We had a grand plan for the balcony of this bar, but stopped short and let the owner add his personal touch. It looked pretty terrible before, and with a small budget, it looks kinda cute now. At least at night.
We built tall planter boxes boxes around the balcony and benches for the deck area. I give my respect to people who design spaces for high traffic. It takes a special set of materials and type of construction to hold up to high volumes of people multiple times in a week, along with the usual chaos of Houston’s climate.
I love how the boxes have filled in. They were built in such a way that they would be fine without irrigation, ever. We had a lot of old scrap wood and all beds were about 4′ deep, so we chopped up the old wood and stuffed it into the planters before the soil. We added cardboard, then filled the rest of the boxes with soil. In this weird ode to hugelkultur, we took trash and made it compost for the base of the garden beds. It’s been about a year since planting and the plants look really happy, so… success??
We originally planted bamboo and muhly grasses. Bamboo is a water-hogging wimp until it’s established, especially when in direct sun all day. Because we didn’t get out there in the stupid heat with a hose, the bamboo parted. Good riddance, because what’s left is this BEAUTIFUL mix of lush, flowering “weeds” and clusters of the muhly grasses. It is wild, requires no maintenance whatsoever, adds a calming greenness to the balcony… that’s sustainability, IMHO.