April Showers bring May Flowers

The last time you got to see the garden was in March.  A lot of prep was completed – repositioning the highbed and the herb garden, updating the ‘Stachelbeeren’ (gooseberries) and ‘Sternjasmin’ (Star Jasmine)  homes and placing them in a better spot, repotting last year’s Lavender, welcoming the ‘Pfingstrosen’ (Peonies), and a whole lot of soil enriching.  Added to that was the constant battle between us and the cats for dominance of the highbed!

April brought a mix of warm sunny days, cool overcast days, and torrential rain while May announced its arrival with such a sudden drop in temps that even Hubs was glad the seedlings had a glasshouse. Here’s what the garden looks like now.

Roughly 5 or 6 neighborhood cats liked to visit my highbed/garden daily. Weeks of desperate research and material search finally seemed to pay off.

Roughly 5 or 6 neighborhood cats liked to visit my highbed/garden daily. Weeks of desperate research and material search finally seemed to pay off.

Assaulting their rather acute olfactory and tactility senses seems to be working!  This visitor seems to be doing his utmost not to touch that awful straw - yeah!

Assaulting their rather acute olfactory and tactility senses seems to be working! This visitor seems to be doing his utmost not to touch that awful straw – yeah!

Now that the cat problem was resolved and the days warmed up; in went the seedlings with their poles and irrigation system.  What I love about the straw is that its range of benefits; keeping the cats at bay, holding the moisture content in the soil, and later deteriorating and adding nutrients and bulk to the soil.  So far, three Tomato plantlings, a Paprika, a Chili, and a few Tagetes (again for soil nutrition) have been planted.

Now that the cat problem was resolved and the days warmed up; in went the seedlings with their poles and irrigation system. What I love about the straw is its range of benefits; keeping the cats at bay, holding the moisture content in the soil, and later deteriorating and adding nutrients and bulk to the soil. So far, three Tomato plantlings, a Paprika, a Chili, and a few Tagetes (for soil nutrition) have been planted.

I'd been flirting with starting seedlings but the apartment isn't conducive  to such an undertaking (too warm, not enough consistent light), so I was really excited to snag this glasshouse (on sale, nonetheless!) and try my hand at self-starting seeds.  Left to right, top to bottom in the small pots is a 'Green Tiger' tomato (seeds saved from last year), Celery, and two Okras.  The large pots contain Basil started from seed - given that they die each winter; it saves a penny to be able to start them myself.

I’d been flirting with starting seedlings but the apartment isn’t conducive to such an undertaking (too warm, not enough consistent light), so I was really excited to snag this glasshouse (on sale, nonetheless!) and try my hand at self-starting seeds. Left to right, top to bottom in the small pots is a ‘Green Tiger’ tomato (seeds saved from last year), Celery, and two Okras. The large pots contain Basil started from seed – given that they die each winter; it saves a penny to be able to start them myself.

I got a little carried away once I started planting seedlings - this always happens!  The small pots contain two Sunflowers, a Rainbow Chard, and a Yellow Bush Zucchini (I'd really love to know where I'm going to put that giant of a plant?!).  The Calla Lilies and Jasmine continue to do well in their partially shaded part of the garden; I can't wait for flowers!

I got a little carried away once I started planting seedlings – this always happens! The small pots contain two Sunflowers, a Rainbow Chard, and a Yellow Bush Zucchini (I’d really love to know where I’m going to put that giant of a plant?!). The Calla Lilies and Jasmine continue to do well in their partially shaded part of the garden; I can’t wait for flowers!

Watching plants react to sun is always interesting; remember last year how the Sunflowers also leaned /grew away from the hedge?  Our neighbors have a 6ft hedge that shades our garden starting from 3pm or so.  Stretching for the sun, the plants lean into the garden and also get a little 'leggy' (tall and thin).  I've since tied them to supportive posts to save them from Hub's lawnmower and themselves (leggy plants can be foundationally weak and easy to damage in wind).

Watching plants react to sun is always interesting; remember last year how the Sunflowers also leaned /grew away from the hedge? Our neighbors have a 6ft hedge that shades our garden starting from 3pm or so. Stretching for the sun, the plants lean into the garden and thus get a little ‘leggy’ (tall and thin). I’ve since tied the Peonies to supportive posts to save them from Hub’s lawnmower and themselves (leggy plants can be foundationally weak and easy to damage in wind).

The Gooseberries continue to amaze me (and apparently my neighbors as well).  The early warm temps, full sun to which it's been moved, the spring feeding of compost, and the straw mulch to hold in the moisture led to lots of new growth and early fruit bearing.  It should be interesting to see how it reacts to this week's cold snap.

The Gooseberries continue to amaze me (and my neighbors as well). The early warm temps, full sun to which it’s been moved, the spring feeding of compost, and the straw mulch to hold in the moisture led to lots of new growth and early fruit bearing. It should be interesting to see how it reacts to this week’s cold snap.

I'm actually pretty confused by the Rhubarb; honestly, it received a place in the garden because Hub's loves Rhubarb pie/crumble.  After seeing stalks for sale in the foodstore, I thought something was wrong with mine, but was assured that mine are right on schedule.  Given that we can't harvest the stalks for the first two years anyway, it'll be interesting to see what it does.

