First off, Happy New Year to all! My husband and I rang in 2013 with our friends in Austin. We're pretty pooped from all the driving, but I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday season :).
Above is a picture of my herbs (mint, thyme, bay leaves, oregano, parsley), along with two varieties of sweet potato vine, which is one of my favorite plants. They are all hanging from the railing on my third floor balcony. As you can see, I've managed to fit many plants into a very small space using flower boxes.
Utilizing railings on a balcony is a great way to free up gardening space. And staggering flower box holders on both sides of a railing is probably the best way to maximize railing space.
I ordered these flower box holders from Wal-Mart for $6.00/each. The flower boxes are from Wal-Mart and Home Depot. I got them for $5.00-$8.00/each. Right now I only have four sets of holders/flower boxes, but my railing could potentially fit eight more sets. So if you do the math, that's 12 flower boxes hanging from my railing--that's a lot of gardening crammed into a small space!
Sure, this may be one of those "well, duh" tips, but I've very rarely seen urban gardeners make use of both sides of a railing, much less their entire railing. I'm working on buying more flower box holders, and I intend on filling up the remainder of my railing space with them. I'll post more pictures of the finished product.