Designer's Challenge!

roxcandy(z5 MKE, WI)April 22, 2005

Hi, Picture this: Enter the 12 x 3 space via sliding balcony door. Facing west, to your left, see nice vista of MKE skyline (and lots of traffic below). At the far end is a big Weber grill, a stone wall, and a plastic Rubbermaid box containing soil, charcoal, lighter fluid, etc. Add two cheap folding lawn chairs, a tray table, green "grass carpet" and three medium hanging baskets spaced evenly along the balcony rails. (I will plant them with annuals.) To your right is 3 panels of all glassthe apartmentÂs bedroom. At center is a floor to ceiling bedroom window. The two flanks are also glass, but just have drywall behind them, so theyÂre pretty ugly and non-functional. ThereÂs a concrete balcony above.

How can I create a cool, fun space here? My priorities are: noise reduction (would love to add a fountain, but donÂt know how to get electricity out there ... and solarÂs unpredictable and $$$). Things I can ideally leave out all winter ... b/c storage is a problem. Creating a fun space for 2-3 people to hang out in. Enhanced privacy & wind reduction, if possible. IÂm not very handy, and since I only have glass, stone, and concrete to work with, IÂm not sure how much architecture I could add, if any. Being on Lake Michigan, wind can get extreme, so hanging baskets are probably out.

I would love decorating, spending, and planting advice! DonÂt want to spend more than $400. Where would you put your money? I want this to feel more like a little retreat than being smack in the city. Mainly, we use this space for just sitting outside with a cold one and grilling out. We would do more, though ... like play board games or eat our meals, if I had more room. I'd also love to have funky lights at night ... but again, there's that electricity problem. THANKS!!

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sahoyaref(Alberta z3a)

The very first thing I would decide on is a theme. What kind of retreat do you want? Tropical? Something that reminds you of the mountains? You should also get some nice balcony furniture, if you care about that at all. IKEA has great prices for that kind of thing. You'd probably also get a ton of ideas just looking at their store displays. You could try a 3-panel privacy screen for some 'architecture' and to give the balcony more of an 'outdoor room' feel. Of course that wouldn't really work with a 'campsite' mountain aesthetic, so for that you could try a mosquito net or something like that hanging from the ceiling. You can drill into concrete, and as long as it's only one or two holes, the building manager (or whoever) shouldn't have a problem with it (but do check first). To add height, try those trellises that can be stuck into large pots, since you can't attach them directly to the walls. Actually, I think there are glues you could maybe use. If you got one of those wood lattice trellises, I think WeldBond is supposed to bond to pretty much any porous surface (wood, concrete, fabric, etc.).

I wouldn't try to get a totally 'put together' look the first year on only $400. If you're starting with basically nothing, just some nice deck furniture could cost you $200 or more. And if you go with those light-weight fibreglass planters that look like terra cotta/cast iron/whatever, that gets expensive, too. Though since you have a concrete balcony, it would be able to bear the weight of real terracotta/wood/whatever planters.

A few theme ideas:

Mountains: Plants like junipers, ivy, cedars, etc. Pros: if you get plants hardy to zone 3 or better, you can leave them out all winter, with some protection; they'll probably need less water than annuals and many perennials. Cons: can be a more 'harsh' look; takes some work to get them ready for winter.

Tropical: Plants like palms, exotic bulbs, bananas, etc. Pros: these are basically house plants, so you could keep them indoors and use them from year to year, and each year would look better as the plants got larger; exotic bulbs can be lifted and stored in paper bags in some dark place (doesn't take up much room at all); is a very 'hot' look right now; easy to make things look like a lush retreat; plants are easy to find and don't cost a lot; plants help to clean the air in your apartment in the winter. Cons: plants need more water; you need space inside your apartment to keep them all winter; plants may get spider mites or other pests from the shock of being relocated indoors at the end of the summer.

Country: Plants like Daylilies, roses, ornamental grasses, wildflowers. Pros: easy to find many perennials hardy to zone 3, which could be left out on the balcony all winter with some protection; plants would look better each year; plants don't cost so much that you couldn't afford to change the display a bit every year; ornamental grasses and wildflowers need less water. Cons: unless you add a few trees like lilacs (hardy to zones 2 and 3), can be hard to get enough vertical interest.

