So just like any endeavor that offers many paths to choose from, we have to ask ourselves, what is my goal here? What is the big picture, the 10,000ft view? For a garden project like this, what do I want out of it? Maybe a Nice environment, a balcony that smells like jasmine in the evening, decorative planters overflowing with beautiful flowers, backlit by artfully placed accent lights…maybe something in the more Sinister vein – pitcher plants with their deadly cups, monster cacti with their spikes, a sandy area complete with bearded dragon… Or forget the aesthetics and go Utilitarian on this balcony.
The point with planning like this is to strip the project down to the barest level to open up the widest range of possibilities. I have X area on my balcony and I can do anything with it. Anything! I’ve stripped away all expectations and assumptions tied with the space. The objective is to think outside the box, explore as many options as possible until I come up with the most interesting, rewarding project. Remember the ultimate end goal(s), the resulting feeling, ambiance, production, or whatever you want from the space and then get creative.
For us living in the city, this approach is vital. We don’t have any extra space to work with. A little careful planning goes a long way. We have to maximize limited space with limited time.
Garden planning in the city: Prioritize the end goals, think carefully, utilize space efficiently.
Now, being the good farmer that I am, gotta go with the Utilitarian option. For me, the result I want to achieve is a healthier diet. I think a really neat way to achieve this result is by planting a production garden on my balcony.
With my goal in mind, I’ve selected my plants. Check out this list of plants:
|Sage||Eggplant – long purple||Lettuce – Red Grand Rapids|
|Basil – purple||Broccoli – F1||Lettuce – Green Grand Rapids|
|Parsley – italian flat leaf||Pepper – Jalapeno||Lettuce – Waldmanns|
|Coriander||Pepper – Siling Labuyo||Lettuce – Red Romaine|
|Dill||Watermelon – Sugarbaby||Spinach – Italian (matador)|
|Lavender||Cucumber – Thai F1||Arugula|
|Rosemary||Onion – White Lisbon|
|Chamomile||Onion – Red (Creole)|
|Tomato – Red Cherry F1|
|Tomato – Regular Mica Red|
|Carrot – baby|
Many will be difficult to grow here, like all the lettuce for example, but I’m going to try.
Most of the varieties I selected are healthy since I’m going for a healthier diet here. You can see a few treats like watermelon and eggplant. Then a few extras like Calamansi (small sweet lime local to the Phils), Chamomile for tea, and Peppers because peppers are just cool.
Everything I bought as seeds except Calamansi since it’s a tree and would take too long to grow from seed, and Rosemary because it’s difficult to start from seed here.
Most people have some outdoor space in their care. What are you doing with yours? How can you make it work for you? Just think about the big picture, what is the end result you want to get from your outdoor space? Let us know in a comment below. What a fun project.