Before we can kick this plant party into high gear I’ll need to carefully select the guest list.
With 391 thousand known plant species on the planet, this seems like a Herculean task. But the climate of the Northeast US (and the unique microclimate of my terrace) narrows the field considerably. Plants that thrive in moderate temperature and indirect sun are definitely getting invites, but who knows who might make a special guest appearance?
All I know is that these guys already RSVPed:
Herbs are a no brainer for my terrace. They’re easy to grow and have a very small footprint. Plus, fresh herbs are the easiest way to turn a mundane meal into something memorable.
Farm-to-table is all the rage, but I’m taking it one step further with terrace-to-table. Now that’s fresh! Need some basil for your tomato sauce? Need a sprig of dill to brighten up those eggs? Don’t take another bite, I’ll be right back….
I should be able to get a very tasteful variety going less than 2 sq ft of space – basil, oregano, dill, definitely some catnip for our cat – which of course she’ll ignore in favor of some cardboard box.
I’d also love to grow some fresh veggies. Growing up in Brooklyn, my family grew tomatoes and cucumbers in a small garden plot. Jeremy’s family had a similar situation – his grandparents grew green beans in a patch on the side of their house and his father grew weeds in the front lawn.
This is where the space constraints and the unique microclimate of the terrace really comes into play.
I’d love to grow leafy greens like spinach and and lettuce, but I don’t know if I have enough space for their root systems. I’d also love to grow beans, peppers, and tomatoes – which require a full 6-8 hours of direct sunlight and I don’t know if I have that kind of sun exposure, but I’m definitely going to give tomatoes a shot either way.
You know what they say…grow big or go home!
Flowers and Decorative Plants
The good news is that there are beautiful flowering plants for almost every kind of microclimate. I’ll definitely plant geraniums and petunias in a plantar’s box, and some succulents in individual pots.
The rules of the building prohibit any visual elements above the railing, so this puts a damper on my plans to put a tall plant, like a fig tree, on the terrace.
But I understand the rule – they want to keep the terraces from turning into an episode of Hoarders. I also understand the rule against putting pots on the railing. The last thing anyone wants is to accidentally knock a cactus 20 stories onto someone’s head.
To sum it up – Yes to lots of colorful flowers and short plants in ground-level pots. No to tall plants, vertical plant walls or trellises, hanging plants, and plants on the ledge.
My Perfect Day
In my perfect day I sit on the balcony chair on a mild spring morning, sipping coffee surrounded by the wonderful colors of my garden. The flowers are in full bloom, the scent of basil and oregano fills the air, Bella is watching the birds, and Jeremy is on the couch watching TV, per usual.