Gardening – it is not just a word but whole emotion. To see something grow from the seed, sprout green leaves and bear the fruits & flowers of your efforts brings a sense of fulfillment as nothing else can. Apart from the aesthetic value, plants purify the air and generate oxygen. Studies have shown that gardening can be very therapeutic and bring down stress levels. In fact, many have turned to gardening for the first time during the pandemic and have reaped green rewards! Immaterial of the space available, there are always ways to grow plants if you put your mind to it.
Tips To Create An Amazing Balcony Garden
Growing up, I had the privilege of living on the IISc campus which was like a mini forest. We also had our own garden which had many flowering plants and trees like jackfruit, mango, guava, custard apple, and lime. Now urbanization and lack of space have seen a rise in the apartment culture, with limited outdoor space. So when I shifted to a high-rise, I missed my lawn. Though challenging it is not impossible to grow plants and veggies and fruits in the balcony. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your balcony space.
Plan Your Landscape
The first thing you need to do is plan your balcony garden layout properly. Otherwise, it can be overcrowded as look untidy and also lead to a lack of access to sunlight and water for some plants. Arrange your plants according to the sunlight they need to get. To get some extra room and for easy cleaning, use movable plant stands or if your apartment allows changes, get them fitted to the balcony railing.
If you love lots of greenery, you can also opt for a vertical garden. Similarly, if you love the feel of grass, go in for an artificial grass mat. Though synthetic, this gives you the feel of grass and allows easy cleaning and draining of water.
Don’t forget to save some seating space. Nothing can be more rejuvenating than starting your day with a hot cup of coffee amidst your plants and unwinding after a hard day at work with a glass of wine.
Research Your Plants
Choose your plants depending on the sunlight and wind your balcony gets. If you don’t get much sunlight, go in for ones that thrive in partial sunlight like succulents, ferns, etc. If you get sunlight most of the day, choose plants that love sunlight like geraniums, rose, jasmine, potted fruit trees, etc.
You can also decide if you want to grow ornamental plants and flowering ones or if you want a kitchen garden in your balcony or if you want a combination of both.
I love all kinds of plants – so I have jasmine, roses, jade plants, money plant creepers, and even a couple of Brahmakamala plants. Usually, when I re-pot or prune these plants, I give away cuttings as gifts to friends. I truly believe that sharing the plants keeps my garden green.
In my kitchen garden, I have Curry Leaves, Mint, Coriander, Tomatoes, Spinach, Lime, and Brinjal. A recent addition is a miniature guava tree – I am eagerly waiting for the fruits!
Recent harvest of Coriander, Spinach & Lime from my Kitchen Garden
Brighten The Space With Innovative Planters
Most apartments have the balcony as an extension of the living room and it is visible through the glass sliding windows. So keeping it attractive with the right décor can add to how your living room looks as well. Choose bright-colored floor planters, railing planters, or trellis. However, try to maintain some form of uniformity so that it is aesthetically pleasing. These days you get quirky planters in terracotta as well that you can add for some uniqueness. I did some DIY painting with a few of the terracotta planters as well.
Fairy lights, candles, some of my artwork & a figurine on a tiny table for decor.
Make It Cozy With Seating & Accessories
If you want to unwind and enjoy, comfortable seating is very important. As the space is limited, go in for a compact table & chair set in wrought iron or cane or even plastic. You can opt for floor seating also with bright rugs or floor cushions, as long as you are able to keep it safe from water.
You can add a tiny fountain statue amidst the plants – the sound of flowing water can be very soothing. Similarly, wind chimes are also very calming and an apt accessory. For soft lighting, go in for candle holders, lanterns, and fairy lights.
Add some paintings on the wall and use pebbles to decorate around the pots or create a partition – and voila! Your personal green space is ready!
Are you a balcony gardener like me? What are your tips to make the space beautiful? I would like to hear your ideas and shamelessly copy them 🙂 . Do write in…
If you liked my tips on creating a balcony garden, do watch this space for my next blog on ideas for a lawn garden.