This week I've been working on a new planting scheme for a large, sunny but very exposed main and side balcony in Shoreditch.
The main balcony which enjoys fantastic views of the City, is South East facing. The existing planting consisted of a row of troughs containing small Laurus Nobilis (Bay) shrubs and Lavendar. Additional planting includes some large Festuca in bowl planters and a herb trough, along with a couple of potted Olive trees, some Helichysum shrubs and 2 Euonymus fortunei shrubs.
The main issues are the exposure of the balcony makes the L shaped sofa in the Southern corner too windy to sit on and the bay shrubs in the planters had been decimated by a pest and a fungus.
Whilst some of the plants were happy in this environment (most of the Lavendar, Festuca and some of the herbs), the planting was quite heavy and there is very little colour or flowers to attract wildlife.
Planting Plan - Main Balcony
I sought to address the first two issues by repositioning 6 of the trough planters behind the L shaped sofa and replacing the Bay shrubs with Miscanthus Morning Light, a tall, drought and wind resistant grass which has great presence from late Spring through to Winter. This should provide a well needed wind break with a graceful movement and allow the main seating area to be used.
The remaining troughs planters are arranged centrally between the bi-fold door opening, with the Miscanthus partially obscuring some of the views but broken up with the shorter Helichcrysum and Olea plantersallowing parts of the City to be viewed.
The herb area has been extended with a new trough planter and height added with the addition of Foeniculm vulgare (Bronze Fennel) and a shaped Olive tree in the corner.
Planters have been arranged in small groups by material and vibrant Summer colour added with Agapanthus 'Blue Heaven', Achillea Taygatea against an evergreen blue green backdop of Artemisia 'Powis Castle'
The new scheme helps to solve some of the issues of an exposed sunny site, whilst softening the modern architecture with soft Mediterranean inspired planting.
The side balcony will house 3 additional troughs with similar planting combinations and the inclusion of the vibrant purple of Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna.
Planting Plan - side balcony
Watch this space for pictures once the planting is complete.