Balcony Windbreak Suggestions Needed

Discussion in 'Small Space Gardening' started by bdelaney, Jul 24, 2002.

  1. bdelaney

    bdelaney Member

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    Vancouver, BC
    I'm looking for suggestions on what to use as a windbreak/privacy screen for an L-shaped second floor balcony that faces south and west. I live in Vancouver, BC.

    I want to cover an area about 10 feet long by 8 feet high on the west side.

    The plant needs to be
    - able to handle sun, rain and high winds
    - easy to grow in a container
    - not take up much room - I want to put it in long, narrow (no more than 6" wide) planters on the floor near the edge
    - fast growing - the area needs to be covered fast. I'm willing to buy some bigger plants if I can find them,
    - evergreen - the windbreak is mportant in the winter
    - nice, but not necessary, fragrant

    Trees are out of the question because I don't have the space. I'm thinking of putting in a vine.

    Strata bylaws don't allow permanent fixtures on that part of the balcony so it will have to grow well up garden netting or trellises inside the planters - and handle high winds.

    I have some English Ivy in a pot on that side that's doing quite well, but I've heard it doesn't like wind and isn't a good idea on a wood building. Other plants that are doing well there are lavender and jasmine (I don't think this is real jasmine, but one of the woody vines that looks like it. The lavender doesn't grow tall enough and the jasmine can't stay there year-round, so I need something else.

    I appreciate any suggestions, even those that involve some compromise.
  2. HortLine

    HortLine Active Member 10 Years

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    Vancouver, BC
    Balcony Windbreak Suggestions

    Most vines and climbers like a sheltered location so your windy balcony may not suit these types of plants. But it may be worth a try. Evergreen clematis (Clematis armandii) is an attractive climber but again, may not like you windy local.

    Some smaller evergreen shrubs do well in containers and can be pruned to fit your balcony. An example is boxwood (Buxus sempervirens). It prunes very well and would make an excellent screen. Smaller forms of Taxus would also be suitable, for example, Taxus cuspidata 'Capitata' f. nana.

    Those are a few suggestions to try out but I would also advise you to visit your local garden shop or nursery. They can provide you with excellent suggestions regarding the best evergreen shrubs to grow in containers, which will meet your specific needs.

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