How to Create a Cozy Balcony Garden: Tips and Tricks for Small Spaces
Residing in a bustling urban area often entails scarce opportunities to unwind in tranquil outdoor havens, and apartments typically lack spacious yards. However, when I relocated to Essex, fate smiled upon me, and I was fortunate enough to acquire an apartment with a petite balcony. I take great pleasure in using this spot to sip a refreshing iced coffee, peruse my favourite magazine, and bask in the glorious weather. Nevertheless, after several months of utilizing a mere set of table and chairs, I decided to raise the stakes and embark on creating a cozy balcony garden. During this process, I compiled a handful of pointers for optimizing each square inch of your growing space, particularly on a small balcony.
Plan your layout
To create a stunning balcony garden, the first thing you should do is plan your layout. Don't rush into buying gardening supplies until you've decided where you want to place your furniture. I recommend starting with the largest pieces and then fitting your planters and decorative items around them. If you have a larger balcony, you'll have more creative freedom to experiment with different arrangements. Take your time and try out a few different layouts until you find the one that works best for you.
Start From Small Changes
Starting small is key when it comes to balcony gardening. Trying to do too much too soon can be overwhelming, so it's best to focus on just a few plants at first. Personally, I began with four small containers, which helped me understand the space and determine how much time and effort I could dedicate. Remember that taking care of plants requires work, even on a small scale. However, as you gain experience and confidence, you can always expand your collection. Whether you want to add more herbs to your kitchen or brighten up your outdoor space with colourful blooms, balcony gardening offers limitless possibilities. So start small, remain curious, and don't hesitate to experiment!
Consider Environmental Conditions
To ensure success with your balcony garden, it's crucial to take note of the environmental conditions on your balcony. Consider factors like the amount of sunlight and wind your balcony receives. North-facing balconies, for instance, tend to receive less direct sunlight, so it's important to select plants that can thrive in low light conditions. In my case, my south-facing balcony receives ample sun, so I make sure to water my potted plants thoroughly every day. If you live on a high floor, your balcony is likely to be more exposed to wind, so it's important to choose containers and plants that can withstand strong gusts.
Try out a trellis
If you're looking to maximize your foliage without taking up too much floor space, consider adding a trellis to your balcony. A trellis is a framework of wood or other materials that provides support for climbing plants. Choose a material that matches your balcony's style, and grow a climbing plant that's suitable for your hardiness zone. A trellis can also be used as a living screen to increase privacy on your balcony. It's a great way to add vertical interest and make the most of limited space.
Start an Herb Garden
Starting an herb garden is a great way to add fresh flavour to your meals while maximizing limited balcony space. Herbs like basil, mint, and thyme thrive in containers and don't require as much space as vegetables or fruit trees. Some herbs even do well when planted together. For example, I use a railing planter to grow parsley and rosemary side by side. Since your balcony is likely just a quick walk from your kitchen, it's easy to snip off some fresh herbs and add them to your meals in under a minute. It's a simple way to elevate the taste of your dishes and add a touch of green to your balcony.