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By Mark CullenSpecial to the StarBen Cullen

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Fri., July 6, 2018

How can a address architecture be a net contributor to our burghal blooming space?

The acknowledgment is: Aback association aerate the blooming bulk of their balconies.

If you add up the aboveboard footage of every balustrade on a residential highrise in the GTA, it will acceptable beat the brand of the architecture itself. Under the City of Toronto Blooming Roof Bylaw — which requires all new architecture over 2,000 aboveboard metres to accept a blooming roof — barrio now acquire amazing abeyant to access the all-embracing blooming amplitude in our cities while accomplishing their job of accouterment apartment for a growing population.

The greening possibilities can alone be accomplished aback association booty advantage of their alfresco amplitude and abound plants on their balconies. But agenda that plants with the adeptness to advance on a balustrade charge adore wind and acrid sunlight — abnormally with a south and west exposure. Not all plants fit this bill.

Our tips to accomplish the best of your balustrade garden experience:

Hanging baskets and planters are a abundant abode to alpha aback they don’t booty adored floorspace. Bulb alternative is important. For brilliant locations, we acclaim nasturtium, dwarf nicotiana, petunias, calibrachoa, abbreviate zinnias, marigolds, geraniums and pansies.

In allotment adumbration — such as a arctic or east-facing balustrade — bulb wax begonia, candied alyssum, coleus, sunshine impatiens and lobelia.

Ben consistently has an eye for growing food. He uses blind baskets abounding with strawberries and blade lettuce, arugula or mesclun mix in brilliant locations. Bulb three to six plants per basket, and baptize frequently. An ever-bearing array of birthmark will accommodate you with a best autumn season. With beneath clay accumulation in containers vs. growing in the ground, be abiding to add a acceptable bulk of admixture and beget the baskets already a month, all season. Pro Mix makes two accomplished new organic-based bulb foods: aqueous apply and baptize acrid powder.

Read more:

Spruce up your garden with an beloved deride

Window boxes are addition acceptable option. Consistently put them on the central of the balustrade for safety.

Window boxes are acceptable for growing herbs. Meal basic does not get any simpler than dispatch out assimilate the balustrade to cut a few beginning sprigs of basil, thyme or oregano. To abundance your harvest, dry your balance assemble crop in the oven (with the aperture open, 150 F, until crispy). Put them in air-tight architect jars and adore the garden-fresh flavour all year round. Allow the aroma of civil herbs from the architect jar to booty you aback to the balmy evenings in July aback you enjoyed exceptional angle from your alfresco balcony-farm.

Raised beds. These abide to abound in popularity. A abundant advertence book is Tara Nolan’s 2016 Aloft Bed Revolution. You can body a aloft bed to clothing your exact needs or opt for one of the abounding pre-fabricated models. Aloft beds balmy up bound in the spring, aftermath beneath weeds than growing in-ground and can be aloft to whatever acme you charge for accessibility — this is decidedly advantageous for gardeners in caster chairs, or bodies who artlessly adore the affluence of not accepting to angle over. Tomatoes and peppers are the No. 1 and No. 2 best accepted container-grown vegetables. Be abiding to analysis with your architecture administration apropos weight restrictions.

Build a “flower tower” or blooming wall. These aerate vertical amplitude and can be congenital by stacking pots and burying them with colourful annuals. There is an ever-growing cardinal of specialized wall-hanging pots to architecture blooming walls. As able-bodied as binding in a lot of bulb material, blooming walls advance privacy. Analysis out your options at bounded retailers.

Vines to air-conditioned and enclose. Bulb a backcountry for fast advance up a wall, with the abutment of a trellis. Annual hyacinth bean, morning glories and agent beans all assignment well. For a abiding solution, bulb a winter-hardy backcountry like Virginia creeper, honeysuckle, apricot or clematis in a abysmal alembic with lots of clay to insulate the roots through the winter.

With a bit of imagination, it’s not adamantine to see the growing opportunities for above-ground gardeners — pun intended!

Mark and Ben Cullen are able gardeners and contributors for the Star. Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkCullen4

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