Herbs and cover for a west facing balcony
Firstly, I'd like to offer my thanks to the Gardeners' World readers and forum users. About 4 years ago I asked for advice on the best cover for a neighbours conservatory wall, and received amazing advice (Jasmine, which worked perfectly) - Thanks again!
This time I'm asking for advice on behalf of my friend - a young woman who has just purchased her first home (a small flat with a west facing balcony). I'd like to help her with some practical elements (including establishing a useful herb garden) and thought I would ask the GW forum for advice:
She has two requirements:
- There is a metal grille (with holes to allow light through) which runs from the floor to the top of her balcony. We think this is a 'design' feature, but it's quite ugly so would like to grow some evergreen cover over it. Ideally, the cover would be ever-green, fairly hardy, not need direct sunlight (west facing location) and able to be established (if not start flourishing) now. If it could also have some flowering elements or pleasant scent, that would be perfect. As always, we can compromise on any of the above , I just thought I'd set out the challenge in full!
- Estabishing a herb garden. I plan to build her a floor/wall standing balcony greenhouse, but would really appreciate some advice on herbs that will thrive in the above conditions? We'd like the herbs most useful for cooking (parsley, mint, sage, basil, bay etc) but again would like to establish the garden this year and make sure we pick herbs that will do well in an English climate.
Any advice gratefully received!
Many thanks in advance GW readers,