Balcony Garden

9

May 17, 2012 by The Editor

Balcony GardenWhat appears in the photo to the left to be, perhaps, a small ‘plant jail’, is actually our little balcony and the potted plants that make up our current garden. Alex and I are very much would-be gardeners, but as city-dwellers the options are limited. London does have a lot to offer in terms of ‘garden allotments’ but good luck to you in trying to obtain one.

So, over the (almost) two years that we’ve been here we’ve accumulated a few plants that brighten and ‘green’ our view which is mostly a building across the street (although if you look off in a westerly direction, you can spot the towers of St. Pancras and some lovely trees.) Many of the plants have come to us through our friend Esmerelda of Brighton. These include the small basil plant, which she started from seed; the aloe, which grows with abandon; the sage which is fragrant and full of life; and the rosemary which has really taken off ever since it was relocated to a bigger planter.

The sad-looking fir-tree to the left was brought home in December 2010. It was quite healthy-looking for several months and then went a bit brown. I decided to trim it to see what would happen and it got browner. Then, to my delight, green started to appear again this Spring and it looks like it might survive another season. . .

The thyme was purchased from Waitrose and it too has been sending up new green shoots in time for Spring peas. The small succulents on the blue chair were at one time constantly in flower with tiny red blossoms, but they have not produced any for some time. And I cannot remember what kind of plant it is. The geranium spent most of the Winter outside (like the others) and has never really stopped blossoming. That is one thing about living in England: you might not be able to grow watermelons here, but the climate is so mild many plants just keep producing flowers all year.

One of our favorite weekly television programs is BBC’s Gardener’s World which follows a team of gardeners as they explore the many beautiful public gardens of the UK, meet with master gardeners, and develop a ‘show garden’ which is used to teach and experiment. In the growing season, I look forward as well to seeing the many photos that friends and family post to Facebook as their vegetable and flower gardens grow into full bloom.

It has been a cool and rainy Spring here in the UK. Hints of warmth and peaks of sun heighten our anticipation of the growing season, walks in the country, and the harvest of other peoples ‘gardens’ at the farmers markets. Here’s to Spring and Summer, not far off now, and good luck to all our fellow gardeners for a successful season of growing!

Balcony Garden

Balcony Garden

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9 thoughts on “Balcony Garden

  1. W. Isaac Holmes says:

    Ah, the concept of a “plant prison or jail” to add beauty to a small, enclosed space for faux-gardeners…lovely!

  2. James LaForest says:

    Indeed! Perhaps better would be a ‘plant social club’! In any event, they bring green and beauty into our very modern surroundings. : )

  3. rosewater12 says:

    I think you should consider a pH test on the soil the fir tree is planted in. I’ll bet you’d get into bonsai gardening. Have you considered it?

    • James LaForest says:

      I think in fact I might enjoy Bonsai gardening. I’ve considered having a terrarium, but I have been unable to find a suitable container. Have you a Bonsai garden?

      • rosewater12 says:

        Yes. I am very proud of my Bonsai garden: it consists of one Japanese Juniper, one Cotoneaster, and one Black Pine. It is a great hobby (for me, anyway) and my Cotoneaster, that I’ve been training for five years, is just about ready to be entered in a contest. I’m growing it in a Cascade style and the exposed root system is beautiful.

  4. shalini says:

    Thanks For Sharing…..!!
    Nice Blog on balcony gardening

  5. margaret21 says:

    I think your balcony seems to have the makings of a fine herb garden. And when you can’t have a ‘real’ garden, being able to chuck your own home-grown herbs with some abandon into your cooking makes a real difference. Who can have enough, or enough variety, of those expensive pots of basil and parsley, or those fresh-cut herbs in cellophane, or worse, aging pots of dried herbs? And with all those other plants you have too – well, it all looks great, and you don’t even have to mow the lawn!

    • James LaForest says:

      The balcony garden has been doing really well this summer, despite the cool London weather. We also have lettuce growing now which it very fun. I just really like looking outside and seeing some greenery and flowers instead of just the building across the street. You can do so much with just a little time and space.
      Thanks for writing – JL

  6. jstnk88 says:

    Finally moving out on my own and hope to add a garden to my own apartment. Thanks for the inspiration and ideas!

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