Back to the balcony, folks. It just feels so good to get out there and be primitive with the dirt (even if I madly sweep up after I’m finished and put all refuse in the compost–very, very Swiss). Unfortunately my Heavenly Blue plants contracted (or maybe started out with) a fiercely aggressive virus that turned them a depressing shade of black, made all the more so by the contrast between its surly shade and the gorgeous vibrant blue of the buds. Into the compost it went.
Similarly, the pansies on either side of the balcony were so pretty right after planting, but soon they just depressed me. I could never see the flowers because the stiff leaves grew at an alarmingly faster pace and each bud died so quickly! They, too, needed to surrender to the depths of the compost heap.
Here we were the last week of March:
(I have to pause to mourn the loss of the big tree with the all the white flowers in the background of this photo. One day it was completely demolished and shredded into wood chips. It’s saddening because it was such a big tree, but mostly because it provided a nice barrier between us and the apartment across the grassy knoll and now we have basically no privacy.)
Now enter, the humble geranium.
Geraniums are insanely hardy and come in the most vibrant, saturated shades. The clouds outside are basically one giant diffuser, but you can really see the depth of color we are working with here. I think they’re gorgeous.
This genus, Pelargonium, is very low maintenance and simply wants regularly watering and full sun. And, they are a prototypical Swiss flower, to boot! Every chalet has window boxes stuffed to the max with these sturdy guys, and even in the cities you will find them everywhere. It feels good to fit in sometimes.
I picked up these flowers at the farmers market when I should have been buying herbs, but I couldn’t just pass these beauties by. I mean, what am I, some kind of monster?! (note: who am I, really? I never would have found myself saying that only a couple years ago) I brought home six plants and they’ve sat on the floor of the balcony for a couple weeks waiting for their time to shine. If properly cared for (ahem) they should last in the planters through the late summer.
Be your brilliant selves!
For those concerned, the rosemary is doing very well. I was afraid that the container was too big, but my dad assured me that this dude would take off. So far, it has. Just look at it a few weeks ago:
The lavender plant is likewise loving it here. But, no buds to speak of… With hindsight I realize I should have bought a more mature plant, but the delicious heady scent is still there if you dig your nose down deep enough. For comparison’s sake, here she is right after planting:
Finally, more herbs! So happy to have these friends around because I know they will be so useful. Nothing helps transform a dish like fresh herbs and cheese, and the basil, thyme, and parsley plants can help me with at least one of those tricks. I love how clean they look in the planter.
Basil grows like a weed so perhaps it could use its own container, but for now I like it grouped with its buddies.
I really did have a good time in the “garden” on Tuesday. A little CHVRCHES and warmer temperatures made for an ideal early afternoon.
What’s growing in your garden? Any fresh flowers to speak of?