Monday, June 15, 2009

My high-rise garden, as featured in the June 2009 issue of "Extreme Balcony Gardening"

I started working in earnest on my balcony garden around Memorial Day weekend.  Ethel and I went to some garden shops and picked up some plants and supplies, and I promptly turned the existing soil, mixed up some new soil, got it into pots, and have a decent-looking balcony to show y'all.  However, Denver's weather has been downright bizarre this summer.  We haven't had a daily high above 78 since April (no exaggeration), and it's rained almost every day for nearly three weeks.   I had to bring my basil in because it wasn't warm enough at night to leave it outside.  We were having nightly lows in the 40s.  Really?!  Are we in Alaska?

So here we are, standing on the south end of my east-facing Balcony of Gardening Delights:

In the foreground there on the left is an eight-year-old arboricola, and on the right in the red pot is a boxwood.  To the left of the arboricola is a couple of run-of-the mill houseplants (pothos and unkillable viney-type plants).  Let's go further into the courtyard, shall we?

Ah, just past the arboricola and boxwood sentinels is a lovely seating area with a couple of Lawd-knows-how-old Chinese evergreens on an old table of Guy's.  Near the railing from front to back are the beginnings of my grape tomato plants, the beginnings of my sweet corn plants (with some beans just planted in the box with them), a Virginia creeper that needs a real trellis to grow on, and a pot full of irises.  Just behind the Adirondack chair with the Wilderness Gina-made afghan on it are some herbs--oregano and kung pao peppers in one pot (making a return visit from last year's garden), and a new rosemary plant along with the feed-me-Seymouresque parsley plant on a rack.  Against the grey screen is my three- or four-year-old gardenia, which I have named Terri Schiavo because it refuses to die but isn't really alive.

Ah, now we can see the garden from the north end of the balcony.  Outside of the courtyard are two boxes of lettuce which have languished a bit in the cilly unseasonable air, and beyond them is the basil which has been moved back outdoors like a prisoner getting its one hour of sunshine and exercise each day.  What?  It's going to be 48 tonight?  Back in the hole you go, Basil!

Here's a closer look at the tomatoes and corn.  The round container in the lower right corner has carrots in it--we'll see how those go.  The tomatoes generally do well in the Earthbox.  That's a new Earthbox with the tomatoes, but the corn and beans are now in last year's Earthbox, which grew some kick-ass 'maters.  I'm not sure how the rest of these veggies will do, but at least the 'maters will cover up the gaps bewteen the balcony railing and the hoi polloi at the pool of the apartment building next door, with their bad taste in boombox music and insistence on wearing Speedos and Bon Jovi t-shirts.    Have some self-control people; that outfit is bad medicine, and if you think you have the body to pull it off, you're livin' on a prayer.

You might notice that someone furry keeps showing up towards the north end of the balcony.

Maddy is still with us.  She occasionally has bouts of nausea but is still doing decently.  She loves treats, laps, petting, and evidently rubbing her head on the irises' leaves.  Occasionally she noms them, and Mama has to get up and wave her away from them.

After such a scolding, she comes and sits on my lap and snugs and purrs, and we enjoy the fresh air, warm sun, and good company of life and growing things.  More garden updates as conditions warrant.


Charissa said...

Nightly lows in the 40s in June?! It sounds like heaven. I really miss Denver and if it weren't for our family and friends here (Houston), we'd move back in a second.

Miss Kitty said...

LOL @ "my...gardenia, which I have named Terri Schiavo because it refuses to die but isn't really alive." LMAO!

Your Squadeleine is Bestest Sick Kitteh EVAR. What a schweet girl her is.