BALCONY GARDENING END OF MAY

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I do not really have much to write about today, just wanted to show off my balcony garden. I will let the pictures do the talking for the most part. I am just happy to have this little slice of heaven right outside my kitchen door.

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Nasturtium Blossoms with an extension tube on, should have used the tripod but was too lazy this morning.

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These are the nasturtiums planted in the container with the Olla watering system, everything planted with this Olla is huge and it is only the end of May!

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The picture above shows all the Black Eyed Susan vines, passion flower vine, and a cardinal vine, I will admit that I am having a problem with a Grackle bird wanting to nip the tops out of my vines and salvias for nesting materials. though he/she has helped the passion flower vine by nipping the top 4” out, it now has 8 new lateral vines shooting up at each leaf juncture. I would rather he/she leave that for me to decide. so I will be purchasing several rubber snake to place strategically around to entertain the Grackle.

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Most of my geraniums in full bloom, they will be rewarded with some Osmocote time release, and Super Bloom fertilizers as soon as I can get to Lowes for them.

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My Phaelenopsis orchids, this one did not initiate buds until the end of winter, and in time to be set outside where he seems to love the climate, all the other three, suffered from bud blast, due to lack of humidity over the winter and almost bloomed and then dropped them all. I need to get a humidifier for the apartment next winter. I am hoping to do a step by step post on the repotting and root trimming of the 3 orchids not in bloom, very soon. These geraniums seem to love the bottom shelf of the orchid stand.

A SINCERE DEBT OF GRATITUDE FOR EVERYONES LOVE AND SUPPORT!

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IMG_3296Today I feel the need to express my deepest gratitude and thankfulness to all have been involved in assisting me during this 5 month period of being without a car.

This indeed has been hard for me as I am not one to ask for help or assistance in anything that I do, let alone monetary assistance in buying another car. However I found myself in a situation being on a fixed income that I had no way around. It may not have been as difficult for me to get though the past months if it were not for having the genetic blood disorder called Polycythemia Vera, where I make too many red blood cells. This requires that two pints of blood be drawn from me each month in order to keep my blood count under control, at near normal levels.

*For more information on Polycythemia Vera, click on Polycythemia

IMG_3311I have to sincerely thank Diane Bowman of Rawley Springs, VA. and Carolyn Garber of Broadway, VA for their extreme generosity over the past 5 months in offering to come all the way from their homes to Elkton, VA (my home) and take me to the blood bank (Virginia Blood Services) in Harrisonburg, VA approximately 20 miles from Elkton, every two weeks, during that time they take me to the errands that need to run, paying bills and shopping while in town. This they have done even though it means for each of them running approximately 150 miles each every two week (they take turns) and have refused to take anything for gas. This weighs on me heavily as I know what this costs in gas every time they do it, as well as knowing what it is like for all three of us are on fixed incomes.

Polycythemia is a life threatening disease if left untreated and the only treatment for this is blood letting (otherwise known as Phlebotomy) my body just continues to over produce red blood cells until it has no place to go, and the out come is something I do not like to think about.

Along with their generosity has been the generosity of the friends and the anonymous donors and others that have donated to the GO FUND ME campaign to raise money for the down payment of a (new to me, used car) so that I can once again take myself to do all the things that Carolyn Garber and Diane Bowman as well as Tyler Rich (Crozet, VA) has done for me over the past half year.

*For more information on the GO FUND ME campaign, click on GO FUND ME.

IMG_3300I truly do not know how to Thank those who have helped out on this project, started by Franklin Kleckner of Charlottesville, VA. to whom I am so grateful, as I have just done everything myself in the past, trying not to rely on others to make my life go. Thusly and truly not knowing how to reach out myself and ask for help and assistance like this. However under the circumstances, there was no other choice as I could not or did not have the ability at the present to help myself.

I AM TRULY GRATEFUL TO ALL THAT HAVE SUPPORTED ME THROUGH ALL OF THIS, BOTH FRIENDS AND STRANGERS THAT HAVE FELT LED TO HELP.

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE THAT HAS DONATED AND SUPPORTED ME IN THEIR OWN WAYS OVER THESE MANY TRYING MONTHS.

STORMY SKIES

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Saturday I worked in my flowers on the balcony, and then in the evening I heard distant thunder, near the mountains and was able to take these pictures of the clouds in the sky.

I really need to learn to make some minor adjustments in Photoshop or Lightroom. I love cloud Photography, the canvas is ever changing!

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A MORNING OF BALCONY GARDENING

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IMG_3295This morning is a beautiful morning clear blue skies, cool in the 40’s  a perfect day for gardening. Yesterday my friend and I was able to locate the Salvia type that I was hoping to find so they are all planted and hopefully will be  blooming before long so that the little hummingbirds will have flowers to drink nectar from.

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The pots of onions, lettuce and micro greens have been replaced with Creeping Jenny vine, geraniums, the blue and white lobelias have been planted, the 3 elephant ear bulbs, and a black elephant ear plant from the greenhouse planted as well a misty white euphorbia. and a blaze orange thunbergia vine. Part of the fun of planting mixed containers is to see how to plant, knowing that some plants like the elephant ears will be tall and vertical, in the open ground they can become quite massive with the proper care, watering and feeding. When potted they can be a good bit smaller. This season will tell all.

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The only things left to pot up is one geranium and 4 Verbena plants to cascade over the balcony (well that is the plan) I opted for these over the wave Petunias this year, just to try something a bit different, the colors are striking, ranging from bright cardinal red, hot pink, bright purple and brilliant fuchsia!

IMG_3300My balcony garden is complete now. In the next week or two the last of the violas will meet their demise and give way to the geraniums, this season I can say that I have had blooming plants on the balcony since March. It all has worked as it should, gently over lapping of Spring and Summer flowers gradually giving way to each other so there is no time in which something is not in bloom!  This should take me all the way up to October (depending on how soon Old Man Winter) wants to rear it ugly head and kill everything this year.

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IMG_3311Unlike an open ground perennial boarder where I was able to have plants either in bloom or berries, something of color right up into November, which then gave way to the grasses for winter interest, the only thing I had always wanted in my garden that I never had time to get, was deciduous Holly a variety that has red twigs (brown until the hard freezes come) then they turn brilliant red. with red berries that the birds do not eat. (Never plant Red Twig Dogwood) which is very beautiful, but highly invasive as it spreads by underground runners. Then for early flowers I never was able to to get the Hellebores in my garden some varieties start to flower in February. So you see with careful planning you can at least in Virginia have or come close to a 12 month garden.

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