There is nothing I like to do more than a bit of pottering at home at the weekend. It’s my favourite.
This weekend was all about trying to get our balcony ready for the warmer months. It has been looking pretty neglected after winter and that was dragging our newly decorated living room down too, as this looks directly out onto the balcony. Everything needed a good clean and the plants needed a bit of TLC to help them on their way to new sprouts and blooms.
My little sister was visiting from Manchester on Friday so we popped out for lunch and I made use of their car whilst we were at it and dropped into a lovely garden centre tucked away in Dulwich. I stocked up on a few new plants to replace dead annuals from last Summer and because it was pouring with rain and we were forced inside I couldn’t resist a few new house plants.
Apricot Blush tulips? Total swoon!
Once home I did a few things to get the plants back into shape and to help them grow as well as possible. I started by re-potting a couple thats roots were outgrowing its pot and a couple that had been in the same pot for about three years so probably overdue some new nutrient rich soil. For the others I topped up the soil level as I find being up on the sixth floor when the soil dries out the strong wind we get takes away quite a lot of the top soil and the roots can become exposed.
I also made sure all of the plants were well watered and I added some plant food to the water (I mostly use tomato feed actually as that seems to work for most plants and I can pick it up at the supermarket). Whilst I was doing that I also added the magic powder to my Hydrangeas that makes the soil acidic and turns the flowers blue.
I removed a lot of the dead leaves from some of the plants, especially the trailing Geraniums I have in hanging boxes over the balcony rail. I mulched the dead flowers of the Spring bulbs but left the foliage to die back naturally.
I do have a problem with aphids and vine weevils (they are evil!) on my balcony, mostly because the plants are all grown in isolation so I don’t have the natural ecosystems that build up to protect plants from pests. I sprayed the roses and Hydrangeas to kill the aphids I could see and I also sprayed one rose that has a fungal infection with a special anti-fungal spray.
Once all that was done Jules gave the decking a good scrub (after I’d hoovered, obvs) and the glass panels were FILTHY so they needed a good clean too, although that is quite a bit harder as it’s pretty tricky to reach the outside glass without the risk of falling!
I’m quite excited about being able to have my morning tea sitting on the balcony again surrounded by Lavender and the bees. Bliss.
Is there anything I haven’t done that I should be doing at this time of year?