Never, ever go away and leave your balcony to the mercy of husbands and plant sitters. Oh my poor pelargoniums, eaten alive by Geranium Bronze Butterfly larvae.
And oh my poor Hebe. Were you scorched to death or did they just forget to water you?
The red spider mite has taken its toll too. Oh my poor Jerusalem artichokes.
And my poor Philadelphus - well, it seems to have turned to paper.
I could go on. The grey-brown mould covered hump which was once a pot of thyme, the dry yellow stalks which I was hoping would produce a mouth-watering crop of tomatoes. I could publish the photos, but I think it would be too upsetting. And children might come in.
With only a few exceptions there's going to be nothing to do but rip everything out and start again. And even the exceptions may not survive as I'm going to be away again for the next few weeks - firstly at the sea for a few days with my son, and then back in England, where we didn't manage to finish doing everything that was necessary to the house, despite working frantically for five weeks. So the balcony is going to be dependent on my husband again - who swears the plants were still "mostly" alive when he came over to London and left them to our plant sitter in mid-August. We shall see ...