30 July 2013

new start?

My Stevia has once again broken in the wind.
I haven't done a good job at keeping it cut down. So instead I've tried starting cuttings. Not sure how well it will work....
The two cuttings on left in blue trays are from me Petunias. I read somewhere that you can take petunia cuttings and grow them indoors and have blooms in the middle of winter! Going to try.

27 July 2013


This plant continues to grow and grow. It flops over when too lengthy so I often give it a trim just to keep it standing up, if I'm not eating it frequently enough. This last time I also pulled off all the dried up stems and scraped the soil from the edge of pot to compact around the middle, to help it stand tall. It doesn't seem to mind the weather too much (hot, hot hot!) as long as I water it every day.


There are still some good things happening on my balcony. The miniature Rose seems to be reviving well.
My Sage is sprouting new growth at its base; probably a response to the stems I've been pinching off for cooking.
I sprayed the Nasturtium against bugs and removed all the sickly and dead foliage; it seems to be growing back with lots of new little leaves.

26 July 2013


Lately I feel like all the notes I make about plants here is about failure. I have lost more. The heat gets to me and then I tend to forget which plants like it dry, and overwater.
I can't believe I killed a Mint. They're practically indestructible, but this one certainly appears to be dead. It was my favorite Choclate Mint, too. I'm not giving up yet, keeping the pot around for a while to see if it revives.
In the background of that picture, is the Thyme I grew for three years, and was shaping as a tree. I was finally pleased with its look so now I'm dismayed it's gone.

I think my Lavender is dead as well; I probably cut it back too hard. And I had to throw out another Broccoli plant. Whitefly this time. Blarg.

spider baby

I've finally moved this most recent of the Spider Plant clan off its parent stem and out of that grouping, to a corner in my bedroom where I can admire it daily. It's the best-looking of all the young spider plants I've started. Probably because I left it on its parent stem a long time. I had first pinned it down more than two months ago.

25 July 2013

plant gambles

All the chances and experiments I take with plants, only some work out. I tried germinating Orange seed a month ago, and only got mold. Tried growing some Redwood seed bought as a novelty many years ago when visiting California, that didn't work either.

But happily, the Croton is growing back with vivid green leaves, and I still have one leaf growing roots in water.
I took encouragement from that, and today took cuttings of my pink rex Begonia Coleus.
The plant was starting to look shabby, with lower foliage dying and since the newer growth looks healthy I decided to take cuttings of that and try to start over.

24 July 2013


Another tall stem of my Stevia plant has broken. Lying sideways.
All is not lost; it appears to be regrowing small shoots from where the previous stem broke off.
I think they are breaking in the wind. Going to try and remember to keep the plant cut down more, trimmed often so it can grow wide instead of tall. Now there is more Stevia hanging up to dry!

23 July 2013


My coneflowers have been visited recently by fat bees and a few butterflies, but of course I reacted too slow to get a picture.
There seems to be yet another flower head sprouting down at the base.

22 July 2013

summer savory!

One of my favorite herbs to put in eggs. Now that I've cut back all the Green Onions (recently eaten in enchiladas- yum!) can see their pretty little leaves again.

19 July 2013

fern details

I just love all the different little variations in shape and pattern of Fern fronds.
Not sure what the species is, but very pretty!
Christmas Fern:
Cinnamon Fern:
Just as a comparison, here is the Boston fern:
and the two Autumn ferns:
Just like I'd been told, the young leaves of this one grow in russett-colored.

17 July 2013


Potted up again; it's growing fast!

16 July 2013


Not too dismayed anymore. My little Rose on the balcony is growing back with vigor.
The Croton is growing new leaves!
and one remaining leaf in water is sprouting roots.

15 July 2013

garlic infusion

I got four little heads of Garlic from my plants, small but nicely pungent. Didn't get to eat them though. Used to make a garlic spray against insects.
They weren't quite cured yet so the skins pinkish hue.
Nearly 4 oz of garlic
steeped in water for two days
then applied with a tablespoon of dishsoap.

This is what I'm battling. Pale splotches on all the leaves, pictured here Mint:
It seems to be diminishing though; the newer leaves look healthier. I think I'm routing them!
Also on the Celery
and Marigolds
and Petunias and Nasturtiums and others... Appears to be aphids, mostly.

Lavender cut down
As a further preventative measure I scrubbed out all the empty pots good with hot water and bleach. The number of empty pots now exceeds the number of live plants on my balcony...

14 July 2013

the plant that just keeps giving

and looks real pretty to boot: Stevia! Have just cut another bunch to dry and crumble into powder.
My two Basil have been sporting huge healthy leaves for a while yet I haven't found much use for it in the kitchen yet. So I cut the two plants back halfway; to hang and dry this lovely bunch, and encourage the plants to branch out more. Their scent is so strong and heady I'd almost call it a stink instead of a scent!

13 July 2013


of miniature Geranium

12 July 2013

lovely new plants

my favorites of all
gained with a shovel and some sweat
Have been rearranging them 
Figured they might do well on my shady balcony.