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Mini-Daffs & Tulips in pots on the balcony railings


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Mini-Daffs & Tulips in pots on the balcony railings

I planted some Mini-Daffs & Tulips in pots on the balcony railings in mid-October after removing the Begonias that had grown in them all summer a few days before.

I had bought some packets of small Narcissi bulbs & dwarf Tulips precisely to put in these :

but I also put some in the troughs on the bar that goes around the middle of the balcony railings.

As I have 3 troughs I planted them all exactly the same so I’ve added photos of all 3 troughs showing how I put short stemmed Tulips, mini-Daffs &, finally, Crocuses on top but only one of each trough:

I have planted up the 8 clay pots I have, 2 of them new, as well as 2 plastic pots & have put them in the aluminium rings I bought & used many years ago in Spain when we used to live over there:

At the present moment I don’t have any Pansies or Violas to overplant them with as I do every year. I hope to get some soon from the open air market in town.

Other years I’ve bought them there & they have done pretty well though I’ve had little success with them for the last few years. Several years they were infested with a heavy plague of tiny, itsy bitsy grey-white aphids that cover every green surface & suck the life out of the plants.

I mentioned this last year to the lady on the stall, when I was buying last year’s plants, & she assured me it wouldn’t happen again this year as all their plants are treated with a systematic insecticide before leaving the greenhouse.

In effect they didn’t become infested but they died mysteriously in the spring before they had chance to flower but I’ve absolutely have no idea of the cause! They just collapsed as if their roots had been eaten away or they had rotted away. On removing them I broke open the rootballs but they weren’t rotting nor did I find any sign of anything eating their roots, the rootballs were chock a block of roots. The only symptom I noticed was that they collapsed & turned brown. I hope that doesn’t happen again. They had been planted in new compost: I’d renewed the compost in all my pots & troughs last year before autumn planting.

I also planted up the 3 big, white troughs on the balcony floor, up against the railings. I put long stemmed Tulips & Daffodils in them & overplanted them with a few Crocuses from the last 2 years that had survived. Many of the Daffs will be quite small I think as many of them didn’t appear to be of flowering size. I’ll have to wait & see what happens.

When I get some plants to put in I’ll post a last photo here.

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I can see we're in for a magical display from you again next year David ... People walking by will be amazed to :o)

26 Oct, 2016


lots of lovely colour hopefully to come there. You have been very busy planting all those bulbs up. :O)

26 Oct, 2016


It seems you pack more colour on your Balcony then most people do in their whole garden. Look forward to seeing it in the spring.

26 Oct, 2016


Very disappointing when they collapse like that especially when you cannot find the cause.
Your balcony is going to be so pretty in springtime..

26 Oct, 2016


Some nice bulbs you have there Balcony. Your balcony will be very colourful in the spring :)
I hope you can get some healthier Violas this year.

26 Oct, 2016


They should look gorgeous. Sending sympathy for the violas. i have trouble with them as well sometimes. So frustrating when other people have great displays for months.

26 Oct, 2016


Your violas I checked this out it can be fungal or over fertiliser . One usa gardener said the fungal can be treated but never buy any with brown on leaves as this fungal can spread. The garden centre advised don't water to much but it sounds fungal from your discription on them collapasing or to much fertilising from the grower.

What beautiful array you have for the Spring I shall look forward to seeing your display.

By the way I have had tiny holes in my violas each year and I find the slugs like them too..

26 Oct, 2016


Thank you everyone for reading my blog on the bulbs I've planted this year. I'm looking forward to a great display like last year's!

Jen, your comment sounds very much like one Hywel wrote a few months ago when I showed our balcony in a blog! Nevertheless you may both be right! I like to get as much colour as I can into the balcony, I learnt how to do it while we lived in Spain as few people have gardens as most live in big blocks of flats. They grow plants on their balconies. I had to find ways of maximising the very limited space available to me hence the use of rings on the railings as well as the middle bar & the floor. You mustn't forget there are 2 walls & a ceiling also which have potential for being used!!! Therefore I use hanging baskets a lot. I also use the air for growing plants! That is I tie strings from the ceiling to the railings & then grow Morning Glory, Sweetpeas or climbing Nasturtiums up them for an added dimension!

27 Oct, 2016


As for the Violas they were perfectly healthy plants when we bought them but they didn't like being indoors on such a sunny windowsill which, even in June, gets pretty warm in the sun! We have to remember they are originally woodland plants & so prefer cooler, more dappled light.

At first I was also delighted with them & took many photos - each day! But even before we left to go to Spain, to take my sister-in-law's place looking after their mother, the Violas were already growing tall which is why I put canes in the pots before moving them to the kitchen before we left for Spain.

Unfortunately our son, who looked after my plants while we were away, had practically no experience in growing things so he overwatered them not realising there was still water in the saucers under the pots even when they appeared to be flagging. Probably my fault for cramming them so close together so that he couldn't see many of the saucers. It never occurred to me that he might overwater them!

Thank you ever so much, 3d, for your possible explanation of the death of my Pansies on the balcony, I'd never thought of a fungus! I just thought about insect damage & rotting through the compost being too wet. Both these options I discounted. But now that you mention a possible fungus I think you may have hit the proverbial nail on the proverbial head as in the gardens of our block of flats there is a flowerbed that our local council plants up every year. Like me, they mostly use Winter Flowering Pansies & a great many of them collapsed like mine & the bed looked awful for months until they were dug up in May or better said their dead remains were dug up. I'd never drawn the connection till now!

Did you find out anything more about this fungus? Have you any idea if it persists in the soil/compost over the seasons? I really will have to seach the Internet & see if I can come up with an explanation & a possible remedy as I most certainly DON'T want it to happen again this year! I'm planning on buy a few boxes of Pansies this Saturday at our open air market.

27 Oct, 2016


I don't remember that comment Balcony, but since I don't remember what I said two minutes ago, it isn't surprising :D

27 Oct, 2016


The man did say the fungus spreads Balcony

27 Oct, 2016


Thanks 3d! He didn't happen to give you its name, did he? I hope it isn't soil borne or its spores remain in the soil. But then I've grown no more in the pots or troughs where the Pansies died, the compost has been removed completely from the pots & new compost for this year has been used. In the troughs I still have the same compost as last year but it has been thoroughly mixed up-twice this year so any spores there might be have been thoroughly mixed up as well!

I hope to get some Pansies plugs next weekend from our open air market in town.

29 Oct, 2016


No Balcony he did nt mention the name .

31 Oct, 2016


Wow .. lots ... should give great colour.

12 Nov, 2016


Thanks, TT, I'm really looking forward to seeing them in flower! I've not planted so many Tulips for years but I must admit I was influenced by many GoYers who wrote about their lovely Tulip displays last year! Also by the fact that I was able to find dwarf Tulips in £land.

They are better for the troughs & pots on the balcony railings where they will have to contend with more wind than the ones in the troughs of the balcony floor. I've put the long stemmed Tulips in the troughs on the balcony floor.

12 Nov, 2016


Well done on finding the dwarf tulips in £land ... good luck with lots of springtime flowers.

13 Nov, 2016

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