Getting the balcony ready for the season

A Bergen winter typically consists of a few days of snow, followed by rain, freezing temperatures, more rain, more freezing, even more rain, etc. This last winter was actually quite good, in the it was sunny and cold for two long periods, with only a day of rain here and there. Still, the less than usual rain that we had, managed to create havoc on my balcony.

The soil from the flower bed splashed up against the walls of the balcony, and green algea grew on the floor. A couple of weeks ago I started the project of getting the balcony ready for summer.

First, I cleaned the whole balcony – floor, walls, table, flower bed and furniture – with soapy water, power hose and a brush. This is a dreadful job if you like me hate cleaning, but it didn’t take too long, and the clean result provided immediate satisfaction.

The next step was to paint another coat of grey terrasse paint. I planned to do this for about two weeks before I could – you need about 48 hours of dry weather prior and at least 24 hours of dry weather after paining, for the paint to hold. Within 12 hours of me finishing the paint job, it started raining – in total contradiction to the weather forecast! The small puddles that formed on the deck slowly dissolved the fresh paint, creating grey puddles. Oh, the frustration!

While waiting for another spell of dry weather in order to fix the paint puddles, I headed to the local farm school – they have a shop in which they sell organic products, as well as a wide range of flowers and plants that they grow on the school farm. The quality of these organically grown plants is amazing and well worth the slightly higher price tag. I picked a selection of my favourite herbs as well as flowers in white, pink and purple. Here’s the result:

The planting job was followed by a well deserved glass of red wine!

Things grow really well on  my balcony, so as summer proceeds the plants will double in size and cover the entire flower bed. I also love to be able to go out and fetch some fresh herbs whenever I’m cooking in the kitchen! I’m trying a new herb this year – celeriac parsley. It tastes yummy, like a cross between the two herbs. It will be great on salads.

As for the paint coming off some of the boards in the rain – yesterday I gave these boards another coat of paint and now the colour is nice and even on the entire deck.

Later today I’m giving the railing a fresh coat of red paint, and then my balcony will be ready for the open house on Tuesday! You can see the listing of my flat here.