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good book about balcony gardening?

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by treelove on August 29, 2006 06:35 AM
Hello everyone!

Can anybody recommend a good about growing plants on a balcony (second floor)? I have searched amazon but there are so many books on this topic that choosing one would take ages if you read all the user comments. So I thought I'd better ask the experts.

thank you for your help,
t.

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I am so happy I found this forum!
by penny in ontario on August 29, 2006 08:10 AM
Is there anything in particular that you are looking to grow?

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by cinta on August 29, 2006 08:15 AM
I have brought many books and searched the net. I have not found one that was as good as browsing the net.

I have grown and growing a lot of things on my patio, porch and back back deck. I have found that you can grow almost anything in a pot that you can grow in the ground.

If you want ideas do a internet search on "container garden" there are alot of pics of combos that people have done.

What zone are you in?

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/audwoman/

If you want the rainbow you have to put up with the rain!!
by treelove on August 30, 2006 03:25 AM
quote:
Originally posted by penny in ontario:
Is there anything in particular that you are looking to grow?
Hi, Penny!

I would like to try something with flowers. My husband and I went on a bike trip in Austria this summer, and one of the many many striking features of that magic land was its balconies. Every building, even if it's just a barn, has flowers cascading down its walls. Every balcony is literally overflowing with blooms. It looked so incredibly beautiful and effortless. The flowers were for the most part geraniums and begonias, I think. They were abundant on every wall, regardless of the way it was facing (north, south, etc.).

I was wondering if it would be possible to recreate some of that magic where I live: central NJ, not far from Princeton. second floor, facing south, plenty of direct afernoon sun (very strong in summer), humid and hot (unpleasant) weeks in summer, sometimes gets pretty windy; balcony has a roof, so when it's raining, the rain does not get in the pots directly.

SO far I have been only successful with coleus which I grew from seeds.

I tried sweet peas(from seeds) - failed. Got strong shoots, but not a single flower. when it got hot, the plants slowly yellowed and died [tears] . I think it was the sun.

Also tried tulips and daffodils (from bulbs, planted in October) - also failed [tears] . They looked healthy when first leaves started showing. But the leaves never grew quite big enough, and only one daffodil and one tulip actually bloomed.

SO, you see, I know absolutely nothing about what and how to grow on a balcony.

After those experiments, I was ready to give up. But then we went to Austria, and it inspired me to try again next year.

I feel auwfully bad for those poor plants that I have managed to kill so far. But maybe there is still hope for me?

SO this fall I will try to make all the necessary preparations for the spring.

Only I don't know what they should be.

Should I try the bulbs again? Somebody told me that they might have frozen in the pots, hence no blooms.

Anyway, sorry for such a long post. But that was to show the extent of my ignorance.

Any word of advice at all will be greatly appreciated.

thank you so much for your attention,
t.

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I am so happy I found this forum!
by penny in ontario on August 30, 2006 03:32 AM
Geraniums and begonia's are a great start, one plant that i have had great luck with is morning glories and they are tolerant of the heat and they do spread. Lobelia and verbena are another suggestion and they are called trailing plants and will give you that effect, as well as "wave petunia's", those go crazy and are pretty good in the heat.
I cant think of anything else but if i do i'll let you know.
I'm sure someone else will be along and can give you some more suggestions...did you take any pics of those balconies in Austria by chance?

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by treelove on August 30, 2006 04:57 AM
Thank you, Penny!

sounds great. I'll try my luck next spring. We did take pictures, but still working on sorting them out. I'll post some. But nothing short of being there and seeing all that beauty with your own eyes will do justice to the mountains, the lakes, the flowers and such clean and fresh air... Austria is absolutely stunning.

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I am so happy I found this forum!
by treelove on August 30, 2006 05:00 AM
quote:
Originally posted by cinta:

I have grown and growing a lot of things on my patio, porch and back back deck. I have found that you can grow almost anything in a pot that you can grow in the ground.

What zone are you in?

Hi, Cinta!

that sounds optimistic.
and I'll try the net. thank you for suggestion. I am in zone 6-7.

thank you,
t.

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I am so happy I found this forum!
by penny in ontario on August 30, 2006 05:37 AM
cant wait to see them!!

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by gailo on September 01, 2006 02:34 AM
Treelove, my advice is to skip the geraniums (tried them and it was a struggle in the heat here) and grow the wave petunias. Also sweet potato vine, or varigated vinca for the hanging things. You are similar to where we live and we have a southwest facing deck. I grew those things in pots and they did very well this summer and it was HOT. I also put scabiosa with the lavender petunias and osteospernum (a pretty purple daisylike plant). Lavender did well too. And I had a big dahlia. Also Lantana, which attracted lots of butterflies. I have a meyer lemon tree in a pot too. I give the flowers blooming food that I just pick up at Lowes.

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gailo

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