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Changes afoot – on the balcony! (Part two)


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Changes afoot – on the balcony! (Part two)

I promised in my last blog I would show you the changes I was about to make on our balcony well here they are in this 2nd part:

I first emptied the trough of summer planting then I emptied out all the compost that had been in the trough for several years. I carefully put to one side the Daffodils & other bulbs that had stayed in the trough over several years. Then I put a layer of fresh compost in the base & carefully set out the Daffodils again. I covered them with just enough compost to cover their noses while I had to wait to buy the Pansies.

I did this with all three of the long white troughs on the balcony floor. For the next couple of weeks that is how they stayed.

These are a few of the Pansies my wife & I bought in a town 5 miles from here called St Ives.

The following day I started to plant them in the troughs:

Trough #1 with the new compost before I started to put in the Pansies:

Here I have put the box of Pansies on the top edge of the trough before I started planting them out:

I put in three rows of with 5 Pansies in each row. I took a photo of the 5 plants as I put them on top of the compost to view the positions before putting them into the compost:

I staggered the plantings so they get the maximum space each as well as light & water.

As I did exactly the same with all three troughs on the balcony floor I won’t bore you any further with showing them all!

1st row of 5:

2nd row of 5:

Now the trough is finished!

I did something similar with the three small troughs that sit on the centre bar that runs all the way around the middle of the railings. I won’t bore you with pictures similar to those above but just show you the finished troughs:

The one major difference with these troughs, apart from only having one row of five plants in the centre of each trough, was that I planted each trough with a single colour …

… though not always the same shade because I couldn’t find enough plants with open flowers to make them all exactly the same colour/pattern.

Here then is the finished article! The best I could do to get all 3 troughs into one picture!:

Pansy ‘Rocky’ seedlings:

As this Pansy, called ‘Rocky’, produced so many seedlings I put them out in different pots & tubs:

They are unlikely to produce flowers over the winter though. They may not even be a winter flowering strain as we bought them in St Ives at the end of May in full flower.

This blog has been “languishing” as a draft for several weeks now! :-(( When I included the photos above they were some of the latest I’d taken at the time!

I’m going to add some more recent photos & publish this blog – if I don’t they’ll likely be over before I get around to publishing! LOL! Part of the reason is in my new blog “New grandchild”.

These are the very last photos I have of the balcony for the present. Sorry the blog is a bit disjointed! I’ll try & make a better one in a week or so.

More blog posts by balcony

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Next post: Amaryllis back at home



Pansies are so pretty and will give you so much colour on these rather dark, dreary days.
You are in Cornwall, we are in Devon so let's hope the winter ahead is gentler than the last one!

25 Nov, 2014


The plants will certainly thank you for the new compost, I'm sure.And the Pansies will be full of colour in the spring.
It's great that , even on a balcony, you can provide so much colour for yourselves and neighbours.
great job!!

25 Nov, 2014


How impressive too that you interrupted your planting to take all those photos! I would have got compost all over the camera. What you achieve on your balcony would be an inspiration to would-be gardeners with only small spaces. Looking forward to the Spring pictures.

26 Nov, 2014


Wow ... you've been busy ...
another for GoYpedia :o)

26 Nov, 2014


That is a very busy balcony you've got there Balcony. :o)

26 Nov, 2014


They will surely brighten up the dullest winter day and spring to when the Daffodils come through , a good job done there Balcony :o)

27 Nov, 2014


Your pansies and bulbs should make a colourful combination in the spring. Something to look forward to :)

27 Nov, 2014


@ Wildrose: "You are in Cornwall,"

I'm afraid you've got the wrong St Ives! The town I talked about is in Cambridgeshire not Cornwall! (I didn't say this in this blog because I mentioned it in the previous blog so there wouldn't be misunderstanding like this!) Please see my blog:

You are right about Pansies bringing colour to the dark winter days - that is precisely the reason I grow them every year! :-))

@ Paul: Yes the Pansies will be full of colour in the spring but will also give some blooms over the winter, particularly in the mild spells. :-))

In 14 years I'm till the only one who has a balcony full of plants! We live on the ground floor of a 5/6 storey block of flats with 15 flats. I did the same in Spain as all the flats we lived in had balconies but no garden. That's where I learnt to fill them to capacity & have plants on the walls & climbing up strings to the ceiling as well as hanging on the railings! The aluminium rings for pots I bought in Spain in the early 80s & have used them practically non-stop since! I brought them back with me on one visit back to Spain 14 years ago.