Modern: Plants with good architectural forms, like cacti and succulents, and many other houseplants, perennials, annuals, etc. Pros: tends to be more of a simple, restrained look, so you wouldn't need as many plants; also in fashion now, so easier to find what you need. Cons: you'd need some very modern planters (expensive) to complete the look, and it may not block enough of the traffic, etc. for you.

For lighting, it's candles all the way! If you have a tropical theme, try some tiki torches stuck in pots (never leave unattended, because of fire hazard). You can get all kinds of lanterns in pretty much any style to protect the flames from the wind, and candles can be dirt cheap.

A fountain or other water feature (a mini pond?) would go a long way to blocking out city noise, so do look around. I'm quite sure that you can get battery-operated pumps, so ask your local fish/pond stores about that. Otherwise, solar power or extension cords are your only options. =) Ooo, what about a windmill connected to something that drove the water?

As for those pointless glass panels, try using suction cups to attach stuff to them, even if only to help secure trellises for plants to grow on.

Keep in mind that you will have to water more to make up for all the wind drying the plants, so choose your planters and soil mix accordingly.

Whatever you do, shop around when getting your plants. Cheaper is not always better, and reputable nurseries often sell much healtheir plants, even though they are more expensive. And since I've written a short novel here, I'll stop now. =)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 6:55PM
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marie_in_wa(8 (coastal))

Since you would really only need the water to "run" while you are out there - I would go ahead and get some sort of water fountain, and use an extention cord to plug it in while you are out there.

You might consider putting up a trellis with some sort of vining plant to make a windbreak - that would allow you to a) create some privacy, and b) help to shelter your other plants.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 10:19PM
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whytephoenix(z9a Houston)

Just some food for thought... One of the biggest challenges I'm seeing is the narrowness of the balcony. On one hand, you want a windbreak, but you don't want to be whipped in the face if you use plants for your windbreak. The trellis idea would be a solution to that. If it's not possible to bond it to any existing structure, you want to make sure that it's in a very heavy planter so that it won't tip over. You'll also want to make sure that you have a vine on it that can take the wind - a sturdy ivy, perhaps roses. Is there a railing that you could tie this to?

Alternately you could use evergreens or ornamental grasses to reduce some of the wind; you'll want to make sure that they don't hit you when you're seated and/or prune them judiciously.

I've also seen these sort of folding screens that have baskets for placing potted plants. This might be a good option for you, but you'll have to come up with something to anchor it in place so it doesn't blow over, and since the baskets are fairly small you may have to water often.

Another possible solution for noise reduction would be windchimes; you seem to have plenty of wind power. This is a matter of taste; they could end up being as annoying as the other noises. Bamboo chimes could work if you don't want any tinkly stuff. Ornamental grasses would rustle nicely.

Trying to come to some sort of point here... I'd invest in some large planters and fill them with largish, mature plants that will be able to weather the conditions and give you a bit of shelter. Once you have that, you can add younger, more tender foliage.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 5:41PM
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roxcandy(z5 MKE, WI)

Thank you all for your excellent comments. I measured, and my balcony is actually 4' wide, so I have more room than I thought. Here are the ideas I love: I definitely want a fountain, so I'm searching for the cheapest solar I can find. I will add a small plastic pond disguised w/ bricks or rocks. Evergreens (juniper, cedar, etc.)--love that idea! Can they actually overwinter, and if so, do they need a larger pot to help keep them insulated? I could buy 1 or 2 larger specimens, as I will get more impact that way. Suction cups for helping attach a trellis--a great idea! Any suggestions for a lightweight trellis and how best to anchor the trellis on the ground (pot of cement or how deep a pot of earh, would a cheap long windowbox work, etc.)? A bamboo windchime may actually be pretty soothing ... I will look into it.

My practical side says I already have furniture ... and to address what bothers me most, which is noise. I'm eBaying now for a good deal on a solar-powered fountain pump. I found a nice model w/ rechargeable batteries built into the 5 x 7" solar panel. This allows the fountain to run at night. A nice model at (with light) is $90. I'm trying to get one for less.

I also like the idea of ornamental grasses. Maybe I could even grow some in my pond? I'll need to look for something suitable and sturdy for my climate.

For theme ... I like evergreens (esp. if they can winter outdoors...I could even decorate them in the winter). I could even go funky, as the grass carpet doesn't scream "natural." We also have a very hip retro Coca Cola cooler and boombox (Red & White), which we often use on the balcony. I've even thought about getting solar-powered floating "butterflies", lilies, and/or other items for my pond.

