Not everyone has the luxury of a back garden. Some of you may be stuck up in an apartment, gazing down longingly at neglected gardens, just dreaming of the possibilities if it were yours. Never fear, while a full garden is out of reach for now there are lots of easy ways to make the best out of what you’ve got.
Herbs are an easy choice as they’re small, easy to maintain and obviously you can eat them too! Dill and Basil are great herbs to start with if you’re not so green-fingered. Basil wilts when it needs water which you’ll spot but recovers quickly, be kind and try to shelter the Dill from the wind. Be wary of Mint, it should be grown on its own in a pot as it’s an invasive plant.
Secure to the outside of railings to create more space inside, hang either side of your balcony door too. Tomatoes and herbs are suitable for hanging baskets too. Be sure to check the weight bearing limits of your balcony if using heavy pots.
You’re limited on a balcony by not having grass or perhaps room for raised beds so containers are going to be your best friend. They’ll offer structure to your garden and help you get started straight away. Most plants can grow in containers but ones that have form look bes. Droopy plants will not impress as easily. Container plants will need a lighter soil so make sure to get potting soil.
If you have a side wall and not just glass divisions, secure a trellis to the wall for climbing plants. A wooden pallet will work well for this too. Honeysuckle, Clematis, and Passionflower are good climbing plants. Be wary of plants that are Adhesive Climbing plants as these can continue on past your trellis on, to the neighbours walls/ceiling and cause damage. You will not be popular.
You don’t need a big garden to grow pretty roses. There are thousands of varieties of roses and some are able to be grown in containers, such as mini roses. This will add a lovely splash of colour to your balcony and will come in handy as last minute presents for friends.
Colourful flower pots
It’s not just the flowers that can bring colour to your balcony. Try experimenting by adding some colour and texture to your ‘creation’ with pots and ornaments.
The balcony garden is limited by space but planting has potential to grow upwards, which will save space and perhaps block out nosey neighbours! Small trees and climber plants can blur the boundaries, making the garden seem less cramped. There are many variations of vertical stands and racks that you can use to lift your pots off the ground and keep them more organised.
You don’t need to grow huge amounts of plants and herbs, small amounts still a garden make. Just enough to help you out with some meals will keep in supply and will be easy to manage.
Be aware of how much direct and indirect light you balcony gets and choose plants accordingly. Some plants are okay in the shade like Ivy, Ferns and Fushia. As you don’t have much space you don’t want to block any light so be careful where you put any of the larger potted plants or trees.
Keep it Green
Always have some evergreens on your balcony so there will be a base of green all year round.
Get yourself a nice bench or a few chairs, preferably ones with storage underneath to help keep your balcony clutter free. Some outdoor candles in jars, string fairy lights and blankets will help with ambiance at night as you won’t want to go back inside.