Monday, April 07, 2014

Balcony Garden: Harvest Monday (the end for now)

I'm feeling a bit burnt out by the balcony garden. I've been toiling away on the balcony for about two years now and it's time me and my green thumb took a bit of a hiatus. I'm feeling a bit lazy at the moment and need to think about my next step for what I want to grow out there. It's not "THE END"...just a pause.

Whilst I've (mostly) enjoyed the gardening process it's not all fun and games. After each crop dies I need to lug all the pots (with their dirt) downstairs to the green waste bin. It's heavy and awkward, and after hurting my arm at work three years ago it's literally a pain! I'm not supposed to lift anything over 2kgs and the pots weigh much more than that!

Watering isn't easy as we've not got a tap on the balcony. I either need to fill up buckets in the  bathroom and slosh them through the house and out to the balcony (again heavy). Dave did buy me a house that connects to a tap under the kitchen sink but I've not quite mastered the logistics of this so it's a case of batting my eyelids when I want to water with the hose.

You may have noticed that we do like to travel. A LOT. I feels like an imposition to ask people to water our garden when we're away so often thus we often come home to scenes like this...making me wonder should I even have a garden at all? We don't have pets as we travel so much...maybe we shouldn't have parsley either?

And then of course there's been the never ending "bug warfare", a battle that I've sometimes won, but mostly lost! Jerks!

All of that aside, we've had some issues lately with our balcony no longer being waterproof and whenever I water it would literally rain through to the neighbours balcony below. Not good for neighbourly relations I can tell you. The balcony is being re-waterproofed and then it's being repainted over Easter. This means that ALL the pots have to go so it's seyonara tomatoes and basil. I am going to try to hold on to my mint, sage and rosemary as I love them too much to ditch.

When I was enjoying the balcony garden I REALLY enjoyed it. I've learned a lot not only about plants, but about bugs and how to (try and) control them. I've learned that despite their size caterpillars really are smarter than me!  I've definitely learned A LOT about food production and I like to think the garden has made me a better, more responsible, consumer. But, best of all growing my own food as made me a better cook - I'm now more adventurous and willing to give things a go.

So watch this space. After the balcony is fixed we're going to go plant hunting for some more long-lived plants - perhaps a blueberry bush and a dwarf lemon tree. Who knows?


  1. you have been my biggest inspiration for starting my own little gardening patch, i hope you return to the world of green thumb and bugs soon!

  2. Mel, I think you've done really well to keep it going for so long! Well done. Love the parrots feeding on the balcony! And I think permanent pots are a great idea! Some rosemary perhaps, a bay tree?, lemons for sure!, and yes, blueberries!

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  4. have really enjoyed the balcony garden posts! I always toy with the idea of lining the balcony with herbs etc, but then realise I'm far too lax with the watering to even keep anything alive for a decent length of time!

  5. isn't it annoying to come home to dead plants? Bummer. Those toms look so full of flavour.

  6. I know Im a little late to the party, but I thought it might help as a restart for your balcony garden. I installed a balcony garden in Parramatta about a year ago, you can read about which plants I thought would work best for the climate here:
    AND! Because you said that you were having trouble with Cabbage Moth, and love to eat coriander, check out my post on companion planting the two - who knew coriander would keep away the dreaded green grub!


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