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Changes afoot - on the balcony! (Part one)


By balcony


Changes afoot – on the balcony! (Part one)

I promised in my last blog I would show you the changes I was about to make on our balcony well here is a glimpse of what I’ve been up to since that last blog:

I bought 5 packs of 3 Purple Tulip bulbs, 10 Purple Iris bulbs & 10 Purple Anemones:

I would have liked to have got 10 packs, one for each of the 10 pots I usually have on the railings, but after buying the first 3 when I went back a couple of days later there were only 2 packs left!

I planted a pack of these in each of five terracotta pots along the top of the balcony railings:

First I put the 3 Tulips, (which must be miniatures if one goes by the size of the bulbs!), in the centre. Then I put the 10 Irises around the edge of the pot & covered them with enough compost to cover their noses after which I planted the Anemones & Crocuses, in two rings, leaving a space in the middle for the Pansy I intended to plant another day. Then I filled up the pot with more compost.

I also bought a pack of 75 Species Crocus:

I planted a few Species Crocus over the top of the Purple Tulips, Irises & Anemones in each pot:

Then, a few days later, I planted out a Pansy over the top in each pot, just to finish off & to give some colour during the winter & until the bulbs come through & start to flower in the spring:

I had intended to post a couple of photos of all the pots planted up on the railing, including the Pansies, but it seems I haven’t taken any! I’ll rectify that when I’ve got the photos!

Here is a photo of the Pansies my wife & I bought in a town 5 miles from where we live:

They came in boxes of 20 plants that all looked very healthy; we bought 4 boxes (80 plants) for £16!

The pots may look very full & I suppose few people would dare to do what I’ve done (to be truthful, I’ve never planted out quite so many in one pot before either!) but it will only be for one season & when the bulbs have finished flowering I will plant them out on Gerry’s allotment to give them time to recover during the rest of their growing season! All the plants are small, except perhaps the Irises, but they are very vertical & take up little space. Come back in 6 months time, when they are flowering & we will see what we will see!

In a few days time I’ll write a sequel where I show you what’s going on downstairs!

More blog posts by balcony

Previous post: Pansies for winter flowering on balcony

Next post: Pumpkins on our allotments 2014



Good to see initiative like this.
The birds wont be able to get at the yellow ones on the

19 Oct, 2014


I've never noticed that the birds damage the yellow Crocuses! In fact there are several large beds of yellow Crocuses, planted many years ago, here near town, which I've never particularly noticed were attacked by birds.

On our balcony there are a few yellow Crocuses every year & again I don't remember them ever having been attacked by the birds. Sparrows often come into our balcony searching for spiders & their webs. Every year when they're building their nests I've seen them fly off with cobwebs in their beaks. I can't say I've seen them fly off with spiders but I've read articles where they talk of Sparrows looking for spiders to feed to their young.

20 Oct, 2014


20 pence per pansy a good buy.

20 Oct, 2014


wow, you've been busy, and the balcony will reflect that. Those pansies were certaincly cheap! you should get a lovely display over the next few months.

21 Oct, 2014


Must be something they do in Northamptonshire. I never
buy yellow Crocus bulbs. Waste of money.

21 Oct, 2014


Thank you guys for taking the time to read my blog! :-))

My wife & I also thought they were a good buy! :-))

Just this morning I managed to get a couple of photos of the Pansies in pots on the balcony railings as well as some of the balcony as a whole.

Yes, Fran, we are looking forward to a lovely display as well! I like Pansies & Violas because they give colour all winter before their main burst in late spring!

I'm just hoping they do what they are supposed to do as the last 3 or 4 years have been a disaster! But what else could I use to take their place?

Apart from the ones we bought I have transplanted a lot of seedlings that grew from the Pansy 'Rocky' we bought in the same town back in May this year. One seedling has produced a flower & from what I can remember of the original plants (they are all dead now) this looks the same. I wasn't expecting them to come true from seed! But that's a bonus! I'll have to wait till the spring probably before the rest of the seedlings start to bloom. Only then will I know if they really do come true from seed.

@Diane: No, I don't think it's a case of just being Northants as I'm sure I've heard other people comment on them having the same problem with Sparrows destroying their yellow Crocuses. In February or March when they bloom I'll let you know if my yellow Crocuses are attacked or not.

22 Oct, 2014


lol one of my neices had plastic flosers in her hanging basket. I tried it, first bit of wind, they all took off along the baloncy!

22 Oct, 2014


Your in for a brilliant display, and I am looking forward to seeing what's going on 'downstairs' :)

23 Oct, 2014


@Fran: I've never liked plastic flowers so we never have them in our house. But I do like the silk ones or imitation silk at least! They are so much more realistic.

I've seen a few hanging baskets with plastic flowers & I dislike them completely! My baskets made not look like the "professionals" but they give me a satisfying feeling of knowing I made them & they will evolve over the course of the summer - no 2 weeks do they look the same! I've got plenty of photos to prove it as well! Who could possibly like, let alone enjoy, baskets that look the same 365 days a year? Well even they change - for the worse! The flowers fade, change colour or just accumulate dust! Even if it is so slow we don't realise it's happening - till we see photos of when they were first put out to now, perhaps a year or two later. They really look horrid!

Thanks, Gee, I've got the couple of photos I wanted now I will make up the next blog about what's going on 'downstairs'. I'll probably do it on Sunday so maybe Sunday evening it will be online.

24 Oct, 2014


lol yes, plastic is hardly realistic - especially the ones that came free with soap powder! I did have some artificial flwoers years ago, but i wanted *real* ones; sadly, my then flat wasn't built to have real plants in every room.

24 Oct, 2014


Going to look so pretty next springtime Balcony, I love pansies and violas, even on the dullest of days the little faces are a cheery sight, the sparrows always shred yellow crocus in my garden, then they move onto my red polyanthus, thinking back they do the same with the blue ones as well, lol....Wouldn't mind but I spend a fortune filling their feeders and tables....
I have replanted my mangers at the front and did pop my tulips in one day last week but as you know I've been stuck indoors with the dreaded paintbrushes, just got to put everything back now, haven't chosen new carpet yet so tomorrow I'm treating myself to a day outside around the borders, finish removing the last of the summer bedding might even have a wander out for some more pansies to fill the gaps....

27 Oct, 2014


I've liked Pansies ever since I was growing up as a kid in London! I can still remember picking off seed capsules from each different colour flower to sow in the garden at home - I didn't realise then they were hybrids & wouldn't come true from seed!

I done this combination planting for most of the years we have lived in this flat (13) & some years it has been a fantastic success story but over the last 4 or 5 it has become a disaster story! I hope this year will be a repeat of the successful years & not the disastrous ones!

The birds don't seem to bother my plants at all. Yet they will come into the balcony sometimes in search of cobwebs & spiders. They've even stripped the seeds from Sunflower heads I've left to dry on the balcony table. I used to think it was mice eating the seeds.

27 Oct, 2014

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