I'm planning to move to New York from Seattle and have been lucky enough to get an apartment with a balcony. Sadly it is a North-facing balcony which means that it probably gets very little sun. I'm going to be moving to it in November and I was wondering what I could do to transform it into a green space. Specifically, what container plants would do well and is there anything I can put there in November or must I wait until the spring? I would like it to be as colorful as possible as well! Thanks for any advice that you might have for me. I can't wait to get started!
Thanks for writing. We can definitely help you green up your balcony once you get out here. What you should definitely do is once you get settled come and visit us here at The Horticultural Society. I will show you around the library and point out a number of books specific to container gardening and gardening in NYC. We can also discuss the aspects of plants that you love and how to best incorporate them into your planting scheme. With the part sun or dappled shade you get there is no question that you will have plenty of options of things to grow. You can even hire me for a private consultation at your home if you would prefer to design on-site. Of course, first you will have to approach your building and ask if they have a policy about containers and/or weight restrictions for the balcony. I'd hate for you to install a whole bunch of beautiful things to then have the building super come and tell you you have to remove them. (Sounds absurd, I know, but I've definitely seen it happen before). We can work with you to plan through the winter and by spring your home should be good and green. And yes, I imagine that you could begin to acquire a few containers and plants to start yourself off in the fall, but let's cross that bridge when we get to it. Have a safe and successful move and we will look forward to meeting you this fall.