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Tag Archives: Hi-rise

Allow Everyone Fruit Bearing Plants on their Balconies

In Calgary we’ve maybe had 10 days of cold (sub zero) weather this year – it has been abnormally warm for the year, recently breaking a 90 year day record earlier this month. It gets me dreaming that maybe we can have more gardening in the city. Small plot gardening is something I’ve always supported.

Most condominiums have little in the way of necessary green space for owners to even share in a community garden. In Calgary, there is little development that includes either roof or ground based plots that can be used by owners. In some city locals the community associations have created shared gardening plots – but they are few and far between.

For condominium owners, the ability to raise a little summer patch of vegetation on their balconies is often discouraged by bylaws – controlling type, amount, and use of plants. These bylaws can often shut down any real use due to the risk of watering damaging the structure of the buildings.

Developers need to begin – especially in colder locations like Calgary – to start including 2 or 3 season gardening opportunities for condominiums. Balcony based (using water resistant materials or building approaches with incorporate better drainage – here’s an article about a Florida balcony fruit garden), roof-based (covered or uncovered) or even ground based (hah! Unlikely because that would reduce building and revenue opportunities – though I think people would pay for it) should be mandated or encouraged.

It would go hand in hand with LEED or other green building initiatives.

It would also be an amazing process to build a condominium which would encourage neighbours to talk, communicate, and interact with each other. And that’s something that can be almost priceless – because it is proven conflict between owners decreases as interaction increases.