When I last reported on my Parisian windowbox garden, aphids had attacked, well, everything and my geraniums were suffering from root rot. Dark days, indeed. How have things progressed?
What’s HOT (i.e. still alive, or even — dare I say it? — happy)?: Lavender and rosemary (photo top), basil, and marigolds, which require a lot of water, but seem to rebound quickly if they don’t get enough.
Also HOT: Another lavender plant, and thyme, or “plants that thrive in a hot, dry climate,” said my friend, Andrea. Er, yes. Why didn’t I think of that?
What’s NOT? My tomato plant is limping along, with some curling leaves (supposedly a sign of over-watering, or whitefly — who knows?).
The tomato plant *might* have flower buds, then again it *might not.* In any case, given it is already late August — which means rapidly diminishing hours of nourishing sunlight — I don’t think I’ll be seeing any fruit this year. What went wrong?!
Also in the NOT column: My geraniums, which never fully recovered from the root rot debacle. (Click here for a “before” picture. Weren’t they lush and lovely? Sigh.) Now, no matter how little I water them — geraniums like to suffer, remember? — they remain thin and scraggly.
In the end, what have I learned from this growing season?
Plants like water, but not too much. My balcony (west-facing) offers a hot, dry climate. Mint attracts whiteflies. I should have started the tomato plant earlier. Or maybe my balcony doesn’t get enough sun for tomatoes. And the number one lesson? Plants are finicky: they need judicious amounts of water, fertilizer, sunlight, and care to thrive.
Finally, I leave you with a photo of a flower bed near Notre Dame de Paris. I love the use of chard as giant decorative centerpiece!