Sunday, March 13, 2011

New Additions In The Garden!

Last week we had really strong winds in Southern California and my poor balcony took the beating! 

When I saw that the wind was picking up, I moved a few plants off the stucco ledge to be on the safe side. It's a good thing I did too because the wind not only destroyed the material I was using to cover the openings in the railing, but it knocked over my completely full storage unit too! Bad wind, bad! That night, I was NOT a fan of the wind!

My radishes took a little hit, but in the end most of them made it without being damaged too much. 

Since I have two wonderful furry friends, I can't keep the balcony railings wide open. 

After a lot of thought, advice and online research, I ended up purchasing Hardware Cloth from Home Depot and used wire to secure it. It isn't nearly as private, but I like it and think the plants will end up getting more sun.

The cats really like it too! They can see so much more and love people watching every chance they can get.

In addition to the Hardware Cloth, I got a few other goodies while on my shopping trip. I'd originally planned to go to Sperling Nursery to get the rest of my "crops", but the wind on Monday changed my plans. Since there were plants at Home Depot, I decided to kill two birds with one stone! (No - not really... C'mon people!)

I came home with...

A new Cherry Tomato Plant for my Topsy Turvey Tomato Planter!!! I didn't plant it in the planter yet, but keep your eye out because I'm doing it soon. 

A Jalapeno Plant. Last year's did SO well that I couldn't resist doing it again. The memories of homemade Pico De Gallo and Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers helped me make my decision! :)

A Basil Plant. Similar to the Jalapeno Plant, and Tomato Plant too, my Basil last year was a superstar. It produced so much that I couldn't use it and give it away fast enough! It's a lil sucker right now, but if it's anything like last year's plant, it'll grow like crazy.

Not only did I get food producing plants, I got a few flowers too! The ones I planted a few weeks ago aren't growing fast enough and I wanted some beautiful flowers!

Here are my Pansies. 

My Laker colored Pansies!

And my Ranunculus!  

My what?!?! Yeah - I know. I'd never heard of them, but maybe I live under a rock... Anyway, when I was getting out of my car I saw a lady with some in her cart and thought the flower was so interesting. When I saw how cheap they were and this beautiful orangy color, I couldn't resist! 

Enough about the new stuff. As exciting as they are, I can't forget about some of the old favorites. Some of them have been around since LAST Spring. Some of the non food producing ones have been around for a few years!

I'll start with my pride and joy - my key lime tree.

While it has lots of flowers and mini limes, it's a Winter bearing fruit tree, so I don't think I'll get anything usable for about a year.

I mentioned last week that multiple Garlic had sprouted, but now they are ALL (I planted 10 cloves) growing like crazy. The sprouts are about six inches tall and very green. They get bigger every day.

I was very worried about my Shallots.  I planted then the same day I planted the Garlic and I hadn't seen anything.

It didn't make sense to me and I was getting really disappointed until I discovered a tiny little sprout on Saturday. I noticed another one this morning while enjoying the cool March day.

And the herbs. I can't forget them! They're all so useful and I'm so happy I have them fresh on my balcony. 

The Mint.

The Rosemary.

The Flat Leaf Parsley.
It's small now, but I used and ton.
It'll be back to normal soon!!!

The Thyme.

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