From Boring Balcony to Gorgeous Garden

Easy and inexpensive, container gardening is a great way to breathe new life into all sorts of spaces. One space that many folks find difficult to decorate or liven up effectively is the balcony or terrace, but with plants that are happy to grow in pots, you can turn yours into a small, green sanctuary.

Your new garden should reflect something of yourself, so be creative and have fun. You can choose plants that have a purposeor that just look pretty, and with these tips we’ll help you get started giving your outdoor space a makeover!

Before You Begin

When planning your balcony garden, it is important to plan properly. This goes beyond deciding on container styles or colours.

How much space have you got? Think of the terrace or balcony in 3D, and consider using planters or trellises.

How much sunlight does the area get? If you are not sure, monitor it over a few days or use a sun calculator. Remember to take summer and winter seasonal differences into account.

How hot and cold does your balcony or terrace get? Very high or low temperatures are not good for some plants. It can help to find out which USDA Plant Hardiness Zone you live in.

Does it offer shelter from the wind? If your space is exposed to wind, you will need to find a way to shelter your plants, as it will dry them out quickly.

Is water easy to access? Think about buying a large watering can. If you will need to water your garden a few times a day, consider alternatives such as self-watering containers or an irrigation system.

Decoration and Design Tips

Once you have considered the various factors that can affect plant growth, you should think about decoration and design. Your garden of plants in pots should not feel disconnected from the rest of your home.

Choose a maximum of 3 colours for your palette, and always include green as one of them. Experiment with colours that contrast or compliment each other, or try using 3 different shades of 1 colour. When buying containers, however, choose 1 colour range, and stick to it.

5 Plants to Grow In Pots

There are plenty of plants that are happy to grow in containers, and this is just a tiny selection of an exciting variety of annuals, perennials, shrubs, vines, and dwarf trees suitable for the potted garden.

Available in cheerful oranges, yellows, reds, and rusts, marigolds like lightweight potting soil. They also need at least 6 hours of sunlight per day, and must be watered when the top 3cm – 5cm of the soil is dry.

Pretty in pinks, reds, and whites, begonias like well-drained soil rich in humus that retains moisture, and are happiest in dappled or bright shade. The soil should not be waterlogged, but moist.

Majestic chrysanthemums like well-drained loamy soil, and grow best in sunny spots. Like begonias, chrysanthemums like moist, not wet, soil. Remove flower heads as they fade to encourage further blooming.

A riot of pinks, purples, cerise and magenta, fuchsias love humid climates. They also like moist soil, but it must be fast draining and well drained, because they can get root-rot easily. They are happiest in part sun or shade.

Highly fragrant, heliotrope can grow stems as high as 50cm, and can get quite bushy. Its dark green foliage provides a striking backdrop to its gloriously scented flowers.

If you want some all-year-round evergreen elements in your balcony or terrace garden, consider thyme, boxwood, or bay laurel.

Once your garden has been potted, positioned and decorated, your balcony will be totally transformed, and you may just have acquired green fingers too!

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