DIY Balcony Garden Make-Over
When it comes to iso life and living in an apartment or unit, there’s only so much you can tidy-up and Marie Kondo before you realise you’ve got all the ‘one day’ jobs ticked off. If you’re fortunate enough to have a balcony and feel it could do with some love and a refresh, we’ve put together a guide on how to get your design juices flowing to create your very own outdoor living space.
DIY Balcony Garden Make-Over
The size of your balcony (and your budget) will govern your design plans, but with a little creative thinking and a positive attitude, you can turn a small space into an outdoor paradise very cost-effectively.
- Work out what you’d like most from your balcony garden area. Would you it to include edible or perfumed plants? How much sun and light is your balcony garden subjected to, as this will determine which plants are best placed where? Will it become an outside room? Do you need to implement some screening for privacy?
- Measure the size of your balcony and draw it out to scale. Make note of any existing structural features, such as pipes or posts, and think about how you might like to cover these up with foliage. Having some fun planning the layout on paper beforehand will save you having to move everything physically later on. But, if you're looking for a little exercise as well as a design challenge, then by all means, skip this part and enjoy burning off some calories. And remember, walls can be masked with vertical gardens or a lush, plant-filled trellis (think Sweet Peas, or climbing edibles such as beans, peas or tomatoes).
- A small area will soon become cluttered if you try and fit too much into the space, so be practical. Add a small table setting, or perhaps compact-yet-comfy outdoor seating, and already you’ve created a wonderful retreat where you can escape to read a book you've ordered online or enjoy a meal.
- Think about the plants you’d like around you, and source them locally. Many garden centres offer home delivery for plants that you can purchase online, which is perfect. You can also order potting mix, pots, mulch and water wise products, and check out their range of watering cans while you’re there.
- It’s important to be mindful of the weight of your pots and plants. Consider using a mix of plastic and recycled pots, rather than heavy material pots, such as concrete, ceramic or timber, to reduce the overall load.
- If you’ve already got potted plants that need a little TLC, perhaps it’s time for a re-potting session and a good dose of slow-release fertilizer to nurture them through the months ahead.
- When it comes to selecting the plants for your balcony garden, the options are just about limitless. Herbs are always a hit, and many vegetables and fruits are well-suited for growing in tubs and pots. Don’t forget to companion plant some flowers to bring in the bees and butterflies, not to mention adding wonderful perfume and colour to brighten your day.
- And finally, if you’d like to give your space a little extra wow, consider incorporating a mirror to give the illusion of more area, some lovely citronella candles or fairy lights, a weather-proof mat or faux grass, a favourite piece of wall art (perhaps even something you’ve created yourself recently in an online art class) or an inviting throw cushion or two. Beautiful homewares can make the difference.
Now, make sure you take the pressure off yourself and allow as long as you need to rejuvenate your balcony. Before you know it, you’ll be relaxing in your new-found nirvana without a care in the world.
By Danella Perrins
Image 1: Architectural Digest, Image 2: Dawdle