What about affordable deckboxes, and/or ways to disguise my ugly Rubbermaid box? With our small apartment, storage is a problem.

Ikea online had some great furniture, and got me thinking how to maximize the space. Yesterday I saw some nice iron furniture at Target (black folding chairs $20 each you can add pads to), and a black folding table 28 or 30" diameter($40). Storage would be a snap w/ these. But, as I said, I'm waiting to resolve my noise first.

If I figure out how to upload pics, I'd love to show you my progress! Thanks again, and let me know any other ideas.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2005 at 3:19PM
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My main comment is on deckboxes ... I recommend getting one by Suncast. I read comments last year that others didn't stay in good condition for a full year, while the Suncast did. I got a rather large one (think it was 90 gallons) as I have large furniture cushions and scads of other stuff. I'd be lost without it.

I have this thing about evergreens; my whole reason for wanting them was some greenery to look at in the winter so I refused to wrap them in burlap. They all survived, as I did wrap the pots, but lots of windburn damage ... massive brown spots. I forgot to Wilt-pruf them. I suspect you will need to do one or the other ... wrap in burlap or Wilt-pruf.

And a fountain ... you're going to need a pretty noisy one to screen out any noise. My fountain is situated about 5 feet from where I sit, and I can barely hear it. It certainly doesn't screen out street noise. Your space is smaller, but still it probably would be best if you could 'hear' it in operation before you purchase.

I don't mean to sound negative, just the benefit of my one-year experience. But I can feel your excitement and you are certainly going to have fun :-) I love to 'gussy' my space up, too; I add mirrors to make it seem even larger; bought a huge birdcage to put a plant in; put plants in coffeepots, etc.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2005 at 4:25PM
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roxcandy(z5 MKE, WI)

Meg, how big is your fountain/what type? The solar I'm bidding on is a 6V pump, which pumps water up to 20". I'd have to think of ways to add layers and encourage splashing. I saw a three-tier cedar corner fountain that made respectable noise. But ... it's electric (not sure if my solar would power it), $100, and a bit rustic for my tastes. What do you have/how far does the water fall?

I got this idea b/c in front of my highrise we have 2 fountains about 4' high and when those babies are going you don't hear anything between the ground floor and the street. Not that I can have a 4 footer. Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2005 at 5:01PM
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I have this one (as do many others, popular model last year):

I forget the voltage on the pump, I'll have to check with hubby. I'm thinking 8, but could be wrong. The extra layers don't help, in my case, cause it's just a trickle at each level. I think you need the splash.

Ack, sorry about the size of the image; when I went to resize it, it disappeared, so I'll have to leave it this way.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2005 at 5:50PM
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sahoyaref(Alberta z3a)

I have a bamboo wind chime, and I love it! It's a very gentle sound that never gets annoying, unlike metal ones.

Yes, you can overwinter evergreens, as long as you choose ones that are hardy to zone 2 or 3. So do your research on this. You will have to choose winter-proof containers to plant them in, and since they are trees, they do need larger containers, especially since you probably don't want to repot them every year! Extra soil will also help them to survive the winter. Try wood or plastic containers. They won't crack if they freeze. And do NOT let the pots dry out completely in the winter. That would kill the trees almost for sure. So you will have to go out there periodically to check on things and maybe water once or twice if the weather turns warm for a little while in the winter. A really good soaking in the fall helps, too.

Oh yeah, and my balcony is 4 feet wide, and I can fit tons of plants on there, so don't let that bother you! Just stick to dwarf trees and shrubs, and you'll be fine. I think a gardening mag. I subscribe to has some articles on really hardy evergreens, so I'll try to find them and post some Species and cultivars for you.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2005 at 10:01PM
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roxcandy(z5 MKE, WI)

Thanks for the tips. I'll stay tuned. Incidentally I won the solar fountain (panel and pump); now I just have to get a pond and decorations!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2005 at 4:42PM
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whytephoenix(z9a Houston)

Ooh fun! I hope it works out well for blocking the noise... you can always try putting your seating really close to it. All this talk about fountains made me haul out my old tabletop model and set it up out on the balcony. It's an itty bitty but noise is not really an isue for me. I haven't filled it yet, still a ton of cleaning to do out there. (I'm having some design issues of my own; my space is a 4x8. I tend to arrange things standing up and just had a revelation that when I sit down, I see a lot of pot bottoms and a clutter of gardening junk. So I'm doing some serious re-thinking of a lot of stuff.)

