People who own apartments tend to think their home is unsuitable for growing flowers. But an apartment with a balcony, regardless of size, can always serve as a garden if you are ingenious enough. By carefully using every square inch of space, you ensure that a balcony garden becomes viable and that it will be blooming with vegetables and flowers before you know it.
Space is precious on a small balcony and one of the biggest fixtures on it are tables and chairs. Furniture should be foldable to allow for more movement and planting space. The most common piece of furniture used on balconies is a foldable table. It is usually mounted onto the outside wall using two hinges that enable it to go down in case more space is necessary.
Flowers on the outside
The balcony itself might be a confined space but you do own the outside facade of the building as well, so why not use this to your favour. Even if you opt to plant a vegetable and/organic garden, you can still enjoy the scent of flowers from the outside. Use the railing to hang flower pots from it, thus increasing the aesthetic appeal of your balcony. Not only will you feel more pleasant when you take a seat on your foldable chair but passers-by will raise their heads to admire your floral display.
A rug wouldn’t hurt
The size of the garden could become an advantage when it comes to covering the floor space. Choose a custom-cut rug to cover the floor and complete the décor of the balcony from all four sides. You will benefit from easier maintenance since a rug is easier to clean from dirt than the floor you can say goodbye to filling that mop bucket.
Privacy and shade
Depending on the type of plants you wish to introduce, you could create a green wall that will protect you against the sun and inquisitive views from your neighbours. An ideal plant for this purpose is bamboo, as it can grow pretty high and it is hard to break. By placing bamboo on the outer edge of the balcony, you are creating a green barrier against the sun and increasing privacy as a result. If the balcony is close to the road, then bamboo will also stop dust and fumes from penetrating your house.
A wall of greenery
Saving horizontal space by installing foldable furniture is one thing but you can actually tap into another kind of space: the walls. Yes, your balcony garden can be vertical if you decide to build a green wall on either (or on both) of the sidewalls. All you need to do is drill several holes, screech a steel mesh to the wall and you are ready to place climbers and vines onto it. Just like with the bamboo, a green wall will efficiently stop fine dust particle from entering the inside of your apartment, acting as a true green wall.
Clematis, jasmine, bleeding heart, and black-eyed Susan are suitable for vertical gardens. When it comes to vegetables, then tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, peas, and paprikas are ideal plants that you can consume minutes after you pluck them.
Cushions instead of furniture
Apart from being large in size, conventional furniture is bulky which makes it hard to place on the balcony. If only there was a way to squeeze in that cast iron chair. However, there is an alternative to conventional furniture in the form of cushions and lazy bags that can be squeezed into the tightest of corners. The floor culture present in the East can become an integral part of your outdoor space since there is nothing wrong in sitting on the floor if there is a cushion underneath you.
Potting the windowsill
Because of space restriction, you might think that flower pots, especially large ones, have no room on a small balcony. However, certain potplants that are easy to grow are ideal for decorating the outside windowsill. Some of these plants are Anthurium, Orchid, Gardenia, Yukka, and cactus. The latter is especially suitable for arid regions because it doesn’t require constant watering.
Beds instead of rows
On large farming estates there are rows after rows of plants, ranging from wheat to apples and other fruit. Rows are ideal for plant growth in places where there is sufficient space which a balcony is definitely not. Instead of widening the rows, your garden needs to take a steep incline toward the sky by placing flowerbeds that will cascade all the way up the window sill, as we have previously mentioned. Not only will you save space using this ancient agricultural method but plants will have enough room to grow unthwarted.
Light after dark
In order for the plants to thrive, they are going to need plenty of sunlight and water. The thing is the balcony is a confined space, much like a greenhouse and it is easily lit using a single light bulb. In fact, if you leave it on after dark, the plants will practically be left in an incubator that will aid their growth as they will now receive artificial light after the sun sets. This will result in faster growth and a rich harvest if you are growing vegetables.
The right tools
You are not going to have to buy a harvester to work in your garden but you are still going to have to gear up for the gardening adventure. First of all, you need to buy some protective gear, such as gloves because handling fertiliser and other chemicals is by no means safe. Of course, if you are growing an organic garden, then using chemicals is out of the question, but sturdy gloves are still a must to avoid cutting your hand. Furthermore, you need a watering can, a trowel, some compost, and a multi-purpose gardening knife. You can use the area under the seat of the chair to store all the tools necessary for “balcony gardening.”
We already spoke about flowerbeds and how you can decorate their outer wooden casing. Well, if you are imaginative enough, you might get hold of some boxes, flowerbeds and planters that will need minimum work with maximum appeal!
We hope that by now you realise that creating a garden on your balcony is not that hard and can be quite rewarding. You will have a constant source of flowers as well as vegetable in the era when the prices of organic food are skyrocketing.