@ Stera: I don't know how I managed to keep my phone's camera lens clean either - quite a feat as it has no protective plastic window like on my old phone! In fact sometimes I have to delete photos because of blurriness caused by my fingers inadvertently touching the lens!

I did things things with writing a blog in mind all the time!

@ TT: Thanks for the Wiki entry! :-))

@ Linda: It does keep me busy! In fact after days of rain I moved everything on, or up close, to the railing further in where the rain can't reach them - I was worried the plants might get waterlogged & drowned! We get the run-off water from the balconies above ours as our balcony is a bit wider then those above us.

@ Thank you, Amy. You are right that the Pansies & Daffodils will brighten the days up, especially when they are in full flower in the spring as you say! :-))

@ Hywel: They do make a good colour combination it's true. It's something I've done over many winters now. The last 3 years have been bad for my Pansies & I've not been able to achieve the spring display with them as most have rotted away. I certainly hope they will do better this winter/spring!

28 Nov, 2014


I have no front garden to speak of at the new house so I will have to use some of your skills to brighten the front up....hanging baskets etc!

1 Dec, 2014


That's better than nothing, Paul! :-))

2 Dec, 2014


Just read your blog. I couldn’t work out how you managed to get so many plants on you balcony. I can see how you do it now; very clever. And I see you have table and chairs too. I can’t wait to see it in full bloom. I enjoyed your blog and photos, looking forward to the next one.

24 May, 2015


Thanks, but all these bulbs & flowers have practically finished for this year! At the end of May every year I do the change over from spring flowers to the summer bedding. In October I do the change over to winter bedding.

This is something I've done for the 15 years we have lived here. I do try to change the planting a bit but the stalwarts are always Daffs & Crocuses + Pansies over the winter & then for the summer I have a greater choice of what to plant so most years the summer planting looks different from previous years.

Geraniums & Pelargoniums + Sweet Peas & Morning Glory are the summer stalwarts most years. Then I plant something different as the main show for the summer. This year that will be Begonias - I hope - the majority are tubers planted during the last week or so that I hope will grow quickly.

25 May, 2015


I'm sure it will look lovely I bet it’s nice sitting out there with a nice cup of tea. Can you move bulbs once you’re planted them? I want to dig them up and plant them somewhere else. Would I be able to do that?

26 May, 2015


It might be but we rarely do! I "clog" the balcony up with far too many plants for my wife's liking - at least for sitting out there. I sometimes do sit out there during the summer & try to read a book or just sit idly watching the parents of the children, who go to the school just over the road, go by! Often though it gets too hot & the sunshine can be extremely bright. The balcony faces more or less Southwest so gets all the sunshine going from 11am till sunset! We are blessed in that respect! At 9pm this evening the sunshine was streaming in through the small window over the kitchen sink as the sky was totally devoid of clouds & this window faces Northwest. We were able to see the bright red ball of the sun setting & it was blinding!

As for moving your bulbs once they have finished flowering, yes, you can. But it is better to wait until the leaves have turned yellow before doing so as this way the food for next year's flowers will have been stored in the bulbs.

Do you have somewhere to put them till the autumn when they can be replanted again? If you plan to store them out of the ground make sure they dry out for a few days & then put them in a dark, cool place. You will need to be able to check on them occasionally to make sure they haven't got too dry or are rotting.

26 May, 2015

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