Another option for your pond is to use a really big pot. I've seen really pretty water features using chinese fish bowls or planters that resemble them (sometimes called pickle pots). My mom has one full of water lilies. You can buy them in lots of colors, as simple or ornate as you like. If it has a drainage hole, you can buy a plastic liner to fit it, or just bung it up with putty. I've seen big ones (about 30 inches) run around $60.

As for the deck boxes... I have a pair of Rubbermaid tubs I use as worm bins. Since they're fairly low they're not hugely noticible; I actually turned them into a table of sorts, being on the cheap for furniture at the moment; I put on top the little fountain, a small bonsai, and a scattering of pebbles (don't know if that'll last, depending on how often I open the bins; as I said I'm in redesign.) It doesn't entirely disguise them but it does make them a little nicer, since they're usually viewed from above anyway.

Depending on how often you open yours, you could try putting plants or other stuff on top of them. You could also try a tablecloth, though that's a risky prospect in the wind; I guess you could sew pockets into the corners and slip some rocks in it? ;-) A funky red-and-white picnic cloth would go with your Coke stuff. But be aware that sometimes putting junk on top of something to disguise it will actually make it into a focal point. Sometimes the best solution is just to tuck the offending feature into a corner and let the better features catch the eye. The solution may become more apparent when you start adding your planters and other goodies.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 6:50PM
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My first thought reading your post was to put up pieces of lattice with hinges between the pieces to allow them to fold up and get out of the way when needed. Then you could build small boxes out of plywood (painted to beautify) to attatch to the bottom. Add vines and voila! shade, green, and sound blockage.

Don't know if that made too much sense, but hopefully, you'll see something in there you'll be able to expand on!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 7:54PM
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RoseRustler(Zone 6)

I have enjoyed your discussion re balcony gardens. Introducing myself, I live in a cottage in the Ozark Mountains. I have a somewhat larger deck/balcony area than is being talked about in this discussion but some of my ideas may work for you.

I love using small conifers and evergreens because their shape is consistent and ads some formality as well as green in winter. I also like english ivy and similar ivies spilling from elevated pots, and even have some conifers that are spiraled. Now I need to learn how to keep them trimmed.

I use tiny "fairy" lights, or Christmas lights to wrap around them. I try to hide the cords for attractiveness but being green they are not bad if seen. These lights keep our evenings fun and party-like all year round. They are great in the holiday season, but really, all year round they are a hit with guests, and we enjoy them continually.

I bought rope lighting at Lowe's for about ten dollars. I chose white, but there are colored ones. In case you don't know what that is, it's a clear plastic rope with tiny white lights spaced evenly inside the plastic. My taste runs pretty traditional, so white was my choice. We attached the rope lights under the balcony rail by simply tacking very small nails into the rail an inch below the rail and pressing the rope into the space. You could also wire it on to a metal rail, or place it at the botton of the balcony rail along the floor and set some plants here and there in front of it. I am blessed to have an outside socket, but I would use an extension cord if I had to because it's so worth it! Just a little thought and planning and you can add some great atmosphere to the scene with lighting.

Since our rail is wood we can actually hide the rope lights under the top rail and they are only seen inside the deck, except for the lovely glow they cast for passersby. If I was in a condo or apt community I would, and this may happen so I have thought it out, I would lay them just outside the patio doors, or at the sides where the privacy walls are located. You could place potted plants in front of them and still gets lots of light, and fun from them.

Another fun thing with the lights...I have some terra cotta garden angels. I like using a large pot of ivy or even a conifer, with the little fairy lights, and setting some kind of sculpture among the foliage..the angels are a good one. But all kinds of whismical things would work. Some old piece of metal painted the pale blue that the English always use in their green garden areas would work well. Just set an item in the planter with the plants, wind your lights wherever they look good, and have some fun!

Someome mentioned drilling in the end walls. Great idea. You can hang wall fountains on those spaces too. That would give some height and an extra place for a fountain.

And now you've inspired me so I am going to have to figure out a fountain for my own space.

