Sunday, May 28, 2006


Well I finally came to the realization that I had to downsize somewhat. I could hardly move out there and as the trees got their leaves and flowers it was even worse. So I have given my Purple Splendor, both Rhodo's and my Grace Smokebush and the Blue River II Hibiscus to Lynnie and I got a small Lacecap Hydrangea. It looks like a Blue Wave but it was an unnamed variety at Plantland but very pretty so I couldn't resist.

Everything seems happier and my climbing Hydrangea is blooming and very pretty. The Catoneaster that I planted under my Full Moon Maple is very pretty too and blooming as well at the moment. The Pink Parfait has flower heads on it and I can't wait for it to bloom.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Samurai & Grace

My Grace Smokebush is starting to develop flower headsThe gorgeous leaves of the Samurai Japanese Maple with the Bow Bells Rhododendron behind
The Bow Bells with the little pink Roseshell Azalea to the left
The Purple Splendor Azalea in full bloom. Nemo likes it!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Azalea's and Rhodo's

The Purple Splendor is now blooming as is the Roseshell Azalea. Both are so pretty and the Roseshell smells so nice. A real clove smell. It doesn't have much in the way of blooms this year and I think it may not like being too wet. It spent all winter on the deck of the house and it got quite wet as the pot has a pan attached that holds the water in I think. I may take it off and see if that helps. Also it's not getting as much light as it would probably like. I think this weekend I may move the plants around on the balcony and see how they all like that.

I brought home some new little ground covers to put in with the trees. Some Bog Rosemary, two new kinds of Heather and another kind of Cotoneaster called Rock Spray. The Heathers are a white one called Silberschmelze and a "ruby crimson" one called Allegro. It blooms August to September and the white one blooms December to May. The original one in there is called the Kramer's Red and it blooms October to April so they should all be very pretty next winter.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Bow Bells and Purple Splendor

My Purple Splendor Azalea is covered in buds just on the verge of opening. I can't wait to see it in full bloom. The Bow Bells Rhododendron is also just starting to bloom and is going to be very pretty. I work at a tree farm/nursery and the rhodo's and azalea's are coming in to bloom now. Some a little slower than others but still in bud. The Magnolia's are almost done but the Dogwoods are starting and are so pretty. I noticed a few of the Lilac's are blooming too.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Swing glider

I found the perfect seat for the balcony at Home Depot. It is a 2 person swing glider and is the perfect size for out there. I had the two fold up chairs but they aren't all that comfortable to sit out there and read. Home Depot had 2 and I tried them both and the cheaper of the two was far more comfortable. It actually take up less room that the chairs did.

The plants seem to be liking it out there with the exception of the Tree Mallow and I think a slug or snail came with the plant pot when it moved from the yard to the balcony. I found it on there and booted it out but it or something seems to have made the Tree Mallow look sick. I have planted the Kramers Red Heather in the same pot with it and I'll just leave it alone and hope it comes back. If not I'll just pull it and leave the heather in the pot alone.

The Samurai Japanese Maple is leafing out beautifully and I love the veined leaves. That was the main reason I bought this Maple was for the leaves. The Shojo and the Full Moon Maples are liking their spots too and are leafed out quite well. The Shojo has an undertone of green and the Full Moon is a very bright light limey green. New leaves are so pretty.

Both of the Azaleas are getting ready to bloom and the Grace Smoketree is finally starting to get leaves. I work at a tree farm/nursery so I have access to and can buy many of the less common type of trees and shrubs. When I moved from the house to the apartment I had to give up quite a few of the trees I had started to collect. I kept my favorites for the balcony plus they are mainly plants that will do will in the semi shade.

This shows the first of the leaves starting to emerge
against the lime green of the Full Moon Maple. I sure hope it gets its smoke plumes this year. The tree is 2 years old this year and some of the ones at work bloomed last year.

I planted the Catoneaster in the same pot as the Full Moon Maple and sitting behind is one of Peter Grimes cement masks. I call it my Sumo because to me it does look like a Sumo. He does some very cool masks. He also grows some beautiful Monkey Trees. I have two of his masks now and I enjoy having them. I planted the Creeping Raspberry in with the Red Heart Hibiscus and I'll get a picture of it for next update.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Balcony gardening

I recently moved from a house with a good sized back yard to an apartment with a balcony and I took as many of my trees with me as I could. I had already started container gardening as we were planning on moving soon and so last summer as I was getting some of the trees and shrubs I wanted I kept them in containers with that in mind. We weren't sure where we would end up or even whether it would be a house or an apartment. As it turned out my husband and I separated and I moved into an apartment. I am on the 3rd floor and the balcony gets morning sun and then it's in the shade for the rest of the day.

So what did I bring with me. Well lets start with my maples. I have a Samurai Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum Shigitatsu Sawa) , a Shojo Namura Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum Shojo Namura) and a Full Moon Maple (Acer japonicum). They all had to come of course. Then I have a Red Heart Hibiscus (Hibiscus syriacus Red Heart) and a Blue River II Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos Blue River ll) , 2 Rhodo's and 2 Azalea's. One of the Rhodo's is called Bow Bells (Rhododendron x hybrid Bow Bells) and the other I'm not sure of and with the Azalea's one is a Roseshell (Rhododendron prinophyllum) and the other is a purple variety called Purple Splendor (Azalea j. - Gable Hybrid). The Roseshell is highly scented and has a real clovey smell that I just love. I have a Grace Smoketree (Cotinus x hybrid Grace) and 2 kinds of Hydrangea, the Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala petiolaris) and one called Pink Parfait (Hydrangea macrophylla Anderson) that has a gorgeous pink flower and finally a Tree Mallow called Lavatera x clementii Barnsley.

I was going to get some annuals to put in the pots with some of them and then decided to use small ground cover type shrubs instead so I picked up Creeping Raspberry (Rubus calycinoides) which I put with the Red Heart Hibiscus, Kramer's Red Heather (Erica x darleyensis Kramer's Red) that I put in the same pot as the Tree Mallow (which a slug attacked and I'm hoping I won't lose), a Bearberry Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster dammeri) in with the Full Moon Maple and some Candy Tuft and Gracewort in with the Samurai Maple. I also picked up a pot of chives to have up there as I do like them in salads and tuna sandwhiches etc.

Most of the trees have leafed out except for the Smoketree and most of the shrubs are doing the same with the exception of the Hibiscus. The Tree Mallow was doing fine till the slug got to it and he took a ride off the balcony so hopefully he won't be back!

The plan now is to keep a gardening journal complete with pictures to see how the plants make out on the balcony and how much the trees grow being in containers. This is their second year.

It doesn't leave a whole lot of room on the balcony but there is room for two chairs and a small table between that doubles as a storage area to keep gardening tools and it holds my small water feature and a candle. My son smokes out here as well as we don't smoke in the apartment at all. So this is the start and I'll try to get fresh pictures up weekly to see how things are growing and liking the balcony!

I found a curly hose at Walmart that stretches 50' and attaches to the kitchen tap so I can now water much easier than running back and forth with jugs of water.