Saturday, May 19, 2012

Balcony Gardening in Calgary

So I've been in Calgary just over two months and it's finally reached the point where the weather is consistently above zero.  The bulbs are out and the mayday, cherry, apple, caragana, and crabapple trees are in full bloom. I have a 20' by 5' balcony that receives morning sun.  What should I do with it? Keep in mind Calgary is USDA zone 3.  I've purchased a few plants hardy to zone 2, such as lamium, lysimachia and ajunga.  I'm thinking a combination of pots and window boxes.  What other plants should I try, and what balcony/container gardening tips do you have?


  1. Zone 3 balcony gardening sounds like my worst nightmare. But maybe you should look into alpines and trough gardening.

  2. Jeeze... when I lived in Minneapolis (USDA Zone 4) it was commonly assumed that nothing would be hardy in containers (not to say I didn't randomly have stuff overwinter in containers without a just wasn't normal). Alpine trough plants could be fun but does Calgary get hot in the summer? I seem to remember it being a prairie city... but it is awfully far north so maybe that cancels things out? Or just experiment your brains out and see what actually survives?

  3. about a complete mystery to me down here in zone 10A!!! The three plants you named, i have never heard of!!! Best of fun to you in coming up with plants that work.

  4. Kaveh, I know right? I had to go where the work was though. Now just to make the best of it!

    Tom, It's an interesting climate. Prone to rapid temperature/weather changes in extremely short periods of time. I'll have to do some testing.

    Julie, Zone 10a... *drool*. Hopefully some day I'll move to the tropics say zone 13+. Then all my plant dreams will come true. :)

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  6. One step closer to nature,calgary I heard had their variety of garden that was enormous,I've Never been there,but I have relatives residing their and they had garden in balcony time I'll share some photo with you.

    1. There is a lot of green space, we're just limited with plant species by the cooler temperatures. I'll be excited to see what made it through the winter!

  7. Whats so bad about zone 3? Hell I grow zucchini, 7' sungolds, brandywines, cucumbers, carrots, any rooted veggie, honeyberries and a bunch more, most in containers under 5 gallon.

  8. Eric, It's just hard having lived in zone 7/8. I like the ornamental plants more and I feel much more limited.


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