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I am writing a feature for the Oriental Bay Residents’ Association newsletter on “gardening in pots on windy balconies”. The newsletter goes to 1000 households in Oriental Bay most of whom have only balconies.
I have your “How to Grow in Containers” off your website.
This is quite helpful as a starting point but some of the suggestions may be excellent on a sheltered patio but they do not work for windy balconies. e.g. you mention tulips but standard tulips don’t work in windy conditions at all — they get blown over in short time. The dwarf tulips on the other hand are not bothered by wind and are brilliant, as I have found the last few years. You mention citrus, as another example, but lemon trees don’t like windy balconies though I have grown one successfully in a pot but in a sheltered patio.
Also some balconies are cantilevered out and you are not meant to put too much weight on them. So lighter pots should be used.
In other words, growing things on windy decks or balconies demand special conditions and special plants and I am looking for someone who can give me information on that particular subject. Either by writing or by being interviewed.

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Hi Judith

Thanks for your question and your input it is great. Yes you are so right about the wind and plants that don’t perform well in a swept location. This is great feedback to our marketing team and it would be my suggestion to plant a nice tidy hedge for some primary shelter in some medium sized plastic troughs. Lavender Dentata or Corokia Geentys Green looks lovely. These plants don’t require much water which will help with weight bearing concerns on balconies.

For fruit trees I would suggest the tasty miniature Feijoa Bambina for winter fruit, Blackberry ‘Black satin’ , Blueberries (which always do best when grown with an extra of another variety for pollination), Japanese Quince, Fig ‘ Brunoro black’ for summer. Tub grown fruit in Autumn Chilean Guava which can be grown in troughs as a hedge or left to grow as a compact specimen.

Hope this helps and very Happy gardening to you!

Maria – Palmers national garden consultant

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