Condo dwellers often envy those who have even a little patch of dirt on which to work some botanic magic. The arrival of spring may make it worse, but it doesn’t have to! You can garden if your condo has a balcony, patio, or even a front porch. It just requires fewer lofty dreams and more creativity.
It’s all about the light
First, you need to know how much light the area gets. Watch it over the course of a day. Does the sun shine on the area for most of the day, half of the day, or not at all? Is it morning sun or afternoon sun?
Shady spots can be challenging for most spots to thrive in, but not all of them. Forests are full of plants that do well in the shade of big trees! Do some research or talk with a gardening professional at your local nursery. You’ll not only need to find plants that like the shade but also plants that will grow well in a container.
Consider these plants for a shade garden: The gorgeous foliage-bearing coleus (Coleus spp.), tuberous begonia (Begonia Tuberosa Group), the adorable fuschia (Fuschia spp.), and coral bells (Heuchera Americana).
Gardens provide privacy
Condos aren’t especially known for their privacy. An adjoining building could look directly onto your balcony or patio, or your unity could be at street level. People can – and probably will – peer in. A mini garden can help you prevent the feeling that you’re living in a fishbowl.
Find tall, dense plants, and learn how to strategically place the things you’re growing. You can also use shorter plants if you elevate them. Find great used end tables, nightstands, and shelving units at flea markets, online classifieds, or thrift stores. These repurposed items can also act as decorative hardscape elements.
Vegetables can be decorative
You don’t need to live on a farm or have a backyard to grow vegetables! Vertical gardening is one of the gardening world’s biggest trends and a boon to a micro-gardeners. Get ideas online at Pinterest, Popular Mechanics (an excellent how-to article), and HGTV.
If you don’t want to go vertical, you can find grow bags in all sizes. The deeper ones will even accommodate a potato crop! Peppers and bush beans don’t take up much space, and cucumbers, tomatoes, and squash can be grown upright. There are even some fruit trees bred specifically for container growth, including dwarf varieties of blueberries, lemons, limes, and mandarins.
Don’t forget the accessories
Hardscape doesn’t just refer to walkways and other paved areas; the term has grown to encompass just about any garden feature that is not organic. Add seating for your guests, and consider a small fountain if you have room, lighting, statues, or even a small birdbath.
Spring has sprung – how’s your garden growing?
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