In addition to the back garden, we also have a front balcony. Now that the garden is well under way, I want to tackle some container planting for it.
The first stage of the permaculture design process is surveying: site, resources, and client requirements.
- North-facing, though not overshadowed, so some evening sunlight especially in summer.
- First floor (so need to watch the weight!).
- 4.5m x 1m.
- No water supply (any water has to be brought up from the ground floor). However, there is a drainpipe at the corner (possibly shared with next door?). Slight overhang above so doesn’t get much rainfall either.
- Fairly windy, but with some protection to about a metre up.
- Some containers, but nothing fixed.
- Railing provides some potential support for climbing plants.
- Plenty of containers of various sorts available.
- Some already-planted containers: violas, primroses, pansies, evening primrose.
- Possibility of propagating some plants from the back garden (or using some of my seed collection).
- Some compost from the back garden compost heap, but is likely to need supplementing with bought compost (or wait for longer to plant more!).
- Enough space to sit out on folding chairs.
- Attractive when seen through balcony window — I’d like some flowers!
- Attractive during the winter — at least something that will survive or even thrive through winter.
- Nothing poisonous to dog or baby if they eat it.
- At least one food-productive plant.
- Minimal cost setup.
- Neglect-tolerant / low maintenance.
The next part of the process is the analysis: sectors, zones, and input/output, which I’ll consider in the next post, before coming to the design.