When I first moved into my apartment, the veranda was a place to store my bike. Over time, I've learnt about what grows and more importantly doesn't grow there.

Gradually, over time, I added more and more plants to my veranda and a couple of chairs. When I look back at old photos that I took when I moved in, I think, oh that plant is no longer alive, or that one has done really well. It’s a case of finding what can tolerate growing in a container and partly in shade and what doesn’t.

Here’s some of the plants I’ve lost: fuchsia, clematis, camelia, roses. Here’s some that have flourished: weeping fig (brought in over winter), cyclamen, herbs, marigolds, tulips, begonia, and some roses. I’m not saying you should or shouldn’t grow some of these in containers, but this is what has worked for me (or not).

Most of the plants failed because I either watered them too much or too little, the container was too small (or big) or they were blighted by aphids, bugs and mold that no matter what I did, I couldn’t get rid of.

If you’re going to grow roses in a container, I recommend a pest resistant one such as Arthur Bell. Arthur has resisted aphid attack and mold and has bloomed faithfully each year, after a healthy dose of plant food and some light pruning.

There’s nothing quite like sitting out on the veranda with a warm cup of tea or coffee in the morning, listening to bird song and rainfall. And in winter, just looking out at night at a full moon.

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