Living in the city has its perks. The restaurants, the night life, the shopping, being in the middle of it all can be fabulous. But the other side of that coin is the added expense, you sacrifice space for a fast-paced lifestyle and you probably live in an apartment building alongside hundreds of neighbours. I live in a great apartment, overlooking the water, but I also have several hundred balconies that face mine, and on a warm summer day, when I want to lounge around in my outdoor space, I’d rather not have a million pairs of eyes bearing down on me! So being an avid gardener, I decided that this summer it was high time to create a little privacy for myself, using mother nature’s finest ingredients!
You need to do a little planning first before you start your privacy screen project. Just as an interior designer would, it’s a good idea to sketch out the outdoor space you’re working with and what you want to accomplish. Next, you’ll want to do some measurements:
1) Measure the height of your space. If you’re like me, your neighbours balcony sits just above yours. You want to make sure that your space still feels open and not claustrophobic, so accurate measurements will help you decide what to plant.
2) Next, it’s time to access how much sunlight your balcony gets. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, before you plant anything, if you know how much light you’ll have, you can then determine what to plant. Not only that, but if your privacy screen is in the wrong place, or too eye, you’ll have no sunshine for yourself!
3) There are several different structures that you can grow your plants on, like a lattice. But using a planter is a much easier and more versatile option. There is always the concern of putting extra weight on a balcony, so planters are a great option, plus, you can rotate plants in and out.
4) Now the question is, what do you plant? I’m a major fan of bamboo. I love how it looks, and it reminds me of my travels through the vast bamboo forests of China. Unfortunately, it gets a bit of bad wrap because it can be quite and iinvasive plant in a regular garden, but in a balcony garden, you’ve got nothing to worry about, it won’t have the opportunity to run rampant! I also adore Gardenias, they’re hearty, the flowers are fragrant and they grow anywhere from two to eight feet, which is perfect for a balcony. Plant your Gardenias in the early Spring, and by October, the roots will be immune to Winter’s unforgiving bite.