Does anyone know if combining an aquatic garden and fountain will work? Any suggestions? I'd like some water hyacinths and water lilies. I saw a white night blooming water lily on Ebay tonight. But I have NO experience with water gardens except for growing a water hyacinth in an old washtub years ago. the way. If you will be enjoying your balcony at night be sure you have some white and silver leaf plants (Dusty Miller or Artemesia) in it. They really glow in the moonlight. I like pots of white caladiums to set among the greens. When the white and silver plants, those that are used in Moonlight Gardening, reflect the moonlight or city light its like having soft lighting. I had 600 white caladiums under my Oak Trees in Texas and people would even stop at night to look. Once you have the bones of a great balcony scene then little pots of colorful annuals look wonderful and you don't have to have tons of them because you already have the bones that will work year round, year in and year out.

RoseRustler (Marge)

    Bookmark   May 3, 2005 at 10:35PM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

Marge - Welcome to our forum! If you hang around here long enough, you will have no room to walk out on your balcony and will be forced to water by pointing a hose out the window and spraying on your jungle! LOL

I have a water garden with fish even. You can put them in a half barrel (although any container that holds water counts). In fact, they sell inserts made for half-barrels so you can keep the wood slats intact and not have to worry about leaching.

The one main criteria for water lilies is that they like alot of sun to bloom. When I first set up my water garden about a decade ago, I had a fair amount of sun and had blooms on my water hyacinth and water lilies. Over the years, the row of shrubs I have by the rail across from the barrel provided welcome privacy but also filtered out the sun so I got no blooms. Of course for the fish, it was a cooler environment and so I didn't have to cover the surface much with plants like water lettuce or a ton of expensive water hyacinths, to keep them and the water cooler in summer. But again, that limited me to certain types of plants that would do okay in part sun to dappled sun conditions.

So consider siting the water garden to take advantage of the conditions for the plants that you want to grow. I have found in my current conditions that papyrus grows pretty decently as well as sedge, mini cattails (although they need sun to send up their plumes), and some of the fully submersible water plants like anacharis and parrotfeather. Haven't tried some of the water iris or cannas, although I've seen folks with them and they can get pretty huge when propped up on some upside down pots or on bricks in the water garden at the depth for a marginal.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2005 at 10:47PM
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roxcandy(z5 MKE, WI)

Marge, Welcome to the forum and thanks to everyone for the new posts. Re: your lilies, what I do know is they don't tolerate having their leaves splashed. If you're working with a small pond, you wouldn't want to add more than a spitter (e.g., a sculpture that "spits" water out of its mouth in a steady, predictable stream).

Last night, I bought annuals for my three white pots: pale yellow snapdragons, purple petunias, "Blackie" sweet potato vine (read on the forum how much people like it), and tiny purple voilas that look like the wild violets from northern Wisconsin.

Tested the solar fountain, it works. This weekend, will buy a pond or pot for it. I'm leaning towards the attractive pot idea ... fast and easy. I need to create noise.

My sis suggested morning glories in skinny cheap window boxes along the base of my balcony rail. She said they're hardy, fast growing, and could quickly cover the whole railing area. The local nurseries are expecting them later this week. I also read somewhere about "moonflower," a pure white night bloomer like the morning glory. Rose, you got me thinking about night ambiance, too!

Deck boxes ... $70 for a big Suncast...I'm gonna look at Linens 'n Things tonight. Otherwise, I have the Rubbermaid box over in the corner and could pretty up the top with shade-loving plants.

Anyone have luck with lavender? Lilac? I'd like to try a big, pretty potted arrangement or shrub that I can place near the living room window, then overwinter. Lilacs especially remind me of childhood. Thanks, stay tuned!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2005 at 11:04AM
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whytephoenix(z9a Houston)

Sounds pretty! Lavender should be fine for you; it likes sharp drainage and is fairly wirey and thus can weather the wind. Lots of sun. English lavender will probably be best in your zone (and is probably the one you'll find around for sale anyway).

Lilacs I can't tell you much about, but if you eavesdrop on Jenny for a while they'll probably start growing out of your ears. OHHH!! I miss lilacs! I lived up north when I was young... growing over my sandbox... with violets underneath... and that fragrance... heavenly. I'd trade orange-blossom season to have it back.

