The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Pansies for winter flowering on balcony


By balcony


Pansies for winter flowering on balcony

My wife & I went to a nearby town, St Ives, Cambs (not the more famous one in Cornwall!), 8km-5miles away today, 13th October 2014, to see if we could get some winter plants to put on the balcony. I was looking for the usual Pansies &/or Violas. We found a street stall selling plants & bought 4 packs of Pansies (Mixed colours), each pack holds 20 plants, giving me 80 plants in all.

Trying to work out just how many I needed I calculated 15 plants (3 rows of five, staggered) in each of the 3 long white troughs on the balcony floor =45. Then 2 plants in each of the 10 pots along the top of the balcony railings = 20. Then at least another five in each of the small troughs that sit of the rail that goes all around the middle of the railings =15. So 45+20+15=80! Pure coincidence as I didn’t know how many I wanted before arriving at the stall because, as I told my wife, it depended on the size of the plants. If they had been very small plants I’d need more, big plants & I’d need less!

I still need another pack of 20 though for my 5 hanging baskets on the balcony! Though that would be the bare minimum & double that amount would be F-A-R better!

When we arrived at the town, St Ives, we were somewhat dismayed to find we had made the trip in vain on what was a horrible morning – cold, raining & a strong North-West wind making it feel even colder though the thermometer read 12ºC! :-(( The traditional Monday street market had been cancelled to make way for the ‘Michaelmas Fair’! The main street where the market is normally held was chock-a-block with fairground amusements & attractions! We walked down to the far end thinking the market had been temporarily relocated down there & was hidden from our sight by the fairground. But there was nothing but more attractions down there.

Convinced there was no market at all we started to wander about the street & looked into some shop windows while we made our way back to the bus station to catch the next bus back home. When we reached the station we saw the next bus was 10 minutes away from arriving. As there are two different companies that both have buses between the two towns we went over to the stop when the 2nd one left from. As we were nearing the stop I couldn’t believe my eyes – over the far side of the bus station I could see plant stalls! Although the market itself had been cancelled the two plant stalls had turned up & were installed just outside of the bus station itself! We hurried over, forgetting all about the bus times, to have a look around. We very soon found they both had a very similar array of Pansies of differing sizes & prices. At the 2nd stall they had an offer of 2 boxes of 20 plants in each for just £8! We snapped up 4 boxes immediately & would have got another couple if we’d been able to manage them!

As we made our way back to the bus stop a bus we were hoping to catch arrived, some people got off & others got on which gave me the opportunity to get alongside it but the driver closed the doors & pulled out not taking any notice of my trying to signal him to wait a moment longer so we could get on! I don’t know of course if he really saw me but couldn’t be bothered to stop or if he genuinely didn’t see me. They are on a very tight timetable & have very little leeway. Anyway there are 4 buses an hour so it only meant a wait of 15 minutes. It it had been the first of the two it would have meant a 2 hour wait for the next!

We got home & the window of three hours with none, or very little rain, continued open so we only got a little wet while waiting for the bus to take us to St Ives. Now I will have to wait a day or two before I can plant them out. I may garden on a balcony but I’m as subject to the vulgarities of the weather as well as any other gardener who has to work outside. The prevailing wind direction (SW) means the rain is blown directly into our faces, so to speak, as the balcony faces SW! So I have to wait for a dry day before I can go out & plant them!

More blog posts by balcony

Previous post: Saying 'Adios' to my summer plants

Next post: Changes afoot - on the balcony! (Part one)



Added to GoYpedia :o)

14 Oct, 2014


Aren't they lovely! Pansies are gorgeous and your balcony will look magnificent. What a good job you have a regular bus service! (If you miss the 2.30 bus home on Thursday here you can't get another until the following Tuesday...which is why you need a car.)

14 Oct, 2014


Glad you found some pansies in St Ives, despite the different market being there. Those pansies are so colourful with pretty faces :o)

14 Oct, 2014


Oh I can imagine your disappointment at first, its bad enough when one has a car to use but having to rely on buses and discover no market I think I'd have used some very strong language in that situation, all turned out good though, it will soon be a pretty picture again Balcony, they look good strong plants.....

14 Oct, 2014


I'm pleased you were able to get some pansies in the end.
These days it's as if amusements and 'enjoyment' (or what passes for 'enjoyment') are the most important things in the whole creation :o(

I hope your pansies will give a good display. It's nice that your balcony can be seen from the road. I love my front garden and it gives pleasure to share it with passers by :o)

15 Oct, 2014


good day out then. well done on the pansies they will give a lovely display.

16 Oct, 2014


Just today I finished planting out all the Pansies we bought. But I still need some more! I didn't have enough for the hanging baskets! But I planted them out - more or less - as I said I would in my blog.

The pots only ended up with one plant in each after all & not two as I had originally thought. The plants were too big for more than one. I put only white or white with a black blotch on the top of the railings. Also the three small troughs are each of one colour. Only the three long white troughs on the balcony floor are mixed colours. They all look very good now. I'll soon be making up another blog where you can see them in their final growing positions.

Thanks everyone for all your comments! :-))

"It's nice that your balcony can be seen from the road. I love my front garden and it gives pleasure to share it with passers by :o)"

I know how you feel Hywel as I feel exactly the same! :-)) Sometimes people comment on how nice my balcony looks, that pleases me of course but I do it principally for my own pleasure. It certainly gets the block some attention! Yet nobody in 14 years has done anything to brighten up their balconies!

16 Oct, 2014

Add a comment

Featured on

Recent posts by balcony

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 Jun, 2014

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 Aug, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Oct, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    2 Nov, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    18 Sep, 2008