Thinking of turning your balcony into a lush oasis? For city dwellers, space will always be an issue but if you really want to utilize your balcony and turn it into a relaxing haven filled with beautiful plants, it’s possible. Contrary to popular notion, you don’t need a massive yard to build a beautiful garden. You don’t need a bottomless supply of money either! Here are our favorite tips and tricks for building a fabulous balcony garden you’d be proud to show off:
Pick the Right Plants
Before building your balcony garden, you have to check the weather conditions in your local area because plants thrive in specific climates. For instance, if you live in a place that gets a lot of snow, tropical plants aren’t the best houseplants to get for the garden.
If you live in a city that gets a lot of sunshine, get plants that are best suited for the outdoors, plants that crave all day sun exposure. If you’re a lazy duck like yours truly, pick houseplants that require little maintenance. Your outdoor space’s microclimate is also something to think about when shopping for garden plants. If your balcony is too shady or prone to high winds, check with your local plant nursery employee for recommendations.
Keep the Setup Simple
It’s tempting to fill a blank space with a lot of stuff especially if you’re new to gardening. You want to get the best tools, the most fabulous plants, planters, and decors for your garden, right? Now, before you get your shopping on, you have to plan your setup well. If your balcony is average sized, you’re probably working with a cramped space. You don’t want to fill the said space with too much stuff because you’ll only end up with a chaotic setup, not the serene oasis that you have in mind. It’s also worth noting that plants need more room to thrive. If you are grouping potted plants too closely, they won’t flourish.
Start by asking an expert about how much weight your balcony can handle. If your balcony can only handle light loads, fill the space with smaller plants. Do not overcrowd the potted plants, give each plant its own room to grow. If the space has no room for patio furniture, don’t get a massive bench because this piece will only eat a lot of space. Consider more space-efficient pieces like poufs, a compact chair, even a small ottoman.
Does your balcony floor need an upgrade? If the flooring doesn’t suit the look you’re going for, then you can use a variety of materials to cover it up. If the budget allows, you can get a pressure-treated decking done to cover the whole area or certain parts of the balcony. You can cover the rest with artificial grass or smooth stones.
Composite decking is also a great idea if you want a floor cover that could stand the harshest weather conditions. You can also cover the entire floor with artificial grass to simulate a grassy oasis. This is a great idea if you’re working with a limited budget. If you love the classic look of brick flooring then invest in this material. Whatever flooring covering you choose, just make sure the material is durable and weather resistant.
Think About Variety
When arranging the plants, you want to add a focal point for an eye-catching effect. You can do this by arranging different containers together and layering the plants. Try to add as much variety as you can, mix differently sized or colored plants and shrubs to give life to the balcony.
Place the smallest plants on the front and the largest plants in the back. You can use the medium-sized potted plants as wall decors. Use the plant climbers to cover your balcony rails, walls, and even the ceiling. As the climbing plants grow, they give the garden an intimate feel, which is perfect if you are planning to spend lots of time chilling out in your balcony garden.
Maximize the Vertical Space
Is your balcony narrow? If you are working with a skinny slice of space, consider maximizing the vertical space. This way, you can decorate the balcony with your favorite plants without overwhelming the space.
You can use everything from wood palettes to a shelving system to hang a variety of plants. You can also opt for mountable planters and hanging pots to save more space and keep the plants off the floor. Wood pallets are the perfect place to hang herbs and berries while hanging planters are perfect for vines or crawling plants. You can use the railings and the walls to install the mountable planters.
Once all the plants have been set up on the balcony, you can build a relaxing nook, a place where you can sit, relax, and admire your beautiful garden! Depending on the size of the available space, you can set up a couch, a metal bench, an outdoor sofa, a colorful pouf, or a couple of plastic chairs in the coziest spot in the balcony. Ideally, you want to set the seating area in the shadiest spot. Accessorize with a colorful rug or two, some throw pillows, perhaps a compact square table and you’re done.
If you want to go the extra mile, go ahead and install beautiful lighting, string lights, or even a tiki torch to give your balcony garden a lovely glow at night. Finish up by hanging brass bells, wind chimes, a water feature or other decorative garden decors.
When accessorizing a petite balcony, less is definitely more. Pare down your choices. Choose pieces of furniture or decors that are compact and visually light to create a cozy space sans the clutter.