seeds for the year. Sadly it wasn´t to be a particularly good year on the balcony - too much work and having to be away a lot meant that I had much less time to spend on gardening, and the casualty rate was high. So if you don´t remember having seen photos of many of the plants in the seed packets, well that´s why.
On January 1st we were in Germany and it was snowing. But that didn´t stop me getting myself to the local garden centre and stocking up on
Scindapsus - a plant which people often scorn, but which personally I love having around.
Back in Milan and the bad weather continued, meaning that most of my gardening happened indoors. At the end of the month I posted on looking after
By February the weather was getting better, and it was time to start preparing for the year. A balcony may not be quite so time-consuming as a garden, but there´s still plenty to do clearing up after the winter and preparing for spring. See here for a checklist. February was also the month when I posted about how my cooking tended to revolve around the herb savory - and how I was planning to grow it on the balcony in 2009. Sadly it was one of the failures, but I´ll be trying again this year.
tulip bulbs which I´d planted for the second year running were the greatest success of the season. So much for all the books which said that tulip bulbs planted in containers should be thrown away after flowering. They´ve gone in again this year - we shall see.
March arrived, and suddenly things were blooming again. Much to my surprise, the
In April, I was also planting salad and veg. But we´ll draw a veil over that one. If my flower gardening wasn´t greatly successful this year, the kitchen garden was a disaster. It produced exactly two French beans ... But then, when your packet of lettuce seeds assures you you´ll be harvesting tomatoes, I suppose failure is to be expected. Confused? So was I - click here.
May. If the balcony isn´t looking good in May, then it never will be. My pride and joy this year was my little campanula, which bloomed its heart out for me all month.
In July we were off to England - where I found my garden completely overgrown. The photo below shows what used to be the rose bed. Two months hard work followed, to get it back to some semblance of order. I planted a lot of bulbs and other stuff while I was there - and hope to get back soon to see how they are doing.
In September my son and I went to the sea for ten days - to Eraclea Mare, not far from Venice. It was undoubtedly the best two weeks of the year.
On one of our many walks and bike rides into the lagoon, I spotted a buzzard circling high above us.
But on a cheerier note, October was also the month when the Hummingbird Hawkmoth visited the balcony.
In November the chrysanthemums were in bloom ....
... and it was also the month when Bilbo the garden gnome visited the Balcony Garden. for those of you who don´t know him, he´s doing a world tour, and visiting people´s blogs along the way. When he left me, he went off to Sweden to visit Gittan and play in the snow..
In December the weather turned chilly and it was time to cover up the balcony before the first sprinkling of snow fell. Everything was covered with fleece and moved back against the warmth of the walls of the flat. But temperatures were about to fall to a record -14C (that´s 7F). That happened the day we left for Germany again, so I´ve not yet seen what damage it´s done. Will anything have survived?
So, the year has come full circle, and in a couple of days will start again. It was a busy, and at times hectic year, but without real ups and downs. I had little time for the balcony (and some months even less for blogging) and it showed in the results. So my goal for next year is to find the time again, and to have the balcony looking as good as it has in some past years. And of course, to get a few more than two French beans ....
To everyone who´s followed the Balcony Garden over the past year, I hope you have a very, very