Looking forward to Spring

Despite a sudden burst of winter snow recently, my thoughts are turning to Spring. Maybe because the sun feels a big brighter and warmer now when it's shining.

I'm looking forward to a new season of plants on the balcony. What seeds should I order this year?

I always grow morning glories to cover the rails and give us some privacy. The grow so vigorously and flower so abundantly they are always a favourite of mine.

Morning Glory

Other contenders are cosmos and sweet peas, or maybe I'll try something new this year like miniature dahlias or marigolds.

In addition to flowers, I always make room for some basic herbs like mint, thyme and rosemary. Last year I tried dill for the first time. I didn't use it very much for cooking, but the flower heads were very pretty - like fireworks.

Fernleaf Dill

I'm hoping the lavender I started from seed will come back this year. With the mild winter we've had I think there's a good chance!

With plants, come insects. Some are troublesome, like aphids, but beneficial insects are great, such as big bumblebees and ladybugs. Last summer, I was so excited to find these ladybug eggs on the underside of a morning glory leaf:

Ladybug Eggs

The ladybug babies (which don't look anything like ladybugs - they look like strange lizards) would soon hatch and munch away on the pesky aphids. Natural pest control.

Sometimes the garden vistors are surprising. This spider who was hiding in the the rails was huge - about an inch long:

 Wolf Spider

He was so furry, like an old man spider. I kind of hope he visits my garden again this year!

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