A North York south-west facing balcony, 8th floor

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Even though space is small, I have many pots, containers and planters with herbs and some vegetables. I believe in urban gardening and reusing/recycling so I grow my own plants and collect seeds for the next season or start them from scraps, as I did with the green onions, arugula, lettuce, potato vines, chilli peppers, basil and mint.

We enjoy the balcony very much during the summer months, day and night, especially the glider under the sun, with the scent of the fresh basil and rosemary lingering in the air! This balcony is our little oasis and it's amazing how the wood, the bright colors of the planters and pillows, the green "garden" and the scent of the herbs have such a relaxing effect on us!

Hoping that more people will see balconies as an extended living space that could be their own little oasis and a place to grow a little garden!

Thank you Maria Lykesa

Little Garden in the Big City

As a sustainable community advocate residing in Toronto, Linda started a balcony garden, wanting to grow organic, fresh fruits and vegetables. Check out her blog of her inspired journey:


A balcony bloomer's blog - 2011 Edible Garden Container contest winner Andrea Vaughan. For photos and stories of Andrea's shoebag garden odyssey, visit SHOE-NANNIGANS

A west-end Toronto east-facing deck

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For almost 15 years I have been growing perennials in containers, and each year the results astonish and thrill me. My deck, in Parkdale, is quite spacious (approximately 10' x 15'). I have about 5+ hours of sun in the height of the summer.

All the “rules” of container gardening in our balmy Zone 6(ish) region are challenged by my continuing success. I have perennials that are more than 10 years old. For example, my aged hosta who never complains; and my reduced astilbe, who desperately needs a re-pot and some further loving care, but relentlessly still blooms with pride every spring. 

Without gardens, can we still be gardeners?  Can we have gardens that we develop, nurture and adore?  Can we watch, over years, our gardens grow without the benefit of garden plots and borders?

Yes we can!

Visit Faith Shur's blog for more on growing perennials in pots:

A midtown Toronto north-facing balcony,
8th floor

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I started my balcony garden in 2011, making it 6 weeks old at photo time. It is on the 8th floor, facing due north. It is long and narrow so I made 3 areas: a sitting, dining and work area. (With the addition of a couple of stools, I can seat 8 people out there.) I sit out there every day and expect to do so until the end of October! The balcony is very bright but I still planted shade and semi-shade plants. 

Read more: A midtown Toronto north-facing balcony, 8th floor (2)

A downtown Toronto, east-facing balcony,
14th floor

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We live in the Annex area on the 14th floor of an apartment building. Over the six years I have lived here, I have learned that the easiest climbing plants to care for, with the prettiest flowers, to cover the walls and climb up poles, are morning glories and scarlett runners. I use seeds left by past years' blooms, now going into their 6th year. I do change the soil.

Read more: A downtown Toronto, east-facing balcony, 14th floor

A north Toronto north-facing balcony,
22nd floor

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Our Blossoming Home (on the shadow side of life)

Many people reject a nice apartment because of what they consider to be a problem: the apartment has only one, but north-facing, balcony! The excuse for not gardening a north balcony is always the same: plants need light. But many flowers prosper without direct solar irradiation, which is good news for all the shady ones!

Read more: A north Toronto north-facing balcony, 22nd floor

A west-end Toronto balcony, north-facing,
22nd floor

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I've been a balcony gardener for about 10 years, and every year I find just how much more I've still got to learn.

Here is my little piece of heaven on the 22nd floor... shady little sucker, never any direct sunlight, yet, every summer, I discover another little flowering plant said to require "full sun" that somehow manages to thrive in the shade.

I hope it can be an inspiration for somebody else living on the north side and perhaps being afraid of gardening in the shade.

Thank you Sanja

A downtown Toronto, South/South-west balcony, 24th floor

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I have enthusiastically embraced creating a green space to escape the noise of downtown Toronto. Isn't half the fun of balcony gardening its similarity to redecorating the interior of your home?

Read more: A downtown Toronto, South/South-west balcony, 24th floor