4 x 15 full sun balcony... what to do?
Hi everyone! You have no idea how excited I am to have found this forum. I just moved into my condo a month ago and am struggling with my balcony. I am ridiculously pumped to be able to plant outdoors (I've had so many houseplants for so long that my apartments are referred to by friends as "The Greenhouse"). Problem is, I've never done it before, and I think I'm already making a lot of mistakes.
I have a few things going that I bought on the advice of the nice folks at the nursery near me. There's petunias, brachycome, boxwood, and anagallis going in 4 ugly plastic flower boxes (although I think one of the anagallis is half fried from the sun), and clematis in 3 large ceramic pots.
Stupid question #1: What does mulch do? I read that clematis like their roots to be shaded. Is that what mulch would help with?
Stupid question #2: Am I stuck with these ugly flower boxes or do people usually buy the ugly ones and put them inside something pretty, like I do with my cheap plastic houseplant pots?
Some pics, just for the hell of it, even though they're embarrassing compared to the others I've seen on this forum already:
My window boxes when I first planted them:
My window boxes now. My petunias aren't blooming... anyone have any idea why?
My poor, sad, fried clematis: