I was waiting to post an update on my garden until it was complete, but with school starting next week I might get busy so I thought I'd share a bit now. The garden has changed since I took this photo a few weeks ago - I've transplanted some plants into larger pots, and done some rearranging. Also, the layout has changed as I've gotten a better handle on each plant's sun/shade needs.
I did some basic research to figure out what the conditions were on my balcony, and then what plants would do well in those conditions as well as in a container. Another challenge I'm facing because I'm higher up in the building is that the sunniest spots are also the windiest. Here's what I have:
Veggies: patio tomatoes
Herbs: chives, mint, lemon balm mint, rosemary, basil, dill, cilantro, lavender, vinca, parsley
Edible flowers: marigolds, evening primrose (not pictured)
Succulents: aloe vera, jade (both not pictured)
Others: columbine (CO state flower), lamb's ear, black-eyed susan, showy najavo tea, salvia, tickseed
To keep costs down I scoured Craigslist to find good deals. I found most of my pots and my patio furniture on Craigslist. I highly recommend the app if you have an iPhone - way better and easier to use than the regular version.
Where I bought stuff:
Pots: 2 from Home Depot, and the rest are free or used on Craigslist, or estate sales
Plants: Al's Pine Garden Nursery, Denver Botanic Gardens Annual Plant Sale, Cherry Creek Farmer's Market and parsley from Home Depot
Soil: organic potting soil from Home Depot, organic compost from Costco
Gardening tools: estate sale
We've had a few nice dinners on the patio, which is a nice change of scenery without going out.
Also, I'm addicted to gardening! It's amazing and therapeutic to watch things grow, flower and especially to pick and eat stuff.
I want to get some more vegetables. Since the basil is doing well, I think other veggies may work.
I will post the updated layout later.