Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Summer went by so fast

A few more harvest pictures:

This large dish is one of the things I made during summer.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

I'm tired

Saturday, 28 August 2010


Grown in a flowerpot. I haven't tasted them yet.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Harvest Time

Sunday, 15 August 2010

The First Peppers

Here there are finally - the first peppers of this year's balcony season.

There are more to come! One of my plants didn't make it through the heatwave and the others suffered some damages during the big thunderstorm but there are some fine fruits growing! You can't eat them fresher than homegrown and they taste so good!

The tomatoes are ripening too finally. I've got only two plants this time, so I didn't expect them to be as numerous as in the last years but it seems like there will be a lot less to harvest this year. Many blossoms fell off unfertilised as there are so few bees this summer. Mostly bumblebees and hoverflies do the job now. The thunderstorm tore off a lot of the green tomatoes and damaged the plants and there aren't many fruits growing at the moment.

This is mint doing just fine, sporting some lovely blossoms that are very popular among insects.

These are tansy blossoms. There's something about them that I just love and it makes me happy to have them on the balcony.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Balcony News

The exhausting heat was followed by a massive thunderstorm that played havoc with my plants and got me wet feet inside.

My tallest pepper plant was only half its size afterwards and actually there was no plant undamaged. Most of them recovered amazingly well though, but my tomato and bell pepper harvest will start a little later than expected. I overstrained my wrists cleaning up the mess and had to take a blogging and crafting break.

Pea time is over now. This is the rest of the lot.

I'm just tormenting myself with these pictures. The peas were so good! And they had no maggots and no aphids at all. I read that garlic helps to scare aphids away and so I placed some pots with garlic plants around the pots with the pea plants this year and it worked! (Garlic and peas don't like to be too close to each other, hence the seperate pots.)

Here's my morning glory in full bloom and a picture of how the blossoms look on the evening before. Every morning I'm greeted by so many flowers! The tomato plants are a lot taller by now. Here are some tomato blossoms.

Fruits are forming by now but none of them are ripe yet.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Small Blossoms

Today again some pictures of a few plants that are flowering at the moment on my balcony.


This is silene vulgaris. I think they are very pretty. Maybe I'm the only person who deliberately grows these. I collected seeds and sowed them.

This is a linum blossom. There are also some vicia leaves in this picture.

On this and the next picture there are galinsoga plants, that grew without any effort on my part. I let everything grow and try to get to know all the wild plants better by having them so close to me. I have galinsoga plants with slender leaves and some with bigger leaves, so maybe these are different sorts.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Still catching up on last year's pottery

I'm getting there!

I found these vases quite complicated to make, but I love their look!

This pot was part of a misfired kiln load. It has some flaws and even a little crack, but considering the circumstances it turned out quite nice. For some reason it's one of my favourites.

I used glass in these dishes and obviously I should have been a bit more generous with it in the flower dish. Maybe I try to fire it again at some point.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Peas and Ceramics

This is my 200th post in the three years of this blog's existence. I celebrate it with pictures of my pea harvests.

The early sorts begin to wither now but I have another pot full of later peas and these are soon ready to pick.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

It's blooming

The first poppy blossoms today, making me feel quite elated! I thought it wouldn't work so well to grow them in a pot.

Here's the view to the other side. There are peas, lots of peas, the blooming potato, nasturtiums, dill, lavender, mint and some wild plants and my bell peppers are out now too but some of them are a bit sorry-looking. I hope they recover!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Balcony Blossoms


Potato blossoms

Some sort of bell-flower I never sowed but that's growing nevertheless and is quite pretty.

This is one of the poppies I sowed. It's not flowering yet, but I'm really happy that I managed to grow them in a pot. I can't wait to see it in bloom!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Elderflower Syrup

About a year ago I stumbled upon a picture similar to this along with an elderflower recipe and was reminded of it when I came along some blooming elderflower trees some days ago. So I searched the web for recipies and finally gave it a try and I even prepared my second batch of syrup a few days ago.

In my recipe I measured my ingredients in average quantities as I found recipes that use a lot more sugar or lemons and acid and some that use less.
I used

10 umbels of elderflowers
1 lemon
20 g of lemon acid powder
1 kg sugar
1,5 l water

Collect the flowers, don't wash them but make sure that there are no insects on them and cut off the stems. Place the flowers in a large pot that can be covered and cut the lemon in slices. If it's unsprayed and organic you don't need to peel it. Put the lemon and the lemon acid in the pot along with the flowers. Take another big pot and boil the water in it, add sugar to the water and boil it until all the sugar is dissolved. When this is done, pour the sugar water over the elderflowers. When it's cooled down store it in a cool place and allow it to rest for 5 days, so the flavour of the elderflowers can diffuse into the syrup. The only cool place I have is the fridge and it worked very well. On the last day sieve it through a tea towel, fill the syrup in bottles and store them in a cool and dark place. (For me it's the fridge again.)
The syrup is very delicious and a sip of it mixed with sparkling water is a refreshing beverage on hot summer days. It's also very tasty with strawberries.

I used the remains to cook elderflower jelly. I boiled the flowers and the lemon together with 3/4 l of orange juice and 1 kg of jam sugar for 4 minutes and filled the mixture into glasses. I've never done anything like that before either, so I guess this could also be done with less sugar and I found recipes that used apple juice. My jelly is very sweet and yummy and I'm amazed how strong it tastes of elderflowers!

Friday, 18 June 2010

A Pot and Two Dishes

More pictures of finished pieces I made last year.

This pot was made by impressing a doily into the clay. Like last summer it serves its purpose on my balcony at the moment. I like ceramic plant pots, decorated or plain, so much more than plastic ones.

Somehow I don't like this dish very much. I don't know if it is the shape or this glaze I rarely use, but it doesn't feel like me really. The centre of the dish is filled with clear glass.

In this textured dish I tried out how some glass colours I had not used before behave when fired. This lovely bright sky-blue and dark wine-red survived the firing but pink and light-green vanished.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Monday, 14 June 2010

The First Peas

I picked the first peas of the year today!

It's like a feast to me. Nothing compares to the taste of fresh peas!

There are a lot more peapods growing so I'm hoping for a good harvest although a lot of seeds didn't come up this year.

This flower I don't know the name of grows in one of the boxes together with the peas. I don't pull out all the other plants that grow among the ones I sowed. I'm too curious to see what's growing there and I don't like to call wild plants weeds.

Here's the dill today, looking like fireworks.

Friday, 11 June 2010

More impressions from my balcony

The hot and humid weather makes me feel sick for days now (and all the depressing politics too), I'm just not made for it. My plants are feeling well but need a lot of water.

The tomatos are out for about two weeks now. This year I've got only two plants because the space on the balcony is so limited and I've got all sorts of other stuff growing.

This year I've got a pretty pink morning glory.

The marigold starts blooming...

... and dill blossoms are on their way too.