I’m actually pretty confused by the Rhubarb; honestly, it received a place in the garden because Hub’s loves Rhubarb pie/crumble. After seeing stalks for sale in the foodstore, I thought something was wrong with mine, but was assured that mine are right on schedule. Given that we can’t harvest the stalks for the first two years anyway, it’ll be interesting to see what it does.

Calendula was added to the herb garden.  We've enjoyed a few young leaves in our salad already, but I've left it alone to flower as we want to try those in our salad next.

Calendula was added to the herb garden. We’ve enjoyed a few young leaves in our salad already, but I’ve left it alone to flower as we want to try those in our salad next.

I finally figured out what my Spinach like and they have rewarded me immensely. A cool shaded spot, moist soil, and a dressing of grass clippings as mulch brings forth a profusion of Spinach and Ruccola.  In the blue marked line are Romaine lettuce seedlings - my favorite.

I finally figured out what my Spinach like and they have rewarded me immensely. A cool shaded spot, moist soil, and a dressing of grass clippings as mulch brings forth a profusion of Spinach and Ruccola. In the blue marked line are Romaine lettuce seedlings – my favorite.

The Tagetes and the edible flowers seem happy in their sunny pots; although since they're clay, I have to water them every morning before the sun gets to them.  The good news is, they're pretty 'drought resistant'; which doesn't mean they're like Cacti or Aloe plants - it just means during the summer they won't completely die on me when the midday sun visits.

The Tagetes and the edible flowers seem happy in their sunny pots; although since they’re clay, I have to water them every morning before the sun gets to them. The good news is, they’re pretty ‘drought resistant’; which doesn’t mean they’re like Cacti or Aloe plants – it just means during the summer they won’t completely die on me when the midday sun visits.

Another whim purchase because we love the taste but for which I certainly had no idea where it would live; the Artichoke seems happy in its pot.  Given that this thing spreads wide and gets pretty tall (about 3 ft), I'm glad I only got one.

Another whim purchase because we love the taste but for which I certainly had no idea where it would live; the Artichoke seems happy in its pot. Given that this thing spreads wide and gets pretty tall (about 3 ft), I’m glad I only got one.

One of my favorite views while sipping my morning coffee.  For me, the mix of European, Mediterranean, and Caribbean plants are an expression of my current personality - taking a bit of everything I've experienced in the past 10 years away from home and creating my own bit of an oasis.

One of my favorite views while sipping my morning coffee. For me, the mix of European, Mediterranean, and Caribbean plants are an expression of my current personality – taking a bit of everything I’ve experienced in the past 10 years away from home and creating my own bit of an oasis.

The right-hand side of the terrace is just as lovely as the left.  I love my Hibiscus and Bouganvillea so much - the expression of Caribbean warmth, color, vitality, and endurance are the centering spot of my current existence and continually remind me to "Bloom where I'm planted" despite it all.

The right-hand side of the terrace is just as lovely as the left. I love my Hibiscus and Bouganvillea so much – the expression of Caribbean warmth, color, vitality, and endurance are the centering spot of my current existence and continually remind me to “Bloom where I’m planted” despite it all.

 

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About A Bahamian In Austria

I am a Bahamian woman, married to an Austrian man, who's been freshly transplanted to Vienna. I started writing this blog when a dear friend insisted that I had to write down my experiences. At best it'll update my buddies on my crazy-going-ons and at least, it'll keep me from stalking them online (LOL). I hope you enjoy :D
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8 Responses to April Showers bring May Flowers

  1. Hey, awesome garden, and your rhubarb looks like it’s right on track to me! looking forward to following you~

    • 🙂 Thank you. Glad to hear that the Rhubarb is on schedule; I really have no idea what I’m doing with that plant and haven’t been able to find much good info on it. Thanks for the advice and I look forward to watching your garden grow as well.

  2. You have a beautiful garden. I love your clay pots!

    • 🙂 Thank you for visiting, commenting, and complimenting. I’d love to say that I chose the pots, lol, but I’m a bit too practical for such frivolity, lol; they came with the apartment (and horror of horrors – are cemented to the wall and had no drainage before I got Hubs to drill a few in). Nonetheless, frivolous and impractical or not; you’re right, they are pretty cute!

  3. Norma Chang says:

    I too love your clay pots. Your garden is beautiful. Glad you were able to take care of the cats.

    • Thank you so much! I love this garden so much – it’s my escape from everything. When I’m home I’m constantly out there, peering at roots, under leaves, and so on, lol; it’s hilarious!
      As for the cats, I spoke a bit too soon, lol. It seems one of them got upset and decided to decorate the Tagetes and cover it up WITH THE STRAW, lol. The gall of her! Ughhh!!! Cleaning that up was fun. Still, one or two here, is much better than all everyday. I’m thinking once the rest of the plants go in and start to fill out, the ‘Last of the Mohicans’ will give up.
      Thanks so much for visiting and commenting, look forward to you visiting again. 🙂

  4. jeannie says:

    You’ve got a lovely garden going on. I have the same little greenhouse but I am keeping my indoor plants in it – air plants, bromeliads, and succulents.

    • Awesome! Those little greenhouses are cute aren’t they?! I’m thinking of using it as terrace decoration during the summer, once the current plants have grown out of them. Just not sure what I want to put in it yet.
      Thanks so much for visiting and commenting!

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