Sunday, April 10, 2011

Shanghai Balcony Gardening III

Shanghai Balcony Gardening III The Great Firewall is fettlesome this morning, somehow managing to block Blogger, even through the tunnel. Flickr's always fine, though.

Yesterday I took the bike to the wee place on the corner that mends bikes, got the saddle lowered, the brakes adjusted and the chain oiled. I was after the bicycle equivalent of a 10,000 mile service, and had the Chinese for that written down, but the man in the bike place said it didn't need it. He asked how long I'd had it, but remained impassive when I said a month. I asked if he thought it was a good bike, and he shook his head and laughed and said, No, it was Chinese. He said I should get a Japanese bike if I wanted a good one. I think this was probably a sincere opinion, as the place didn't sell bikes, so he had no ulterior motive. And, as fond of the bike as I am, he has a point: it's a bit cumbersome if, for example, you're trying to negotiate a narrow way with a basket full of shopping, up a slope, with a sharp turn at the top.

I then peddled on to the flower market, and bought a couple of bags of compost, some 6" plant pots, and some liquid fertiliser, (12 9 9 N P K, which is cool).

Back home, I sowed more rocket, plus parsley, and basil. Today, I'm going to sow some lovage, which, incidentally, contains myristicin, which may or may not be what makes a person stoned if they ingest enough nutmeg.

The mint I put in the big plant pot is dying. It's not for lack of water. I can only assume that some numpty used a weedkiller in that pot. I noticed at the flower market they have bags of garden soil, about half a hundredweight. I'll get some of that and replace the soil next weekend, if the mint dies entirely, as it looks liable to. It's a waste of the whole packet of borage I sowed in the same pot, too.

The geraniums I planted last week began to germinate after five days. Lively little blighters.