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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

03.20.2006

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banish the balcony blues big plans for small gardens by Sarah Goldstein | 1 2 3 4 5 6
continued from page 2

where to put your garden (cont.)
balcony

Tiny balconies don't look like great gardening spots at first glance, but there are a lot of possibilities. Any plant that grows in a pot can grow on your balcony. Taller plants are great for screening out that not-so-scenic view of a concrete wall, flowers provide colour directly outside your window, and herbs are great to have on hand for cooking. You don't have to think small either -- a single large plant will make a lot more impact than ten small ones.

You're also not limited to the pots you can place on your limited floor space. If your view's especially unpleasant, adding some trellis to your balcony will give you space for climbers to grow and hide whatever's on the other side. Alternatively, hanging baskets distract from the concrete outside your window but block less light and are easier to put up -- you just loop a short length of chain around a support from the balcony above (or any other convenient structural element) and hang it from that. There are also clips available that fit over the top of a balcony railing and hold pots, so your plants sit at the top of the safety barrier.

A few extras like a wind chime and a garden gnome can also add a lot to your balcony garden.

window box
If you have absolutely no outdoor space, there are still a couple of ways you can have a garden.

The first is to add window boxes outside your place. If you can screw a bracket into the wall, these are a great option. While they're not suitable for trees and shrubs, they will provide you with a great spot to grow flowers and herbs. And since they're directly outside your window, they can make your view a lot nicer too.

The other option is to keep your garden on your windowsills. Anything that will grow in a pot outdoors will usually also be happy here, so you can grow things that aren't typically indoor plants. Plus, you'll be brightening up your room even more than with an outside garden would.

So now that you've got some ideas about where to put your gardens, let's move onto plants.

don't stop: still more advice this way

 

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