Friday Randoms… Here Comes the Sun!

I must start with an apology, as I am very aware that my Friday Randoms are coming your way on a Sunday afternoon. Thanks for dropping by and taking a look at my latest musings. I promise I’ll be more on track in future posts!

My inspiration this weekend, comes from the glorious weather – it really looks as though Summer is here. And the first real opportunity we’ve had to soak up some sun and temperate weather from the comfort of our balcony. We’ve been blessed with a glorious, sun trap of a balcony, in wonderful London. In any city, such a balcony is a fantastic way to take advantage of the outdoors, and make your own little haven.

When we started out with our balcony, we wanted to make it filled with plants, herbs and colour. As well as some quirky little bits and pieces. We’ve turned it into an extra room, rather than just a little garden. I’m not going to show you too much of the balcony just yet, as the wildflowers haven’t really taken into full effect this Summer, and I’ll be writing a post purely on balcony gardens, and how to make the most of them, in the near future.

But, I’d like to mention some of the things we’ve done to decorate the balcony, as well as one of our herb pots from last year. It’s nice to share ideas. Maybe you’ve some of your own you can share with me too…

ImageThis is just a basic shelf from our local DIY store (we’re lucky enough to have a brick balcony to be able to do this). On top of this, these gorgeous lanterns, we got from Jurianne Matter via the lovely Goodie Goodness box of fun stuff! They are made with paper from sustainable sources, and simply come as a pre-cut paper template which you pop out and fold round, and use for anything you want. We popped some tealights in empty jam jars, and there you have it! Lovely lanterns, perfect for a summer evening…

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As you can see, we decorated with some lovely metal lizards, and we’ve also got a few bits and bobs hanging around. It’s really easy to liven up a balcony, and really turn it into something special.

Our herbs last year were really something special. Here you can see a large tub with sage, beautiful flowering thyme, and parsley. With preening, watering and a little bit of love, they are going to be even more fantastic this year. The sage in particular, adds a lovely smell, which wafts around the balcony, and nicely takes away some of those city smells.

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These herbs, as with our wildflowers, were all grown, either from seeds or small cuttings. They were then simply planted in organic compost, and watered on a regular basis. A certain amount of trimming and cutting is needed, but this comes naturally if you are using the herbs in cooking. They are really fairly low maintenance, and give you lots of pleasure both to look at, and in any number of dishes.

Last but not least, and before I return to the balcony, I’m going to talk about our wildflowers. I’m so pleased to be hearing and reading about how many Londoner’s (I’m not sure about other cities, but feel free to check that out) are taking to keeping bees. Bees are essential to our continued life on earth. Without the bees, to put it bluntly, we’re screwed! What we are short of still, are wildflowers. Many councils are taking to planting wildflowers around roundabouts, and wall gardens are becoming popular once more, but we still need more. Wildflowers are really easy to grow, low maintenance and add such a burst of colour to any garden or balcony. And bees really need them, or they will all be gone! You can find out loads more about bees and wildflowers (and get your own seeds) on the Friends of The Earth site. We’ve planted many more this year, but here’s one from last year…

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Of course, you will get to see the full colourful array when this year’s spring into bloom… I’m off now, back to the balcony with a cup of Three Cinnamon tea from Pukka… no one makes it quite like they do! Happy Weekend everyone – enjoy the sunshine!

 

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