1. It's in shade till about 3pm then the sun blasts in.
2. Powdery mildew loves those conditions.
3. Every aphid and whitefly in Wellington also loves this balcony.
So it's become a survival of the fittest type experiment, in which I plant stuff, and if it grows and thrives it stays, if it doesn't, I don't buy that again. I'm willing to spray occasionally but not religiously. I've now got a few plants that are surviving, some are even thriving.
Oddly enough, the thing that's done really really well has been a maidenhair fern. Given that these are notoriously fussy and also supposedly indoor plants in our climate, I'm kind of surprised about this. I only put it out there because it was struggling..
..ZOMG MY GRAPHICS CARD ARRIVED SQUEE SQUEE SQUEE!
..anyway yes, it was struggling indoors so I figured if it was going to die it might as well do it out there with all the other dying plants. Lo and behold, it perked up and is now more than three times the size it was, and has not a brown leaf on it. O.o. So far I have failed at:
Tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, courgettes, thyme, marjoram, oregano, basil, mint, pansies, dianthus, fuschia, impatiens, sweet william.
The silverbeet and the garlic chives both survived, but were miniaturised to the point where they've been useless.
Plants that have survived include parsley, daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, a heuchera, the maidenhair and a ladder fern.
So, ferns it is. I've added some more, and I'll show you a photo when it's actually verdant instead of big patches of dirt interspersed with teeny-tiny plants. But there is this I can show you:
Those little spready plants are another thing that's survived. I don't know what they're called but apparently they like it there and they're now overflowing the pot. There was a mint in that pot, but it succumbed to powdery mildew. I thought about a lemon tree but lemons like sun, so spider plant it is. We shall see how it does.
I can honestly say this is the hardest garden I've ever done. I've battled bugs and difficult light before, but never together in such vast quantities. Damnit I will have my green space! But it appears it will be pretty and inedible, and it'll be all about the foliage. Hmm.. could be worse I guess.
Happy, this is your cue to jump in and say something controversial because talking about plants is boring.