Gardening tip: Suspended Animation

By Andrea Pavee

In my last article, I shared a little on how Stephanie, who with a sharp eye to detail and a bushel of creativity, transformed her home into an oasis of peace, bringing a bit of the outside, in.

Today, I thought I would share with you, Marcia’s Garden, which grows in suspended animation, 8 floors above ground.

Like Stephanie, Marcia lives in a condominium, and has just as green a thumb.

In fact, Marcia has been my sifu (teacher) when I was a fledging gardening hobbyist since she had been wrist deep into it for years. I have also been the happy and grateful receiver of hand-me-down bushes and blooms plus, when she goes plant hunting, I can always rely on her to grab a few potted newbies for my slowly growing garden.

While Marcia does pepper pots throughout her home, it is really her balcony which is outstanding.

Apart of being a nook garden, it also comes replete with a water feature and, grass!

You can do it too!

To start your suspended or hanging garden, you will need to determine the direction your balcony faces. The direction corresponds to the amount of sun you will get. East and West facing balconies get the full force of morning (East facing) and evening (West facing) sunlight.

From there, you will be able to determine which plants are best for your balcony garden.

You can start small, experimenting with different potted plants to see how they take hold and grow. Smaller pots are always cost effective. Plus, if they die, you would not have burnt such a big hole in your pocket.

As your plants grow bigger, you can always repot them, while propagating and perhaps sharing them with others, all at the same time. Repotting plants not only allows them to grow bigger, but with fresh soil, nutrients are added, thus sparking more growth. And so, the cycle goes on.

To maximise space, place bigger pots by the metalwork to form a border. Arrange shorter pots in front of them. You are aiming for an ascending view of your plants as you face them. To help you gain perspective, take a few steps back and then look at your garden, moving from left to right, and then back again, then, arrange your plants accordingly. Plants should not look overgrown or wild, and with a glance, you should be able to see all of them.

Don’t forget to utilise beams and walls. Drill in hooks or brackets and festoon them with pretty pots all in a row. Spanish moss and river stones make good accompaniments, too.

In addition to her water feature, Marcia went a step further and carpeted the floor of her balcony with fake carpet grass which is not only durable, but completes the garden image to a “T”.

Water features can also be home to waterlilies or lotus plants, depending on the space you have available. To keep mosquitoes away, you can either lace your water with Abate, or keep the motor running all the time. Alternatively, you could rear small fish, like guppies, which are excellent predators of mosquito larvae.

Happy gardening!!

Posted by Chayo, HomSkil Editor 1, 31 July 2021

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