Ellen and Michael’s balcony and windowsill recommendations

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To accompany this week’s “inside out” episode, here is a quick guide to Ellen and Michael’s balcony and windowsill recommendations and tips!

Windowsill gardening

1. Nemesia

Whilst the fragrance isn’t quite as strong as it might be outside, this purple beauty makes a charming windowsill plant, which has been looking good for more than a month on my sill now. It’s multi flowering and well shaped, and seems perfectly happy on a sunny windowsill.

2. Polka Dot Plant

A cute little lad, this spotty plant is carefree and really quite fun! A traditional choice for a house plant, it can be grown easily from cuttings or seed.

3. Bleeding Heart

A total experiment, I’ve been growing Bleeding Heart on the windowsill as a showpiece for a few weeks now. My intention isn’t to keep it here for life, but just to enjoy it while it’s in bloom. It seems very happy as well!

Balcony Gardening

Climatic conditions

Just like any garden, all balconies are different. If you are facing south you could have a hot, sun trap or are you being shaded by a nearly building? A great way to work out where on your balcony the sun will or won’t shine is to take a piece of paper and draw your balcony then draw a line on the paper to show where the sun is at different times of the day. Some balconies high up are quite exposed so think about plants that will survive windy conditions and not blow away.

Container care

Container grown plants dry out really quickly so it’s important to make sure they get watered sufficiently and preferably early morning or evening time to allow the plants time to absorb the moisture before they dry out again. Feeding once a week is a must and mulching the top of the pots is great for moisture retention.

Pests and diseases

Just like in any garden, pests and diseases can find their way to your plants, even on a balcony high in the sky! They can spread between containers in confined spaces quickly so check your plants frequently for any signs of damage that may be caused by something you don’t want to ravish your pots.

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