Busy Bee on the Balcony

Here is a HD video of the bee nesting in my IVAR bonsai nursery shelf on the balcony:

It is now working on the third hole and I have put four more of these metal thingies in where I want to add another shelf later. It seems I have to book in early. 😀


Germination Period for Mandarin Pips Over

On March 5th, I had started a new project to determine the germination period for mandarins/ tangerines. I think all the pips came from the same mandarin, but I’m not sure any more, because there wouldn’t have been a lot of pulp in that mandarin: I had put 16 pips in vermiculite and 6 into ordinary soil. I wrote down 6 at the time, but now I have 10 seedlings, so it seems one seed yielded several seedlings.

mandarin seedlings

Mandarin Seedlings

It took them between 24 and 50 days to germinate. The seeds in vermiculite started germinating after 24 days and the ones in normal soil 33. The leaves look darker than the ones from the lemon trees.


I have re-potted the seedlings into single pots and it actually IS the case that one seed can yield several seedlings. There’s plenty of proof:

Re-potting on the balcony

I got myself a coffee table for the balcony which I can also use for re-potting and other jobs like that.

Coffee/ Re-potting Table

Coffee/ Re-potting Table

One of my co-workers wants some of the seedlings (stone pine and ginkgo so far), so I prepared them for her. I got some bonsai soil, too, because she wants to give it a try and I will need it anyway. The pine seedling on the photograph is the one from the video.

One of the Granny Smith’s Apple seedlings came out nice after the first pruning, so I’m keeping it as well.

I had actually planned on sowing rapini (broccoli raab) – I had ordered some seeds and they had arrived yesterday – but the sowing period is July to September. What a disappointment.

Watering Can From Recycled Plastic Bottle

Bottle caps

Some days ago, I saw these bottle caps that turn an ordinary water bottle into a watering can – on amazon. What a great idea, I thought and almost ordered them, but then the shipping cost was higher than the actual cost of those thingies (2,95 €) and I thought better of it. If I would see them in a shop, I would buy them at once.

But then I thought that I could just drill some holes in the ordinary cap of the water bottle I already use for watering my plants. I tried that and it works just fine. The water might not go 100 % precisely where it is supposed to go, but I haven’t made a complete mess.

So here is how I did it:

If you consider yourself a bit clumsy and are afraid you will knock the bottle over and you happen to have a second cap, you can drill a hole in the side of the watering cap, attach a string, attach the string to the neck of the bottle and use the other cap to close it properly.

Attach a string to both caps, actually, so you won’t lose either.

Time-Lapse Video of Stone Pine Pinus Pinea

I stopped the time-lapse project today, because the seedling was growing too tall and anyway, there was only waving about since the last couple of days. See for yourselves:

This time, I left the light on during the night (except for the first night). So, whenever you see a yellowish light, that’s night. There’s almost a complete day missing, because…now, let me think…it stopped recording and I hadn’t set my calender or something.

I used the Raspberry Pi Camera and the raspistill function again. One picture every 20 minutes this time.

Canned Herbs – Illustrated Instruction

Some weeks ago, my sister brought me these herbs in cans by Inspirion GmbH, but I’m sure there are other companies that sell those. What a kind and interesting idea.

Canned herbs: Mint, Oregano and Basil

Canned herbs: Mint, Oregano and Basil

Today, with it being the last but one day before a colder period, I decided to do some can gardening. I tried to follow the instructions in English first, because they were the first given. Soon, I discovered that the English (as well as the Italian) instruction are a bit faulty. So, I switched to German, which was almost perfect. And I decided to make an illustrated instruction, because I know that my sister got some cans for herself.