On the rooftop of a beautiful Oxford St apartment this balcony offered the perfect location to relax after a hard day in the office. However, neighbouring apartment blocks overlooking this balcony meant that privacy wasn't guaranteed. Due to the historical beauty and significance of other neighbouring buildings it wasn't appropriate to use screening plants to block the views entirely. Adding to the challenges of the brief this balcony has a westerly aspect meaning it was exposed to the brunt of the afternoon sun. Being in a wind corridor between Oxford and Little Oxford St means the potential for howling southerly winds in Winter is a very real possibilty.
The clients had a group of healthy Crassula ovata and we didn't see any reason not to utilise them. We paired them with clipped Correa alba balls and prostrate Rosemary in front of two established Crepe Myrtles. We used the cultivar 'Natchez' for its neat vase shaped growth habit and crisp white flowers. To create a screen along the entire length of the balcony we attached native hardwood posts to the brick walls and ran tensioned steel cable. The cable was erected at a height of 1.5 metres so that when seated the clients can enjoy privacy but when standing the surrounding buildings can also be enjoyed. Onto the cable we are training Star jasmine. This will provide a dense screen as well as fragrant blooms throughout the warmer months. On the opposite walls we used Ficus pumila which will be kept clipped tight to the walls. Spilling out of the hedge troughs used to grow the climbers is Silver Dichondra. Loropetalum 'China Pink' billows out of a couple of curvaceous 'U planters' to add some deep plum coloured foliage. On a shallow ledge to frame the entrance 2 bowls of purple flowering Bougainvillea are being trained into tightly clipped balls to add an explosion of colour in the summer months.
The overall colour palette is muted with silver foliage and white flowers throughout. The Plants sit back and allow the views to take centre stage. In time this balcony will become a retreat from the buzz of inner city living while still feeling distinctly urban. The Bougainvillea is the exception. It shouts, you've arrived! Now put your feet up and relax.
More photos will be added as this balcony fills in and develops.