If you live in a big city, you probably don’t have much outdoor space to grow a garden. However, living in small houses or apartments isn’t something that will stop a gardener to practice their passion. Balcony gardening is an excellent opportunity to hone a green thumb in the tiniest living spaces.
No matter how small or big of a space you have to work with, you can always find ways to add a touch of green to the surroundings and create a space where you can enjoy the outdoors even when you don’t have a front yard. All it takes is a little bit of planning and some ongoing maintenance and you can have your own mini garden to enjoy without even stepping outside the house!
There are plenty of ways to get creative and transform your balcony into a nice relaxing spot for the family. Continue reading this post and you’ll find lots of interesting ideas to embellish your balcony with some natural beauty.
Before you can get your hands dirty, there’s some prior planning you need to do. Which way is your balcony facing? Is it a south-facing balcony? If it’s a south-facing balcony that gets plenty of sunlight through a bigger part of the day, you’re in luck. There are lots of options for you when it comes to plant selection since most plants thrive in bright sunlight.
If you don’t have a south-facing balcony, that shouldn’t stop you either. Depending on the amount of sunlight you get on the balcony, there are plenty of plants that will grow well in your space. Look for medium-light or low-light plants, depending on the amount of sunshine your balcony gets. Ferns and hostas grow well in limited light.
Observe your balcony over a couple of days before deciding what to plant where. There might be spots that are especially bright. Reserve those for the sun-loving plants, preferably bright flowers! The shadier corners can have your green plants, like ferns and hostas. This allows you to enjoy a range of varieties and colors in the little space you have.
Depending on how much space you have, you add some simple furniture to create a relaxing sitting area for the family. A small round table with two to three chairs surrounding it will do the trick. Bamboo chairs or a sofa seat, accompanied by an ottoman will elevate the comfort of the space by magnitudes. A simple rug with some floor cushions can easily transform the space into a nice, secluded reading spot surrounded by your favorite plants. Any couch, cushion, carpet, book rack, or side table that’s not needed indoors might turn out to be an excellent addition to your balcony. In fact, adding some comfortable furniture to the balcony actually widens your existing living space. Once you’re done with the balcony garden, you may even think of it as an extension to your living space.
Your balcony garden isn’t just for daytime use. In fact, make it especially comfortable for the quiet evenings when all you want is a cup of coffee and a good book to spend time on your own for a while. Don’t forget to add some bulbs to the roof. Hanging lampshades will add even more elegance to the space. Hanging lampshades can alternate with handing pots to create a beautiful scene you can enjoy even from a distance. If you want to really spark it up, go for fairy lights. A string of fairy lights along the window sill will brighten up the space with a pleasant, comforting aura.
If you don’t have an outdoor power supply, opt for solar-powered lighting. There are plenty of solar lamps available that you can use in your balcony garden any time of the day, throughout the seasons.
Old tin cans, plastic bottles, and even shoes can turn into beautiful planters! Punch holes into the base for drainage and two on the sides to hang a thread or wire. Fill them with soil and grow plants to hang them on an old trellis you can recycle. You can even hang these planters from your balcony railing without investing an extra dime.
If you have limited horizontal space, think vertically! Living walls are, in fact, very trendy these days work perfectly for gardeners working with limited growing space. Stack planters, vertical wall planters, railing planters, and hanging planters all work well for gardening vertically. Hostas, succulents, air plants, vines, and ferns are all excellent choices for your vertical garden.
Wall pocket gardens also allow you to garden vertically and use limited space efficiently. While pocket planters specialized in gardening are also available in the market, you can also reuse hanging organizers for the same. Since each plant variety has its own pocket, you can cater to their requirements individually and won’t need to worry about companion planting in the least.
Privacy is often an issue in balconies. Plants can handle that for you. Try to incorporate plants in the setting that will seclude the area without taking too much space. Train vining plants like passion flower, peas, or pole beans to grow up your balcony railing and cover it from unwanted intrusion. Climbers, like ivy, jasmine and honeysuckle are also a great option to enhance the privacy of the area.
If the railings aren’t tall enough for your comfort, you can include copper trellises to add more height and grow vines on them. Not only will the vines bring privacy to your sitting area, but they’ll also make the atmosphere more aesthetically pleasing for the family to enjoy.
If you have a little room to spare, don’t forget to include a succulent bowl in a corner. Fill a wide bowl with succulent potting mix and create a nice arrangement of colorful succulents to fill the bowl. Start arranging succulents from the center of the bowl, placing the biggest most beautiful plant in the center and surrounding it the others. If you find any gaps from where the soil is showing once you’re done planting, cover them up with gravel or small stones.
Place the bowl on a small table that you can place in one corner of the balcony. This can be your low-maintenance corner that won’t require much watering but will grab lots of attraction nonetheless.
If you love growing vegetables, your balcony allows room for that too. There are plenty of edibles that will grow just about as good on your balcony as they would in the backyard.
Leafy greens work particularly well for small spaces. Urban gardeners often grow lettuce, spinach, kale, and microgreens in balcony gardens for a fresh supply of healthy greens to the kitchen.
Herbs are also a great option. Not only will they allow a consistent supply of fresh herbs to garnish your everyday meals, but they’ll also add a refreshing aroma to your balcony. Rosemary, thyme, oregano, mint, and basil are all low-maintenance herbs that will easily grow in small pots on your balcony. You can also grow them together in s rectangular planter to save space.
Herbs and greens aren’t the only edibles you can plant in your balcony garden. Vining vegetables, like peas and pole beans, are also a good choice. If you have a sunny balcony, you can also grow some tomato and pepper plants. Use tomato cages to give them support and keep them from drooping over into the surroundings.
No matter what you’re growing and what they’re planted, be mindful of the watering overflow. Pots and panthers should have holes at the bottom for draining excess water. And since you’re letting the water drain out, you’ll also need a catch tray under the pots if you don’t want a muddy puddle in your balcony.
You may have furniture on the balcony that you don’t want to spoil. Even if there isn’t much furniture to worry about, a muddy pool will easily diminish the aesthetics of a beautiful garden. Remember to empty the tray each time it fil with water, and water only enough to moisten the soil, not to waterlog it.
So that’s all there is to know! By now you have enough knowledge to start your own balcony garden! Choose plants that will go perfectly on your balcony, arrange them creatively, add some finishing touches with furniture and lighting, and you’re done! Once your balcony garden is set up, all it will take is a little ongoing maintenance to give you a pleasant spot to relax.