A green space for urban gardeners

Flower boxes look good for now; but, I definitely need a new plan

DSC00403DSC00413No, dear friends, my plants are not happily basking outside today as I had planned.

Not because the weather didn’t hold up. Not even because I didn’t want to repeat all that lifting just to do it again in reverse a day and a half later. No, after stepping out onto my balcony with the best of intentions, I looked up — and then backed out. Or rather, backed back in… into my condo, that is.

I decided that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to tempt fate and mess about outside while a huge metal scaffolding platform hung overhead — no DSC00416DSC00410matter how securely attached it might be.

So, I definitely have to come up with a new plan for keeping my plants healthy for a few days without the benefit of full sun.

In the meantime, however, I did promise you a peek at my flowering planter boxes, so I snapped these photos of one of them crammed inside my condo, sharing the limited floorspace next to my sliders with potted plants, living room furniture, balcony furniture and a very curious cat. (Yes, that’s his back end in the background of the top photo.)

This particular planter box is the smallest of three that attach to the 12-foot south balcony rail. It measures 24-inches and is placed between the two others, which measure 36-inches each. In the front-center, is torenia hybrid with the gorgeous blue flower you see here and a trailing growth habit.

The torenia is backed by rue, which I bought on a whim and originally planned to put with my herbs/edibles, but decided against after realizing I’m not knowledgeable enough to experiment with it (it is said to have medicinal benefits, but comes with cautions, as well). Go ahead and say it, I’m beginning to rue the day I let my impulse shopping get the better of me (smile).

But, research also revealed that the leaves should take on some fabulous colors (blue, yellow) that fit right into my scheme, so I decided it would work ornamentally in my planter.

A salvia black and blue plant is behind the rue to add a little height. It’s flanked on the back half of the box with the punchy yellow-orange French marigold (the third photo shows rue at the left, salvia black and blue and marigold), and then a line of three lisianthus plants bracket that midsection. Though the lisiantus is not in bloom yet (the fourth photo shows a closeup), when it is, the assortment I’m using should produce a blue/purple, a yellow and a light green rose-like flower.

A salvia with a pale yellow flower (with a completely different aspect than the black and blue) flanks the lisianthus on each side of the planter. And, finally, I was able to squeeze in forget-me-not and Nigella seedlings at the very end of the box in hopes that they’ll thrive and reinforce what is intended to be my dominant color — glorious blue.

As for my new plan for keeping everything healthy over the next few days, I’ve decided to rearrange furniture and line up all the planters and pots as close to my sliders and the southern exposure as possible in hopes that the light will be enough to sustain them. I also need to pot up a few seedlings and plant some seeds for cat grass. And of course, everything needs watering.

It’s going to be a very long night…


  Stephanie wrote @

Oh no, sometimes it is hard to make plan B. I hope that the space at the slider has room to fit all the planters and pots. Yes, sunlight is important. I like the plants varieties you have gotten. Btw, I am also quite caution about planting herbs. I prefer to plant ornamentals 😉

  Avis Weathersbee wrote @

I hope so, too. I’m still juggling things. I may have to rotate them so that the ones farthest from the light one day will be closest the next. Cheers!

  Jo wrote @

I think the plants you have chosen look good together and complement each other.
Your cat must wonder what’s happening with the outdoors coming indoors.

  Avis Weathersbee wrote @

Thanks, I can’t wait for them to grow and bloom to see what they look like. My cat is very curious indeed, and seems to have taken a particular liking to the small potted echinacea.

  Fly Girl wrote @

Your plants look gorgeous Avis! I don’t blame you about not moving them. That’s a lot of lifting and adjusting. I just bought another hibiscus tree and it is much more temperamental than my older one. It demands a lot more attention but it has more blooms to show for it.

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