No Backyard, No Problem: 7 Tips for Beautiful Balcony Garden
When all the life problems get to us, we always escape back to the nature in search for recovery. Therefore, it can be said that nature has incredibly healing and relaxing effects on our bodies and minds. In order to bring a piece of nature to their home, people make gardens. You spent your all day in the heavy aired office stressing and upsetting, and all you wish now is a little of peace and quiet. But, you are unfortunate to live in a small apartment or house with no backyard, in a big city, surrounded by a ‘concrete jungle’. So, where are you going to find it? No problem! There are many ways to turn your tiny balcony or patio into a true piece of heaven.
Gardens in Australia and Iceland, for example, can never look the same. It is a common knowledge that plants have adapted to their naturally original environment. Which means that not all of them can survive in every existing climate, of course. Before you start gardening, analyze your living destination’s weather conditions and investigate which plants they are convenient for. But most probably plant shops and flower markets in the local area would offer only just as such. You should also consider the orientation of your balcony or patio in relation to the wind and sunlight. Some plant sorts require full sun (exposure to the direct sun for 6-8 hours), others need semi-shade (either direct or periodic exposure to the sun for 3-6 hours), and there are yet those who prefer staying in full shade.
Décor or practicality?
When turning your balcony into a beautiful garden, arrange it according to your needs and preferences. If you imagine your garden as one of those illustrated in the magazines, play with colors depending on the atmosphere you would like to create. In case you want it to be cheerful and friendly, choose flower plants in warm colors. On the other hand, opt for cool colors to create a relaxing sanctuary for bookworms. Whichever style you prefer, pay attention to the plants’ blooming period to keep it vivid during the all season.
As ones wither, others flourish and vice versa. In case you need garden for producing a truly organic food for your family, you have that possibility. Dwarf citrus trees and berries are suitable for small balconies. When it comes to vegetables, you wouldn’t even wonder how many of them can be planted into containers. Tomato, cucumber, pepper, beans, greens, etc. – the choice is yours! Every garden should be incorporated by herbs. Whether you fill it with oregano and basil or rosemary and lavender, you will use them for both cooking and aromatic therapy.
Plant it right
Anything from your house can possibly serve as a container. From bucket to an old tea cup. But, choosing the correct container is not just the matter of esthetics. So, get informed on their material and drainage ability first. Thinking of plastic hanging baskets and window planters? Well, maybe, you should forget about this idea. Plastic is not porous, so the soil stays wet. It is better to opt for those made out of terra cotta. Although plants have to be watered regularly, excessively wet soil prevents the root from getting sufficient amount of air, which causes root rotting.
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For this reason, make sure that containers and planters have a few holes in the bottom and keep your plants healthy. Don’t forget to place the saucers underneath so as not to ruin the walls or furniture. For the purpose of decorative effect, try companion planting according to the so-called “Thriller Spiller Filler” three floor concept. This implies mixing three plants of diverse height and sprawling characteristics into one container.
At first, plant a ‘thriller’ – tall and upright plant, such as Ornamental grass, Dracaena, or Cosmos. Further on, plant a ‘spiller’ – trailing plant, such as Million bells, Sweet potato wine, or Fuchsia, for example. And, eventually fill the gap with a ‘filler’ – Geranium, Begonia, or Petunia. If you decide to give a try to this way of planting, bear in mind that all three plants have to have same necessities. You wouldn’t want to nourish one and damage the other. Also, don’t include too many colors.
Flooring and shade ideas
The style of your balcony or patio garden doesn’t have to be based on flooring. There is a wide range of materials and ways to moderate it. For instance, artificial grass might suit your small balcony just perfectly. Not only does it increase the sense of being in nature, but visually sizes up the space, too. If you are thinking about installing wood deck or wooden deck tiles, you are on the right track. They are stylish and natural solutions acceptable for both balcony and patio. However, wood can be hard to maintain. For patio flooring solutions select some kind of brick or stone. They are easy to maintain and they last longer. You won’t get much out of your little heaven if it is exposed to the sun during the all day. Strong sunlight is no good for either your plants or yourself, and umbrellas cannot provide sufficient protection. Therefore, you should consider Oztech for installing awnings. Awnings are smart and modern shade solutions, and some of them include UV protection thus lowering the temperature beneath them.
Dressing up your balcony or patio has become a thing more of interior than exterior design. The choice of garden furniture depends on what you are going to use your patio or balcony for. Are you planning to throw Sunday brunches and barbecue parties? Or you are planning to use it as a personal shelter from all that hustle and bustle the big city can bring about? The first option calls for the wooden, metal, or plastic garden set. If you are on a low budget for purchasing a fancy garden set, be handy and make it yourself. DIY projects offer you a freedom to be as imaginative as you can. For bigger balconies try constructing a garden set out of wooden pallets. Paint them in desirable color and sew pattern garden cushions. And voila! Again, for tiny narrow balconies, use buckets, crates, or old tires to make ornamental tabourets. If your garden is your relaxing reading zone, include hammock or nest chair. However, be careful with the garden furniture, as it requires extra storage space in the winter. Plus, overcrowded balcony will leave no place for either you or your guests and it may evoke negative feelings.
In addition to the previously discussed point, complete your garden decoration by making it charming and personal with a little help from garden accessories. If you are an animal lover, set up some bird feeders in the form of bird house. The sound of birds singing will complement the sense of natural surrounding. And, who knows, you might meet few more friends, too. Another garden accessory that triggers our sense of sound is a wind chime. Hang it out on the place exposed to the wind and enjoy its jingling. They come in various types and colors, and you can find them around every corner. Or, if you are really into crafting, you can make one on your own. In spite of everything, garden accessories do not include only decorations. In case you have a larger patio suitable for throwing dinner parties, you can always include an outdoor barbecue grill. A wide range of outdoor barbecue grill types, allow you to choose between buying one of those easy to move and storage options and building a nice brick barbecue grill.
And, let there be a light
In order to use your little garden to the maximum level, don’t miss to install lighting and enjoy calm summer evenings on the balcony or patio. To begin with, solar lights are affordable and do not demand any extra energy, but the sun. So, stick them to the pots by your plants and get some lighting. Furthermore, string lights seem to be an optimal choice for small balconies. A string filled with large bulbs is able to create the atmosphere for both parties and romantic private dinners. If you opted for rustic style while decorating your balcony garden, install decorative lanterns on the wall. There is always an option of lighting candles.
Once, you learn how to bring a little piece of nature to you no matter where you live, you can forget about all the hustle and stress of living in a big city. Because, you always know that your little refuge is right where you made it and how you made it, and you will love it.