Apartment Garden Blues (Blog): My New Apartment Garden

Balcony Container Garden No Light

I recently moved to a new apartment complex, and now I have a whole new balcony garden space to work with. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any nice apartments in my price range that had big, sunny balconies, so I had to go with a medium-sized shady balcony. The new apartment is nice and quiet (my biggest requirement!), but the garden will be severely limited because of the low light. (You can already see the spearmint becoming spindly and struggling to get enough light.)

At my first apartment, while I was in college, I was spoiled. I had a giant balcony that faced south. I also had a private staircase that led to this balcony. I grew all sorts of light-loving plants, including vegetables, corn (which didn't do very well), trees and beautiful mammoth sunflowers. At my second apartment, things were a bit darker and not as nice, but I did have a big balcony that got some light.

This balcony is small and has no light. It's what I like to call a "cave." Not only does it face north, but it also has an awning over it and trees outside, so no light gets in. Pictured are the container plants that I think might survive in the darkness. From left to right there is a tiny saguaro cactus that you can't see, mint, English ivy, a dracaena plant and golden pothos. While I'm staying at this apartment, the garden will be very small. Luckily, though, my city just approved a proposal that a vacant lot will become a community garden. Maybe soon I can get a small plot of land just for myself!



Alexandra is a professional writer from Southern California who grows vegetables, herbs, lots of aloe vera and one giant Boston fern in her balcony garden. She also grows dracaena, pothos and English ivy indoors. She loves traveling and birdwatching in addition to gardening.

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