Greening Up the Balcony – An ITP Camp 2022 Project

I had the idea to create The ITP Community Herb Garden on the north facing balcony of the ITP floor (4th floor) when I realized that the balcony is not fully enclosed and that it receives a significant amount of direct sunlight.

ITP Balcony: Drag the arrows to see before and after

I thought it would be a great experiment to see if we could manage to grow something that the ITP community along with our maintenance and security staff could enjoy and use.


🌿Herbs are such fun to grow and a great project for beginner gardeners and imperfect growing conditions – like a balcony that gets no rain. Generally resilient, tenacious and fragrant, herbs are versatile and can be enjoyed solo or in combination with each other.

🌿Some herbs are perennial and will yield from year to year.  Herbs are also tolerant of somewhat cool temperatures and will grow and yield through the fall season.

🌿Herbs are wonderful for adding complex flavor notes to salads and other dishes and can be enjoyed fresh as well as cooked.

DAY 1: Planting the “Herban” Garden @ ITP Camp 2022

I led a “session” at ITP Camp 2022 called “Create Our Own ITP Community Herb Garden” where we did just that! I was joined by fellow campers Maria Macieck, Justin, Pedro, Mark Lam and Winnie Yoe to plant the urban herb garden (“herban garden“) . It was a lot of fun.

Community Gardening at ITP Camp 2022


This herb garden lives on beyond ITP Camp 2022. It is my intention that this project be embraced by the entire community. I invite all members of the community to participate by caring for the garden so that we can share in it’s harvest when the herbs are mature enough.


🌿 Hang out on the balcony. Take time to enjoy the fresh air, colors and scents of the garden.

🌿 Water the plants. Examine the planters. Touch the soil. Does it seem damp or dry? If it seems dry, fill up the watering cans that are on the balcony and give the herbs some love. It is satisfying… believe me.

Sweet Basil

🌿 Take an aromatherapy tour. The herbs smell divine. Each herb has a unique aroma that contributes to its flavor profile in foods. You can explore the scents by GENTLY rubbing a leaf between your thumb and forefinger and sniffing your fingers.

Purple basil and rosemary

🌿Turn planters for full sunlight exposure. You may remember from elementary school science projects that plants grow towards the sunlight. Since the sun comes into the balcony from only one direction, you might notice some herbs leaning that way. When you see this, turn the planter around so that the plant can absorb sunlight from its other side as well.

Oregano turned!
Turn turn turn!

🌿Check for pests. In less than 2 weeks of its existence some intrepid female swallowtail butterfly found our herb garden. Flattering, I say. “Cute” and “lovely” you might say. But her offspring are voracious eaters and would wipe out the parsley we planted in a few days. So her caterpillars are pests in our garden.

Thanks to a member of our ITP community who was enjoying their lunch on the balcony and noticed these babies enjoying our parsley for their lunch. Buh bye!

Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars.

🌿Take a plant selfie

Post on instagram and tag @shindyjo AND @cooking.with.a.twist AND @itp_nyu



The herb garden will remain on the balcony for use by the community.  Many herbs will be vibrant through the fall season. If you are back at NYU in the summer and/or fall semesters you are lucky!

Look out for out next post on when and how to harvest herbs and how to use them.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Amy says:

    GORGEOUS. Love those signs too. How’d you get rid of the swallowtails?


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