Know your enemies and newest additions

Hi there,

when I started my balcony gardening adventure, I wanted to see if and how well one can grow their own veg without a garden. As I am no expert on gardening, it was clear that this would also be a learning experience for me. And learning I did.

First lesson I got taught: know your enemies!
Last week the weather here was horrible and I learned that the one thing I have not taken into consideration when planting out all my lovely veg was WIND. Lots of heavy wind. Not surprising really, I am living in the Dutch province of Friesland which is flat as a pancake. And although we do have forest areas, they are not around the place I live in. So winds can easily pick up here. And they do. More often than not.
This constant wind, together with heavy rainfall last week, took it's toll on some of my plants. My poor old cucumber lost all of it's bigger leaves on the lower part of the stem. They simple snapped off. I had to secure the trellis I made for the peas to the balcony frame because it also got shaken up a good bit. And while the tomatoes so far seem to cope quite well, I do see that also they lost some leaves and do not grow as much as they do at my Mum's place where they are sheltered in her garden.

 There it is, a cucumber with no leaves on the lower stem. Poor little fellow. I hope the remaining leaves at the top can keep it alive.

The other thing I wanted to share are some new additions to my balcony. After the dull grey and rainy days last week I was craving sunny and bright colours. So I went to my local flower shop to buy one or two and ended up with something very special to me: a hortensia!! A proper old pink hortensia. I love those. Always have. And I am so excited to finally own one. Now all it needs is a zinc pot to live in to give it that country feeling while still fitting to the blue and grey scheme of all the other pots on the balcony. Thriftstore, here I come. The hortensia was an absolute bargain, only cost me 5 euros. Apparently, some twigs were broken off or mishaped and the owner of the flower shop let me have it for next to nothing. This is also something I wanted to share with you. While most of us would rather go to the big gardening centres, it does pay off sometimes to go to the small flower shops in your area. I am a loyal customer to this specific one, always buying my cut flowers there. The owner and staff are very friendly and because they know me, I am able to get stuff cheaper sometimes. This surely would not have happened in a big gardening centre.
Next to my beautiful hortensia, I also bought three spanish marguerites in bright yellow. They do not go all that well with the pink of the hortensia but hey, let's not go all too matchy-matchy here. Gardening shuold still be fun.

My peas have finally begun to cling to the trellis. Next to them, you can see my radishes coming up nicely.

Have a nice thursday!