Heartbreak on Tomato Ridge – more tales from my balcony garden

Heartbreak on Tomato Ridge – more tales from my balcony garden

The gardening gods conspire against me … aphids, withering heat, smog and wind have all played a role in my balcony garden woes. I finally beat back the last of the aphids, admittedly, I think yesterday’s furious winds might have blown away most of the stragglers. But holy cats… when those little bastards entrench themselves, they don’t give up. I finally uprooted a bit of oregano and surrounded two afflicted peppers … yes, they are up to their leaves in leafy, lush herbs. I also go out and prune the garlic chive moat around the other pepper. Since doing that, there hasn’t been a sighting on any of the peppers. I’ve taken to muttering “I love the smell of chives in the morning”.

The morning glory has been a different beast! That was the last aphid bastion and they stubbornly clung to every leaf. I soaked some tomato leaves in water and sprayed the leaves for days and days and days… each time they reappeared, I’d blast them. Finally, my balcony is aphid free! Mr Morning Glory is looking quite robust and aggressive. It’s now hanging down onto the balcony below, looking for more things to grab onto.

But … sigh ….

I’m in mourning ….

We were walloped with a storm yesterday and the winds were so high, it sounded like a freight train was roaring up and down the balcony. We get ferocious winds up here on the 20th floor. How bad? Well, yesterday’s wind almost uprooted our fir tree. It’s been in the pot for about 5 years now. It did need to be propped up a bit, it’s taken to tilting towards the east because of all the winds over the years – it looks like one of those Group of 7 paintings, with the tree branches all pointing in one direction. But the winds were so bad at one point yesterday afternoon, the tree is now tilting almost 45 degrees and roots have lifted out of the ground.

And this brings me to a sad point… one of my tomatoes was beaten to near death. I have the plants in a sheltered spot and the wind rarely affects them, but yesterday it swirled around so fast, even they were battered about. My lovely, lovely cherry tomato plant snapped in half and the branches are mangled, possibly beyond recovery. All my growing tomatoes! Gone … gone … gone.

Sigh. Just … sigh.

The other two tomato plants weren’t affected much, a few battered branches but they came through like troopers. They weren’t showing as many tomatoes as my beloved cherry. Here’s hoping I get a few. They are big and leafy, but not really showing an inclination to sprout tomatoes. Not sure why.

I did, however, spot something lurking in the lavender:

Photo of mushroom found lurking in the lavender

It has been incredibly hot and humid around here so perfect growing conditions for them. I swear, my garden is taunting me. Oh well, if nothing else, I can boast about my nice crop of mushrooms.