musings from Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington ... home of The Write Spot

Friday, August 25, 2006

it's a jungle out there

Balcony Garden, May 25'06 - just planted Balcony Garden, August 25'06 - rampant!
Witness: abundant growth! My balcony garden is thriving this summer. Ivy wraps Kwan Yin in an emerald embrace; Baby Tears form a lush green blanket at her feet and tumble into the fountain. True, a bit of careful pruning might improve the vignette but everything is so joyfully rampant, I haven't had the heart to cut it back.

Many of my neighbours make do with a few pots of geraniums or no plants at all, fearful that our north-facing balconies don't get enough sun for a "real garden". That's true if we're talking about roses and sunflowers, but there are plenty of wonderful shade-tolerant plants that will happily grow in containers. My favourites, in no particular order, are: Tuberous Begonia, Impatiens, English Ivy; Spider Plant, Dracaena, Potato Vine, Boston Fern, Bamboo, Caladium, Sweet Woodruff, Licorice Vine, Bird's Nest Fern, Vinca, and Black Mondo Grass. Fuchsia, with its 'tiny dancer' flowers, likes the shade, too, but I'm fairly certain they were responsible for the Great Aphid Infestations of '04 and '05, so they're flora non grata on my balcony now.

Somehow, I forgot to plant Sweet Woodruff this year and have missed the lovely scent of it in my garden. (While perennial, it won't survive the harsh Toronto winter in a container.) The whorls of glossy foliage form luscious green mounds with pretty clusters of sweet-scented white flowers all summer long. This one will definitely be back next year. does your garden grow?


At 11:46 pm, Anonymous Kate I said...

Hi Ostera, one of the advantages of having a small garden is you can really focus on and enjoy the plants. We have an acre to tend, well actually Bob does most of the tending, but it becomes a blur of weeding, watering and yes, enjoying as well. We are very envious of "small garden", gardeners and hope to be one of them in the next year or so. Our sweet woodruff has gone wild -into the wild of our forest - and I love it too. We also have a lot of shade and find that hosta's and ferns are very useful but our biggest challenge is keeping the deer at bay!
I enjoy your writing Ostera!

At 10:52 am, Blogger Ostara said...

Kate, Your forest garden sounds beautiful. I'm picturing deer at the edge of the clearing on a foggy morning... Ahhh!

The only "wildlife" I have to worry about is Sam the Cat, who like to chew the ends of droopy ferns.

It's good to hear from readers. Thanks so much for stopping by again!


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