Echinacea, white and purple Heliotropes, Summer Phlox, Stocks, Statice and Delphinium.
The highlight of the balcony right now is the big “cottage box”: Delphinium “Blue Butterfly”, “Cinderella” stocks, Didiscus. In the back Daucus “Dara”, Ammi “Green Mist” and more Didiscus will soon form pretty little clouds. Gypsophila “Kermesina” is almost done by now. Originally it also contained dill “Mariska” and nigella sativa but those were eaten by something before they could bloom.
Cottage box in the hazy high noon light.
I will show my favourites from the last four weeks in a separate post.