Windy NW balcony

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Apartmentgardener, Jun 12, 2015.

  1. Apartmentgardener

    Apartmentgardener New Member

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    I am on the 7th floor in a Vancouver apartment and have full force winds from the northwest hitting my balcony (especially today, with gusts up to 70km. Apart from that, I'm in full shade until mid-afternoon when the sun starts creeping around from the west; then full sun until sunset. I have ferns at the shadiest most protected end and they are doing quite well. But on the other end where the sun hits earliest and the winds are the strongest, I'm not sure what to plant. Any advice?
    Thanks!
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    A dwarf yew cultivar.
     
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  3. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    is there a way you could have a major all-season plant like Ron suggests - then accent your design with seasonal - that if necessary you could bring in on days like this- and yes it is very windy on the east side of the coast mtns (cascade mtns) too today.

    there are nice little stands that raise a smaller potted patio planter - in the winter you could do an arrangement of osier dogwood twigs and salal etc - and spring daffs - then later spring - then summer etc.

    if you find one "permanent" ceramic decorative pot you like - then you can put a larger black plastic inside it permanently - then find the next small increment down, also a black pot - and it slips in to the larger - and it makes it easy to change your patio planter esp on a deck where you can't just throw the old soil etc in to your garden like some of us do.
     
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  4. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Sempervivums may be colourful and interesting.
     
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  5. Apartmentgardener

    Apartmentgardener New Member

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    Thank you, everyone, for your ideas.
     
  6. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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  7. jfuller

    jfuller New Member

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    Bringing this back, my garden is also a NW exposure patio with the exact same light conditions. I don't get quite as much wind exposure, though there is definitely more wind on our patio than at ground level (we are only up one floor above ground).

    I have planted quite a few pieris plants (flaming silver, forest flame), fargesia bamboo, acer amber ghost and peaches & cream, ferns, Japanese forest grass, and hydrangea. All are doing well so far! The maples do need some protection, so they are placed accordingly. Some shade-tolerant dwarf conifers would be nice too.
     
  8. Apartmentgardener

    Apartmentgardener New Member

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    Sounds really nice; I started a hydrangea last year, and this year it flowered, also Japanese grass. I've thought about a maple, and some red osier dogwood. What I consistently count on for summer colour are geraniums and fuscia. Thanks for your ideas!
     
  9. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    For interesting leafy green on the deck - I swear by Swiss chard in pots - practical too!

    I use scissors to harvest a few leaves at a time for kitchen but mainly I leave it for easy decor plant

    I like the seeds fr Ladner BC - west coast brand

    It's the one w multi color stems - bright lights perhaps ?

    I use organic fertilizer in low dose -

    It has no bugs etc

    The pots are plastic decorative and approx 3 or 4 gallon size --- and up on a decorative stand made of metal

    I'll do my best to photo and post here

    NB - not a good idea for parched hot sun locations - it wilts severely - but ocean wind nr. Vancouver BC is fine
     
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  10. Apartmentgardener

    Apartmentgardener New Member

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    What a great idea; especially since I have become vegetarian recently. Those red and yellow stems are gorgeous; I'll give this a try.
     
  11. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    It's www.westcoastseeds.com - Swiss chard - celebration

    I start it indoors on windowsill in those little peat pots (expandable when add water ) --- maybe 2 or 3 seeds per peat pot ---- then in a few weeks - when identifiable as Swiss chard - I put perhaps 8 of those mini peat pots into the single big one on patio

    PS - I gently peel the mini peat pot netting off at transplant time (careful of the tiny roots!) - I've had trouble w those nets not rotting thereby constraining the plant.

    In our coastal Pac NW Cascadia climate - this plant will keep going a long time! You could do a series of plantings to keep you going - tho spring seeds catch up pretty fast!

    Oh - sw chard "bolts" so be sure to trim that off and eat it while standing there ;) That's what the young summer visitors do here !
     
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  12. jfuller

    jfuller New Member

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    Cheers! Yeah the newer varietals of maples (reticulated, variegated like the ghosts etc) tend to do particularly well in shady spots due to being more delicate, with the bonus that they are easily the most interesting from close range as well. Only tricky thing is protecting them from gusty winds.

    I like the chard suggestion above too - something I might investigate further!

    Pieris are such a ubiquitous shrub around town, with the typical varietals being pretty boring - however, cultivars like "Flaming Silver" and "Little Heath" are super interesting plants year-round. They are always putting off brightly coloured new shoots and have really attractive older foliage as well. Plus I find their structure and bark quite neat. We have planted a row of 'flaming silver' along the west wall of our patio and an acer p. amber ghost just to the east of them - hoping that the pieris will help protect the maple. Seems like it's going to work at this point!
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  13. Apartmentgardener

    Apartmentgardener New Member

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    I used to have a couple of vine maples at a previous location. They grew to about seven feet. I'm also thinking about a winterberry shrub. The shadier side of my balcony is better protected with a concrete wall. I'll have a look at those maples you mention. Thanks jfuller!
     
  14. jfuller

    jfuller New Member

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    Here's pics of our patio too for reference Patio Garden

     
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  15. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    Thx to jFuller for photo share - nice job on your patio --- what's the low small leaf silver foliage plant - I can see old house across lane w stripe awning in pic

    I will attempt herein to upload chard pix --- these -approx 5 gal pots are lifted up on those typical black metal stands (brand = Pacific something I think ) ... they do dry out even in half sun- shade ... this is fr seed --- West Coast Seeds brand - Celebration (see above my prev post )
     
  16. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    Chard on patio photos x 2. - one chard w yellow stems (top of pic) has flat leaf parsley next to it.

    obviously I've cropped the photo (and some of the chard!) - and so if you scroll down the bottom of pic - you can see the fake terracotta container (plastic) in metal support stand on legs - I'm pretty sure it's that Pacific Rim brand commonly seen around Vancouver BC stores.
     

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    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  17. jfuller

    jfuller New Member

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    I have forgotten the name, I have the tag somewhere and will report back when I come across it again! That stuff grows like crazy, we quite like it, but it will take over the garden if it gets the chance! Seems to be happy in both sun and shade.
     

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