FFE Magazine

Sprucing up your balcony

Apartments are cheap, accessible and very personal. But with just enough space for our worldly goods we tend not to think out of the boxed up apartment walls. Exploring the many possibilities of the tiny room opens up new and even refreshing lifestyles, and one great example of improving this nook is to beautify the balcony.


Sizing up


Depending on your neighborhood, most balconies can be tiny slivers on the side of a building complex or generous square patios. Whatever the size, planning should be based on this aspect of your balcony. Start with a basic layout and imagine where you want to place your plants and other furnishing. Use each spot and corner to maximize your space.


Hanging containers, tables, shelves and trellises can be used to maximize space


        The next thing to do is to check if your balcony receives ample sunlight. If not, you can still start a garden using only plants that can thrive in full shade. Balconies that receive direct sunlight can also be shaded for plants that only need partial shade. It is also important to mind the climate as only certain plants will thrive in certain temperatures.


            Water for your garden plants is crucial. Thankfully for apartments, it is easy to carry water to and from the sink. However, drainage should be adequate as running soil can clog drainage pipes and cause damage to the building.


Plenty of sunlight and water are crucial for the health of plants


Excited about the idea? Before buying your materials, check with your landlord if he or she has rules regarding greening the balcony. A no is a no, but gardens of a few potted plants may be welcome and still make a huge difference.


Edibles or aesthetics?


Apartment owners who want a more functional garden (and who love to cook!) can grow an edible garden of herbs. Herb growers can save in market expenses and add a pinch of perfection to meals. Thyme, oregano, marjoram and lemon grass are just a few favourites.


Basil and mustard are some other herbs you can grow in small containers


Edible gardens are also a great place to unwind because of the fragrance the herbs emit. A few chairs and a table will make a great addition if there is room to spare. Edible gardens must have plenty of sun for the plants to thrive.


Gardens grown for aesthetic purposes are also ideal. Some orchids need only a small space to grow but they can be high maintenance in colder regions. Flowering plants are ideal because they give life and color to the neighborhood. Themed gardens also give a personal touch to your balcony, and serve as a quick getaway from everyday life. Once these things are settled, you can now begin sprucing up your balcony!


Rule of thumb

Tables and chairs can turn your balcony into a place to de-stress


Subscribing to magazines or websites that specialize in gardening will help you understand the needs of your plants. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a mix of plants to get the right look for your garden. Remember that growing plants takes patience, but the reward is sweet.


Are you ready to plan your own green balcony? Have you already started with your garden? Share us your experiences and tips by commenting below!




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