I’m waiting for the peonies I didn’t know I had in front of my porch to bloom.
I do remember someone telling me that ants are required for this process, although, according to The Guardian, “While the notion that the buds would be stuck closed and unable to flower without the intervention of ants has been disproved, this is still a mutualistic relationship. The ants don’t damage the peony flowers and they defend the plant from attack by harmful, sap-sucking, petal-chewing insects.”
When I moved to an apartment where I could not plant vegetables and flowers like I was accustomed to doing in the spring, I decided to do the next-best thing – container gardening. I have a wraparound balcony on the back of my apartment that is spacious and drenched in sunshine, so I began to seek out the best flowers that would flourish in full sun.
At my first stop at a local nursery, I chose a large, gorgeous hanging plant that was resplendent with red blooms, and I was assured it could take full sun. When I got home, I quickly realized that there was no means of hanging the large, gorgeous and very heavy plant, so it was placed at the top of the balcony with the most sunshine. Two days later, I learned that this particular flower could only withstand a few hours of full sun, then had to be relegated into shade.
At the next nursery, I asked a lot of questions. The first non-hanging flower was regularly walked from one zone to another, and has finally acclimated. The 20 or so other flowers in pots have all seemed happy in their new home, and I have added some accessories such as a vintage woven bench that seats several small potted plants, a layered frog fountain that seems to be missing a piece and my most treasured addition – bunny statues with a tree stump pot filled with blooms.
Unfortunately, it’s not feasible to grow heirloom tomatoes on the balcony, so I gave my heirloom seedlings to friends. I will miss watching the tiny multi-colored and flavored tomatoes growing up in front of my former bay window, but hopefully the bounty will be shared.