A BALCONY GARDEN
Well at least the dams are nice and full! One has to focus on the positives at this time of year and I suppose at least we shouldn’t have to endure water restrictions with the amount of rain we’ve had over the last few weeks.
We’re looking forward to a busy summer here at Oasis and have been busy trying to finish off a couple of current projects before getting fully involved in a big project in Plattekloof, which will keep the boys’ busy for a large portion of the rest of the year.
We finally completed a successful project in Camps Bay and some pics will be uploaded shortly. One of the most striking parts of the project has to be the balcony planters, which turned out beautifully.
Quite strenuous work this was in the end. The team spent a good couple of days carting loads of potting soil and drainage stone up to the site in order to bring the boxes up to the required finished level. The boxes had to be thoroughly waterproofed before and filling could be done and then large drainage holes had to be drilled near the base to prevent flooding. As with any planter, drainage is vital and cannot be overlooked. Once the boxes were ready we filled them with a 100mm layer of drainage stone. Just remember that if you’re going to build something similar it is vital that you wrap the stone in a geotextile fabric. This prevents any small stone from clogging up the drainage points and thus causing flooding.
The next step was to install the irrigation system. This is vital to this application as the planters were covered by the precast slab of the floor above and thus rain water would not be able to get to all parts of the planter box. Which brings me to another point; at this time of year make sure that you don’t stop watering the parts of your garden that are protected from rainfall by the eaves of your house. I have seen the results of this countless times, where people forget to water in these areas due to what would seem like sufficient winter rain.
Once the boxes were brought up to the required level and a good amount of compost was added we could begin planting. We chose low-growing species as we didn’t want to impede the beautiful view of the ocean beyond. We also chose to plant in drifts, as this makes such a bold, striking impact and complements the clean-lined, unfussy design of the house. We added slate stone for an aesthetic “pathway” through the garden and voila! Complete. Now we just need to wait for it to fill out.