Thursday, February 16, 2012

Balcony Garden Questions

I've been contemplating what to post about lately, given my last few posts have mostly been musings and pictures (delicious pictures in some cases.) I questioned myself about content, and how to get back to the good old days of this blog. What kinds of posts have been most popular (and not just the harvest posts which show the yummy produce.)

Google stats suggested these posts as some of the most popular of all time:

These posts give the reader things, information, solutions, unique plants, ideas, and ripe tomato pictures! But how to go back to that type of content without rehashing? It was a question. My thesis had a few questions, which I answered, and thus provided information to an academic audience. Questions can be the key to investigation. I often ask myself questions about the balcony garden, my friends ask me questions, my family asks me questions and readers ask me questions. I usually have an answer for them all, but why not put it in print. Some of the questiosn are repeated and over the years I've learned my solutions and information which works some way towards answering them. Therefore I'm going to use the blog to answer some questions. Here are some of the questions I will post about in the coming weeks:

Why did I start gardening?
Should I start a garden? (YES!!!!! ... though what type is the next question)
How do I choose what goes in the balcony garden?
How do I deal with pests
My tomatoes died again ... is there any point in going on?
Trees, Vegetables or Flowers?
What do you do when you want to go on holiday?

If you have any other questions please add them to the comments and I'll do my best to answer them in a timely fashion.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Camera Cord Gems

For a while now I've been searching for my camera cord, promising all sorts of pictures once it had been found. Well I cleaned out the spare room and lo and behold, there it was. There were some great pics, so many memories of the balcony garden over time. Instead of backposting I thought I'd just share some pictorial highlights of the past 8 months or so and move on. Call them snippets from the Balcony Garden.

Ahhh the memories. From now on pictures will come from either my phone camera, which has proved easy, portable and more than worthy, as well as better ones from the digital camera.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines Day (Or Iraqi Communist Martyr's Day)

I don't really do Valentines Day. It's for the usual reasons, that I consider it to be over-comercialised, I don't need just one day to tell my significant other that he's wonderful, and I get and give flowers and pressies for other reasons.

But it is not just like any other day in my household.My wittiful boyfriend is cooking me a delicious Iraqi dinner - in remembrance the other significance of the 14th of Feb - Iraqi Communist Martyrs Day. In a few hours (or less) I'll get to dig into some Pomegranate and Beetroot soup. It's not exactly traditional, but with my low carb, low meat, healthy diet it was as close as he could get. And it's red, well deep purple, but quite the colour to get into the spirit of the dat. I'll stop short of singing the internationale, but here's some red and pink flower pics from the balcony garden to help you celebrate the 14th in whichever way you choose.

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Double Domestic Rainbow (or triple?)

Things are beginning to become a little brown here on the balcony garden, with a few extra shades of new-growth green. However, before the changeover there was plenty of colour both inside and out. Portulaca and Snapdragons brought rainbows to the garden.

There were also rainbows in the kitchen thanks to my incessant need to bake. Three attempts at baking rainbow cupcakes made two misses and a hit (both botched batches tasted good but didn't present well, the first was simply a spreading issue with the lack of a muffin tray, the second was a poorly performing patty pan problem which saw the mixture bubble and boilover.) The third batch came out better - and all three looked great inside.

These weren't the only colourful things I've been eating - check out the dragonfruit I treated myself to the other evening. Delicious! And such pretty, vibrant colours.

But wait, there's more! The rainbow cupcakes were made for a friend's 30th birthday. He only got the third and proper looking batch (they went down a treat amongst the guests, and everyone wanted the recipe, which can be found via the earlier link) However my lovely Dr No doesn't just get cupcakes, he was in need of a Prue-made apron, and that's just what he got. Indeed it was the first thing I made on my brand new sewing machine. I'm still getting the hang of sewing, but this turned out really well. One side had rainbow pockets on a black background (Dr No is a rainbow kinda guy) and the other side was a vintage Australiana fabric with a single wide pocket.

A double rainbow can brighten a day, but how about this triple rainbow of domestic smileness.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Harvest Monday (a.k.a. Harvest Porn for those in the Northern Hemisphere)

Not only do I keep forgetting to blog (I blame the fact my thesis came back, and yet I passed, I'm almost a Dr now!) but I keep forgetting to take picturess of all the harvessa but here are the bits I did remember. There have been more tomatoes, cucumbers and a barrage of apples (ok there were about 7 apples, but that's a barrage if ever I saw one) And this is a picture of but one ...

Tomatoes galore, though I've culled the broken down vines now (the usual wilt attacked them again) The black russian tomatoes were my absolute favourites. Here is some gratuitious tomato porn for those in the snowy, cold Northern Hemisphere. See, tomato bottom!

Three of the four of these delightful tomatoes were shared with the boyfriend in our dinner. In summer, dinner for me is usually a salad plate, and I just nibble away at it. The cucumber and tomatoes came in very handy for this task.

On Australia Day (26th of Jan, a very difficult day to reconcile in Australia's past) I used up a significant portion of the basil and garlic to make a pesto pasta salad. The cucumbers and tomatoes went in too, and it was a big hit at our picnic, along with my lemon curd and kiwi fruit pavlova.

Back to the harvest ... and there is a constrant stream of chillis.

The only miss was the corn. I got a few cobs fromt he first lot, which were delicious and shared with my parents on Christmas Eve. None of the second lot pollinated properly and this was the only cob I salvaged. Isn't it the saddest looking cob of corn you have ever seen?

I culled a significant postion of the summer plant from the balcony garden yesterday, no more cucumbers, only one tomato so harvest will be down for a while. But in their place are some broccoli seedlings and some kale, so harvests shouldn't be too far away.

For more harvest funtimes head on over the Daphne's Dandelions.