For a shade-loving sprawler to cover your box, maybe vinca minor (periwinkle)? Not sure how it would do in your zone. It has bluish-purple flowers. You seem to be leaning that way in your color scheme.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2005 at 12:36PM
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I opened my yard to a garden tour last Aug. & saw other gardens that were open for the tour. I have a pond & made my own little waterfall. Also made a dragon snake out of copper that spits water out of his mouth. I live on the east side--near Brady St. & you're welcome to see my yard & maybe get ideas? Email me if you're interested.
Patty in MKE

    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 7:39PM
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Oh, DO get the Moonflowers. If I were forced to choose, I think I'd take MF over MG because of the smell ... it's heavenly! Mine bloom as soon as the MGs close up ... about 3PM. So you don't always have to wait until evening to enjoy them.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 12:40PM
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roxcandy(z5 MKE, WI)

Latest update ... bought a Miss Kim compact lilac and a 15" pale yellow ceramic lite (resin?) pot for it. Blooming beautifully. A cold snap and high winds killed the sweet potato vine. Still have the 3 annuals pots ... snapdragons, violas, and petunias. Solar fountain was kind of a bust ... I bought a wooden corner fountain powered by electricity (snaked the cord under our grass carpet into the house, and plug in as needed). The water in this fountain falls for four tiers, so the noise is substantial. It makes a great difference dulling the traffic sound! Still have the same lawn furniture. Removed the Rubbermaid box...really no room for it now that I have the fountain. I'm looking now for a narrow "trash can" or similar in which to store the charcoal for our grill... which is really the only thing I must have handy on the balcony. I can live with storing the potting soil, etc. in the basement garage or someplace else. I may like to add more...but don't want to "overkill", as our area is pretty small (12 x 4 feet).

I'd like to find some use for the solar fountain, but haven't thought of anything yet. And, it turns out that I can't drill into the opposite wall or hang anything there. OOH, one cute little fun note: some of you mentioned chimes. I bought a tiny metal wind chime that sticks on a metal stake into the lilac pot. It has a pretty hummingbird design. The little tinkly sounds are nice.

So far, total spent is about $170 (plus $65 for the solar fountain, which is not in use at this time).

I haven't added morning glories or moonflowers yet and haven't checked the nurseries for a few weeks. Had checked often and at many places, but got tired of waiting and several places said they stock seeds only. Stay tuned...

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 7:01PM
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Does your solar fountain have an AC adaptor? I run mine on electricity all the time ... I discovered the 'solar' idea is really a bust ... a cloud rolls by and it stops. I am rather fanatic about not having standing water because of mosquitoes, so for me it's electricity all the way.

Do we get to see some pictures soon? :-)

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 12:00PM
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NSgirl(6A NS Canada)

How about tacking up some trellis (natural wood or pvc variety) all around your open spaces, or at least the windiest? Then, consider a northern hardy, year-round, type of hardy vine like Virginia Creeper or Boston Ivy to creep around and through the trellis. This would act as both a wind-break and a privacy screen for you. Then, go crazy with your furniture and other plantings.
At least in the summer, you would have some coverage - (although may not work well with a solar pump - sorry....)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 7:58PM
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cindybird(Zone 5)

Water gardens & wall-hanging restrictions -

I have a large pot, just under 30" diameter, that I use as a water garden. The pot sits on a sturdy plant roller and contains about 3" of clay soil with about 2-3" of pea gravel on top of that. I have a water lily suitable for containers (sorry, don't have the name handy right now!), as well as duckweed and a sagittarius and acornus underwater grass. When it warms up I put some water hyacinth in it. It does need lots of sun to get the water lily growing. No fountain, no pump -- the only problem is covering it during the hot months so birds don't drown.

Considering wall hanging restrictions -- you can work inwards and outwards from the railing with railing mounts. They come in different angles and lengths and can be screw-mounted or clamped on.

If you can mount things from the ceiling, you might be able to come down the wall via a ceiling hook.

Have fun!


    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 9:12AM
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roxcandy(z5 MKE, WI)

Hi! I uploaded photos to MSN spaces. Check it out! I don't know how to post images right inside my message. I'm happy with the balcony, but wish I had planned better to include morning glories and/or moonflowers. I feel it's too late now to plant seeds. I'm interested in VA creeper, but I'm not sure if it will invade or damage our window screen. It would be great if I could just contain it to the glass panels. Now I'm reading books on bulbs and autumn/winter interest. Thanks for all your advice!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2005 at 2:14PM
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