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Plants (colourful and hardy!) West-facing balcony

Hello everyone, new to this site  - and to gardening in general! - and looking for any help any one can offer!

We have a covered, west-facing balcony on our flat, and are looking to fill it with a variety of plants and shrubs. 

Ideally, we would like things that will be pleasant to look at for as long as possible all year round, especially as it looks directly out from our bedroom into a common area so as much (colourful!) screening as possible would be great. 

As an added complication, we are only here for 18 months, so have had to rule out growing climbing plants etc. so faster growing stuff would be super too!

Thanks very much in advance for any help anyone can offer a gardening novice!


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    How high up are you on the balcony. The higher up you are the more likely you will have wind throughout the year, so something to factor in when sourcing plants. Plants need to work harder in smaller spaces and container planting can be very challenging if there are weight restrictions and wind too. I lost over 50% of my plants in one year. 

    After trial and error, I found that some plants recommended in books didn't work whilst others not recommended worked for me, so sometimes there is no right and wrong. Rosemaries and Olive shrubs and small leaf plants tend to do better. Look into herbs, they are often very interesting plants that offer colour and form throughout the year. Choose plants that are drought tolerant if given a choice.

    Grasses and plants like Sedums do well. If you have a large enough pot, you could try Nadina Domestica. A shrub that grows and looks like bamboo but much more refined and has lovely small creamy flowers followed by small red berries that is very decorative in the winter time. It doesn't block light and can be pruned to shape and thin out. It can also act as a light screen because it is semi-evergreen. But, you need to keep an eye on watering in the summer months.

    Last edited: 19 January 2018 17:25:49

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