Balcony garden while there is still a balcony


Hello Yoda of the Gardening world, I live in central Etobicoke (Islington and Eglinton) in a 4th floor of an 8 storey apartment building. My unit faces north west, gets morning shade, afternoon sun (the trees next to my balcony were removed due to the emerald ash borer or some sort of beetle about 4 or 5 years ago) and when the wind is blowing it can be so forceful that hosta leaves are torn apart. Over time I kept my potted garden to hearty geranium, impatiens and succulents. This season I want to include grasses plus a variety of flowering annuals that can provide visual delight and some privacy. I reviewed the Qs and As of balcony gardens to determine what could work until we received a 60 day notice that the balconies will be closed off for concrete repair and replacement of metal railings to glass panels. This work could start as early as July or as late as September: we do not yet know. This preamble leads to my questions: what would you recommend to include in my balcony garden now that I could bring into my apartment when they close the balconies and then place back on the balcony when the work is complete (if all goes well with the repairs and replacement and warm enough to use the balcony again) with glass panels in place which could decrease the impact of the wind but could increase the temperature or intensity of the heat on the plants? should I limit my garden plan to the period that the balcony is accessible and forego the idea of bringing the plants indoors? I could give the plants to neighbours in the townhouses located on the same property (Lion’s Gate see photos of the property starting at photo number 9 in this string of photos I have succulents for the last two years that thrive both indoors (in a west facing window) and out
on the balcony but could use some help in choosing handsome grasses. Thank you very much.


What a conundrum! Grasses and similar perennials will not enjoy being brought indoors, nor will the annuals. (The succulents are more forgiving.) And since the construction schedule is so vague, I would suggest you take a very different approach to your balcony garden this year.

Why not enjoy the beauty of exotic tropicals, which will flourish on your balcony and will be happy enough when brought indoors, also?

As a side benefit, when you choose these from the indoor plant section of the garden centre, you can be confident that you will have the pleasure of them in your apartment all winter! Next year, (or later in the season, if the construction is finished) you can mix them with the grasses, perennials and annuals as you like.

Click on this link for some ideas to get you thinking tropical.