Spring’s Around The Corner – time to check the balcony


Over the winter months the balcony has been looking very drab and neglected but at last there are signs of springtime.There will be a lot of tidying up to do with plenty of withered plants,  smashed pots that did not survive storms, tangled wind chimes and pots filled to the brim with rainwater.

Getting it back into shape will be a challenge but I’ll do it a little at a time. I read recently not to spring clean gardens until the temperature is consistently above 10c as pollinators may have made homes among the dead leaves and hollowed out stems of last years plants.  Today it is 11c so I’ll keep checking that temperature before I disturb any possible hideouts. I’ll make a start emptying out the pots of water as no doubt there will be more rain before too long.

(Information about creating habitats and pollinators can be found at Papavergardening)


As usual, many plants have died off but it’s heartwarming to see others arriving on the scene. I have some very sturdy looking daffodils shooting up and miniature daffs about to blossom. The snowdrops I planted are nowhere to be seen, however, the crocus plants are bravely shaping up with one purple flower in bloom, I think I planted mostly purple – any early adventurous bees will find them attractive.


I am full of admiration for plants that succeed in the struggle to survive bad weather and I notice some buds on the clematis, the hydrangea and even a couple of geraniums that have fought their way through to 2024. There is a hellebore plant with several blooms – it appears to be remarkably storm resistant. Late last autumn I bought some pansy plants but did not get round to planting them as the weather became too bad – I can plant them now as the cold, frosty and miserable days appear to have had little impact and they’re looking very fresh.

Over the next month or so I’ll enjoy seeing more bulbs start to bloom. Tulips are my favourite so fingers crossed for an impressive show as I planted loads. I’m planning to make my first balcony purchase very soon and have my heart set on pale yellow primroses and primula in vibrant pinks and purple.


I am hopeful that the passion flower that bloomed for so long last year, and climbed impressively along two metres of fence, will reappear. I also had some very showy dahlias that I loved and II would be very happy if some of the tubers have survived. Unfortunately, I have no frost free place to store them but I gave quite a few to my niece so perhaps she’ll be able to return the favour if none of mine made it through the winter.

diary royal horticulture society

I love trying out new plants on the balcony and Jim gave me a gorgeous Royal Horticulture Society diary at Christmas – the illustrations are amazing so I have plenty of inspiration. And I’m always open to suggestions. 🙂

Pat Byrne, February, 2024

This section: Balcony Blog

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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