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Specialty Gardening: Balcony gardening

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May 30, 2001
9:21 PM

Post #5645

I hadn't gardened since I was a kid, but this year the bug was somehow revived. My "garden" is a 2nd-floor 5'x8' balcony, southern exposure, full sun when the sun shines. I have self-watering window-type boxes strapped to the outsides of the railings, normal window-type boxes resting inside at the edges of the floor, plus a few migrant containers, and against the wall I have tomatoes growing in bags of soil.

At the outset I thought I'd have herbs and a few flowers. Who knew there were so many varieties of so many different herbs? I have six types of thyme now. I'm content with that for this year because I'm just getting started. Two types of rosemary are flourishing, which is a first. Sage, chives, parsley, borage, basil (four kinds), lemon balm. I'd have imagined that would be enough, but oh, no. What's a little herb garden without dill, tarragon and coriander/cilantro? They were recently joined by hyssop, burnet and savory. I've found that small bouquets of herbs make great hostess gifts when I'm invited someplace for tea.

I have a big pot of echinacea that's forming its first flowers. Another between-herbs-and-flowers item is nasturtium. The seed packet said it was a climbing mix, but so far they look like regular old nasties to me.

I could go on and on, but then I'd have to re-title the thread 'balcony ramble'. This is a great experience and I'm glad to be learning so much. I'd never imagined that containers would dry out so quickly, that one floor up would have so much more wind than the ground level does, or that I'd leap for joy at the sight of a bird or a butterfly and plot how to attract more to my balcony.
Allentown, PA
(Zone 6a)

May 30, 2001
11:23 PM

Post #78586

Hi Naomi,
Container gardening is not just for balconies any more! I've been gardening in containers for years. I have about an acre of land, and the only thing planted is an evergreen which was here when we bought the house, and two rose bushes! It has been great, I have a new garden ever couple of weeks. My good old refrigerator dolly and I travel all over the yard finding new homes for the less than happy campers. I think one of the best things is NO WEEDS!! The trade off is fertilizing once per week and watering nearly ever day. To me this is perfect, I can check on the plants daily, while watering, and move them if they're not happy.
Thanks for letting me ramble about my favorite type of gardening.
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)

May 31, 2001
5:14 PM

Post #78759

I'll have to remember the fridge dolly! Great idea!

(Zone 7a)

June 3, 2001
10:22 PM

Post #79871

Glad to see I am not the only one who moves the plants all the time. My husband teases me about that. But I will be sitting in the chair and decide that "this" would look better "there" and I move it. I am going to dig some holes and bury some containers this year so the watering is cut down a bit. If it works then I am going to do some more next year. This way I can move some spent flowers out of the way and always have something nice going on where I want it!!!
Actually I have to go move 3 Hostas that have managed to grow even tho I moved them last year. Glad to have them but they sure are hard to get rid of if you dont want them someplace!!

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