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March 13, 2009 11:00 AM   Subscribe

What plants can withstand urban squirrel, raccoon, and bird assaults (and might repel flies while they're at it?)

I want to have some plants on my balcony this spring. It is a desolate wasteland of urban ghetto.

There are lots of flies, as we are right above the garbage area, and my previous attempts to plant climbing vines for privacy (morning glory) were unceremoniously uprooted by ravenous squirrels. We also have nosy, hungry raccoons and some rather destructive birds.

In addition to a trellis, I also have a suspended pole that would hold hanging baskets. So, what should I plant? And should I grow my own from seed, or purchase grown plants?

(Thank you thank you thank you.)
posted by peggynature to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
Response by poster: Oh I forgot to mention, I'm in Toronto. So the weather is hot, humid, and sunny in summertime. Wind is not unusual. My balcony faces west and south.
posted by peggynature at 11:03 AM on March 13, 2009

Squirrels rain evil destruction on many container plants on my Minneapolis deck, but seem to leave geraniums mostly alone. Your squirrels may vary.
posted by gimonca at 11:24 AM on March 13, 2009

Best answer: Any thorny perennial will do well to resist the onslaughts of different animals. A lot of these plants are regarded as pests, but I personally think some of them are pretty, like Euphorbia milii. Your local nursery should have them in stock.

As for repelling flies, chamomille works surprisingly well at that.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:39 AM on March 13, 2009

Best answer: Jasmine vine survives in my "garden", where most everything else gets eaten. It loves a trellis, and smells great.
posted by airplain at 3:14 PM on March 13, 2009

Herbs usually fare well with animal pests because of the strong essential oils they contain. A suspended basket will dry out quicker, even with diligence, so I would try mediterranean herbs expecting a hot dry climate. In your climate they will grow as annuals unless you bring them in for winter. As for the trellis, maybe morning glories? They're prodigious little buggers with beautiful flowers.
posted by werkzeuger at 8:01 AM on March 14, 2009

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