It is hard to admit, but we are already half-way through summer. For the gardener, it is thus time to take stock and plan ahead. As I have said before, this summer has been especially sunny here in Germany, prompting some plants to develop more leaves or fruits than ever. Others, to put it mildly, did not really take advantage of the sunlight and warmth. Among them is the chili pepper that, for the first time in four years, did not produce any flowers let alone fruits. Also the squash performed, quite expectedly, rather badly. Still, I have not given up hope and I have backed up things by sowing a couple more seeds, among them radishes, which are normally fail-safe. More about their performance soon on these pages. Meanwhile, enjoy the sun while it is still around!
We’ve had an unusually hot summer so far this year and it was very interesting to see how the plants reacted to the high temperatures and the continuing sunshine. Overall, most plants seemed to be happy with the weather conditions, but the one plant that seemed to be happier than ever was this pomegranate. It is two years old and far from producing any flowers yet, but this summer, it developed so many dark-green, healthy leaves whose red veins already indicate the color of the fruit it might bear one day.
So here we are at the end of a gardening year, which had started with a sprouting onion that was then planted into a pot on the balcony, where it kept growing and produced a pretty flower, which attracted pollinators and turned from blossom to seeds. Those seeds were sowed again, sprouted leaves that first looked like chives and later like spring onions. They overwintered outside and picked up pace again when the sun came out in spring. From then it was only a couple of weeks until they had reached their final size and started withering. After their leaves had turned two-thirds limp and the outer scales of the bulb had gotten dry, I pulled out the onions so that the roots were no longer connected with the soil and let the leaves dry out fully. Read the rest of this entry »
After growing really fast in spring, the onions have slowed down now. And since their leaves are already withering, they will soon be ready for the harvesting process. That means it is time for a short wrap-up of the final stages of their growing process. Each photo taken nine days after the one before, starting on June 2nd.
I have often written about my pepper plant, its fruit and flowers, yet I have never written about what makes it really special, namely its age and its lignified stem. It is probably not very efficient to overwinter a pepper plant, but I if it still looks strong at the end of the season (and if there are still peppers remaining that have not turned fully red yet), I feel like I can take it inside as well. This plant is now about five or six years old and still making peppers every year. So why part with it?
This little blog is turning 1 today and I really can’t believe it’s already 12 months ago that I created this space to express my amazement and gratitude for what nature can bring about on our tiny balcony.
Since the first post was about the surprising beauty of the onion flower, let’s celebrate this anniversary with another flower, which is very different, but likewise unexpectedly pretty. This light blue beauty is the first flower of a lettuce (whose exact specification I unfortunately do not know) that decided to reproduce instead of being eaten. Who could blame him?