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The Potted blog

Seasonal advice to keep your plants thriving and your fingers green

Summertime … and Potted's balcony service is in full bloom!

We've had a busy few weeks helping people get their balconies get ready for summer. Our most recent projects have also been a good lesson in how similar sounding balconies can be made completely different by their aspects. 

For a sunny, sixth-floor balcony in Hoxton, we went with a hot, tropical theme. This sheltered spot, with a magnificent view of the London skyline, gets plenty of bright light. Our lovely client is a fan of bright colour – which is how we ended up with a fantastic orange backdrop to plant against.

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Even in a small space like this one, you need a hero plant. Here we chose a banana plant with deep burgundy leaves to contrast with that hot orange. Musa Maurelli looks right at home, we're sure you'll agree. Further contrast comes from a classic passionflower to scramble up the wall, the gorgeous grass Phormium 'Bronze Baby', and a raised planter of sempervivium and cherry red nasturtiums which will spread and cascade. Perfect for this hot weather!

Our other project, however, was an altogether more lush affair: a shadier spot demands a greener planting scheme: so we set off covetable, smart zinc planters and furniture with fresh green ferns – amazing as they unfurl – and wonderful Hosta Cathedral Windows. Magnificent digitalis in pure white provide light and height.

Nick and I admit to being very jealous of the latter; we both garden in ground-floor spaces, so are at the mercy of slugs and snails who devour hostas with relish! Here, high up, we/re more confident these lovely plants will be more than an expensive snack for the wildlife.