Whether you call it your urban oasis, rooftop garden, irresistible retreat or green paradise, a balcony brimming with blooms, plants, pots and sophisticated garden furniture is an asset to any home.
This is especially true for those in city-centre locations, where any opportunity to add a slice of greenery is often welcome.
Why turn your balcony into green space?
With many of us living in the heart of cities in apartment blocks and flats, as opposed to houses with gardens, balconies are often the only private form of outdoor space we have access to. With this in mind, why not turn your balcony into a retreat? These are numerous, often inexpensive ways, to transform a simple, dull balcony into a green oasis.
This space can be used morning, noon and night, whether for sipping your first coffee of the day, sunbathing, hosting an alfresco lunch with friends or enjoying some downtown post work. A balcony allows city dwellers to enjoy the best of both worlds – a vibrant, fast-paced lifestyle and a moment of calm in the evenings and at the weekends.
Whether you possess green thumbs or not, there are plenty of ways to add a little colour, life and functionality to your balcony or rooftop, some of which we’ve listed below…
Make your space green
The majority of modern-day balconies have concrete or tiled floors. These can be both uncomfortable and unsightly. One option is to switch the grey for the green with the addition of an imitation turf rug. These are readily available online and at your local garden centre, and can be cut to the exact size of your balcony.
Adding faux grass is a great way to add an instant injection of colour and creates the illusion of a living garden, especially when teamed with a handful of live plants and alfresco furnishings.
Don’t go overboard on outdoor furniture
Unless you reside in a penthouse suite, it’s unlikely you have a large balcony to work with. To avoid making your already small space seem smaller, keep furniture to a minimum. This will allow you to create the appearance of an airy, minimalistic garden.
For best results, opt for smaller chairs and a miniature table, and place them in a corner rather than a central location. This will leave you room to fill other areas with living plants and colourful pots.
Don’t forget the railingtips
It can be easy to neglect the railings and walls of your balcony, especially when concentrating on the floor. From living walls to wrapping a string of fairy lights around your railings, there are plenty of ways to make use of all the areas your balcony has to offer. Struggling to add blooms to the floor of your balcony?
Consider adding some hanging pots on the railings instead. This will not only introduce colour to your balcony, but it will also allow you to save on precious space!
Pick the perfect plants for the environment you have to work with
Not all plants can survive the balcony life, which is why it’s important to choose shrubs, trees and blooms that thrive in smaller pots, as opposed to those with large roots that require ample space and lots of soil. Another factor to take into consideration is the amount of light on offer.
It’s likely your balcony will get sun in the morning or in the evening, rather than both, so you’ll likely want to choose plants able to withstand some elements of shade. If you wish to add an injection of colour to your balcony, invest in a cutesy vase or pot for your table setup and opt for a bouquet from an online florist. This way you can change your floral artistry as and when you please.
Consider smaller plants
Herbs are an asset to a balcony garden. Not only are they able to thrive in this environment, but they can also be used in the kitchen too! In addition to this, they add a lovely fragrance to your balcony retreat and can make a great alternative to larger shrubs and small trees.
Make more space
If you’re really struggling for space, consider adding a shelving unit to sit against one of the walls. Numerous wooden frames and planters are available, which will allow you to layer up your herbs, hanging flowers and mini shrubs, meaning you can make the most of the space. If the shelves you pick are quite tall, you’ll want to ensure they are adequately secured to ensure they don’t topple over in the wind.
Balconies aren’t solely for use in the day, and when you add lighting in the shape of hanging wall lamps and fairy lights, you can turn your alfresco space into an ambient area, perfect for entertainment after work or at the weekends. Other options can include candles – just what you want for a romantic occasion!