I´ve been growing plants on 4th floor in climate zone 8 in Germany for couple of years now.
At the beginning I thought that container gardening is going to be more difficult and labor intensive than growing plants on solid ground. Well, it can be if you sow plants, which need lot of resources and constant care but if you find right methods and tools it is not back-breaking at all. I am a quite oblivious person indeed and but I definitely won´t consider myself a lazy gardener.
Currently my favorite containers are deep(18cm) self-watering ones made of strong plastic, which save water and are easy to maintain(21cmx76cm). This balcony gets full sun until 3 o´clock in the afternoon and in other pots with normal drainage the plants need usually more watering than these ones.
I´m hoping that Calendulas start growing soon on the top container. This spring I made more space for estragon, lemon balm and lemon thyme and mulched them with grass clippings and coconut fibre as I bought a young coconut recently and didn´t want to through the husk away. It gets a nice orange colour as it stays in the sun or when it gets wet.
In the below white container are corn flowers, chamomile, which are going to blossom very soon too. An onion has got lost in between parsley and oregano, who both got saved from a grocery store last year. I do am pleased that they are still alive and look way better than before as usually forced grown shop herbs die after couple of months.
These plants grow in a normal container with drainage. Wild strawberries, St. Johns Wort and another plant which name I don´t know growing there. They all are fine with little bit of drought and full sunshine. Quite often I find some wild(plant) visitors in my containers as I use mixture of forest earth,home made compost and sometimes sand too. I forgot, there is some lemon balm growing too, who is still okay with it as the real summer heat(35+) Celsius hasn´t arrived yet.
I have also little wild garlic plant surviving there, which I tried to replant but as the roots were so intermingled with other roots I couldn´t get the whole plant out. I planted some small ones to another pot, which is in a shadier location because the leaves stay nicely tender whereas in the full sun they become woody.
I sew a mixture of wild flowers into this container already at the of February. Now in the middle of May the honeybee magnet Phacelia is about to blossom. It is so incredible to see how much wildlife wild plants attract in the city. There are lot of ladybugs, bees and sometimes even butterflies seen here on the 4th floor. It is super easy to take care of wild plants as I actually watered these guys only once last month as the rain did the job for me.
I found this overgrown ivy plant on the street last spring and couldn´t just leave it there. I didn´t really want to but I had to trim the ivy a bit couple of weeks ago to make her crawl, where I wanted her to. And now she is doing great blocking the view for neighbours thus giving a bit more privacy for us here.
I´m glad that this 3-years-old hortensia has finally some promising flower buds on it. There were some primitive ones last year too but as she was in such a small pot(which is now changed) she didn´t grow very well. I used compost and compost tea as a fertilizer.
Behind the peppermint bush there is a metal net, which covers the plants growing in the “river”(jep, such thing is possible on 4th floor). It was necessary because we had a visitor, who stole most of the moss for her nest. At the beginning starling come over just couple of times but then it became regular visit and the net was needed. I think the babies must be hatching by now anyway.:)
I originally published this post in the Estonian version of this blog(https://metsikaed.wordpress.com/).