Creating a Stunning Balcony Garden
Have you always dreamt of having your own beautiful garden? Have your plans been ruined by the fact you live in a city apartment? Don’t worry! There is still a way for you to enjoy all the benefits of a garden in your home. We have two words for you – balcony gardens!
Potted plants are a great gardening alternative if you live in a flat, and creating a balcony garden can make the outside of your home a sight to see! From intricate vertical planting designs to the feeling of grass underneath your feet, the opportunities truly are abundant! Interested? Let’s get right to it!
So, if you:
- Are looking for a way to spruce up your balcony;
- Are a houseplant enthusiast;
- Are looking for some balcony garden design ideas,
Then look no further, because this post has all the answers!
What you should ask yourself before starting a balcony garden
While creating a garden on a balcony seems easy enough, there are a few things to consider. For example, how much space you have and how much light it gets will determine how many plants you can grow and what kind will thrive. So, what are the questions you should ask yourself before planning out your balcony garden?
How much space do you have?
The amount of space on your balcony is important, as it will affect the size of your garden. After all, you can’t grow tons of plants in a tiny space, can you? While there are ways to optimise your space and make room for more pretties, such as balcony rail planters, smaller spaces can quickly get crowded. A tiny balcony filled to the brim with plants will make it more difficult for you to water, fertilise, and overall care for them. And what’s the point of making all this effort if at the end, you struggle finding a spot to sit on your balcony to enjoy your garden?
When planning your balcony garden, make sure you can easily walk around and reach all of your plants. This will make maintenance more manageable and will give your balcony room to breathe, instead of making it look cramped and even smaller.
How much sun does it get?
Sunlight is essential to your plants’ wellbeing and is a crucial factor to consider when creating a balcony garden. Pay attention to which direction your space faces – is it east, west, north or south-facing?
Generally, south-facing balconies are the best, as they get the most direct sunlight. East and west-facing spaces are in the shade for longer periods, and north-facing ones are the worst when it comes to light, as they are shaded for most of the day. Also, check whether there are trees, walls or buildings obscuring your balcony and lowering the amount of sunlight it gets.
Lots of plants need 6-8 hours of light a day, with succulents being notably hungry for it. However, there are more than a few shade-loving varieties that you can place in darker spots. These include hostas, begonias, ivy and various others.
How hot and cold can it get?
Most balconies are open spaces, and the weather is something else you need to keep in mind. Not all plants thrive in extreme conditions, be it hot or cold.
While succulents, for example, love a good amount of heat, other plants in your balcony garden may dry up in the summer sun. So, adjusting your watering schedule and keeping your gentler plants in a space that gets more shade is critical.
When it comes to the cold, if you want to leave your plants outside during winter, be wary, as most can’t tolerate the harsh conditions. To be safe, either winter-proof your balcony or bring your green babies indoors for the season.
How windy is it?
As it is with heat and cold, not all plants can tolerate stronger winds, with some tender varieties being at risk of dying if exposed. Wind can also strip the leaves of moisture, so you may find yourself needing to water your pretties more often.
To wind-proof your balcony garden, you can install a windbreak. Another option is to place larger, wind-tolerant plants in front of smaller, fragile ones to protect them. Just make sure your pots won’t get knocked over or your bigger plants don’t obstruct the light from reaching the more delicate varieties.
Is water readily available?
Watering can sometimes be an issue, especially for plants that are high up or for larger pots that need lots of water. If your faucet is far away, you may find it more difficult to water your plants, as you’ll either have to make more trips or haul a massive, heavy watering can around. Both of which can get tedious very quickly. If your water source isn’t close enough to your balcony garden, maybe you could start with a few smaller plants, or invest in a drip irrigation system to make it easier.
How much care can you provide your plants with?
If you’re just getting into gardening and houseplant care, it’s easy to get carried away and buy lots of plants without considering how much care and maintenance they require. So, take a step back and think about how much of your time you’re actually willing to devote to your green babies.
For beginners, it’s best to start small, with a few low-maintenance varieties. Naturally, the more plants you have, the more time and effort on your part they’ll require. Watering, feeding, repotting, and other activities all need to be done regularly, some more than others.
So, if you lack the time and motivation, or if you’re often away from home for a long time, you should consider getting the right type of plant, investing in a watering system or self-watering containers, or even getting a professional to take care of your pretties.
Will you be growing edibles?
A balcony vegetable garden is something entirely different! Veggies require lots of sun, and most of them need lots of space, too. You can still consider all the previous aspects to decide if a vegetable balcony garden is the right choice for you, just keep in mind that you’ll probably need to provide them with a lot more care.
Herbs are considerably easier to grow than vegetables, and most of them can be comfortably grown in pots that don’t take up a lot of space. So, they’re a great option if you want to create a balcony kitchen garden. Fresh herbs within arm’s reach – doesn’t that sound great?
The best balcony plants
Naturally, the best plants for your balcony will depend on the space and conditions you have. But first, decide what plants you want to grow – are they herbs or vegetables? Or maybe colourful, fragrant flowers or leafy green babies?
Flowering plants are a great option for bringing a pop of colour to an otherwise dull balcony, as well as for filling your outdoor space with divine scents for you to enjoy. Green, leafy ones, on the other hand, can turn it into a tropical paradise. They will also purify the dusty city air in an instance. The opportunities are endless!
Vegetables that don’t require a lot of space and are comfortable being grown in pots are a perfect choice for balcony gardens. And, as we previously mentioned, you can easily grow most herbs, so the choice is abundant!