If you’re anything like me, then you dream of the day that you’ll finally be able to have a huge, sprawling garden all of your very own. You’ll have considered all the colourful plants that you’ll install, the outdoor furniture that you’ll sit on whilst you enjoy a glass of wine after a long day at the office, and the friends that you’ll invite to your summer parties.
Unfortunately, I don’t have that garden just yet. But I’ve learned to make the most of the space that I do have available, and I’ve discovered plenty of ways to bring a touch of nature’s beauty into even the smallest of spaces.
Only have room for a balcony garden? That’s cool. City living has its challenges, and this is definitely one of them! Here are the best ways to create a stunning balcony garden…
Consider how much light your plants will get
Before you consider the plants you want to include, take the time to think about how much daylight your balcony typically gets. This is going to be determined by the position of your property, and if you don’t have the best sunlight, there’s unfortunately not much that you can do about it.
In this instance, it’s about working with what you’ve got. If you have plenty of sunlight, choose strawberries, vines, lettuce, mint, and basil. If not, go for the likes of ferns and begonias. Making the right choices from the beginning will give your balcony the best chance to thrive. For more inspiration on what will suit your surroundings, particularly if you’re dealing with a lot of shade, check out this guide from the Royal Horticultural Society.
Don’t rush into anything
It’s really tempting sometimes to just rush out to the nearest garden centre and grab the first things that take your fancy. When you’re working with limited space though, forward planning really is absolutely essential. You’ll want to play around with your options so you’re really making the most of your space, and this requires careful thinking.
Before buying anything at all for your balcony garden, get creative with some sketches. Move things around on the paper, and try to get a feel for what your options will really look like. This way, you’re not wasting money, and you’re maximising your chances of ending up with something that really ticks all your boxes.
Familiarise yourself with any rules or regulations that might apply
This one is usually going to be more of an issue if you rent your home. Most landlords will be more than happy to know that you’re taking care of your space and really taking pride in it, but there may well be regulations that apply in your area that you need to be mindful of.
Some areas forbid plants being suspended beyond the railings, for example, and others have weight restrictions. The best course of action here is to contact your local council before you start your balcony garden project. This will give you peace of mind, and keep you on the right side of the law!
Hunt down colourful and unique pots
Plants and flowers are always going to be the star of the show, but a few quirky pots can really add some extra individuality and make your space that bit more special. The good news here is that there’s something available at every end of the budget spectrum. Feeling flush? You’ll find plenty of high-end items from well-known designers. Need to make your money go further? That doesn’t have to be an issue. You can often find items that will fit the bill perfectly for less than a few pounds in your local charity shops.
Do you have a balcony garden? What have you tried so far that’s really helped you to make the space go further? I’d love to read your comments below.