Saturday 3 September 2011

Fiona's balcony garden

Our younger daughter, Fiona, lives in a 3rd-floor flat in Ferney-Voltaire, France. She has a long, narrow balcony that faces roughly South-West, and it gets full sun for several hours a day (sometimes too much sun).
Since Fiona has inherited from me a strong love of gardening, she has put her balcony to good use.

In a series of pots of various types and sizes, Fiona has established a very diverse collection of plants, some of them ornamental and some of them productive. For instance, she has a number of different Petunias, like this bicolour purple-and-white one:

This lovely golden Chrysanthemum:

And this unruly but nonetheless decorative Pelargonium:

The edible plants are also strongly represented. This is a very healthy specimen of Purple Basil:

Here are two varieties of Tomato - a plum variety (Roma):

and a red Cherry variety (Gartenperle):

This is a pot of mixed lettuces:

And here are some radishes, swelling up nicely:

Stars of the show of course, are the Chilli plants (Cayenne), some of which are well-behaved and regular:

Whilst others are non-conformist and very confused:

Fiona's achievements just serve to demonstrate the fact that you don't actually need a huge space to be a successful gardener. Care and attention, and a love of your plants is more important! I suspect that much of Fiona's success is also due to her prowess in successfully producing her own special brand of home-made compost, which you can read about here...

P.S. Thanks to everyone who offered advice and shared experiences concerning Physalis. Most helpful.


  1. Very nice patio garden! Everything looks very healthy.

  2. That purple basil is growing so big, I might have to try my hand at purple pesto. Thank you for refraining from showing pictures of my dead thyme, whitefly-infested mint or ailing lavender! And for whatever you did to magically revive my beetroot. Voltaire says hello (actually he says rrrrooooow).

  3. Love all the colours and greenspace you have created up there. I have one chilli that has grown into a heart shape. Have youtried growing cat nip for voltaire? Ourcats have no interest in the fresh stuff but some love it :)

  4. Looks like green thumbs are inherited!! What a beautiful balcony garden!!

  5. Gosh, everything looks so fabulously healthy! I love the plum tomatoes.

  6. I always find it amazing what you can do in a small space and I am always moaning that I don't have enough in my large garden! Her greenfingers are obviously in the genes.

  7. What an impressive balcony garden! Your daughter has converted such a small space into a beautiful green patch. Reading this, I feel inspired to do more in my own balcony.

  8. hmm.. now i got shame to have more space but less plant than fiona... :)


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