Ideas for Starting a Balcony Garden

My Garden Life
May 12, 2021
Table of Contents
If you have a small balcony, why not turn it into a mini garden retreat? Here are some simple, budget-friendly ideas to make good use of your available apartment space.

Cover Up Outdoor Storage

You may be using your balcony as storage space for bulky items, as well as a drying area for washing, but don’t let clutter put you off. With a few slick tricks, you can still have your little high-rise garden. Remove any items that are no longer needed or store elsewhere on the balcony, shifting items to the shadier end. Drape waterproof covers over possessions you’re not using, ideally adding a lighter, more attractive covering, such as green netting or a waterproof tablecloth, over the top. This will form an attractive backdrop to your floral arrangements. When planning your layout, allow space for your washing to catch the sun, as necessary.

Expand Upwards, Garden Vertical

You may have limited space horizontally, but you’ll have plenty of space vertically between balcony floor and roof, so make the most of it. Use trellises, poles or makeshift screens to train plants upwards, perhaps at one end or the other. If you’d like your greenery to double as a shield against wind or sun, position your screens accordingly.
 
Hanging baskets will also extend your garden upwards. Include some trailing vines to link them with your lower level plants. Depending on the structure of your balcony, you may be able to train some climbing shrubs up and over the sides, rooting them in pots or troughs.

How to Arrange Flower Colors

If you have a lot of decorative objects on your balcony it may be most effective to use blocks of a single color, or a mix of different plants with similar color blooms. This will reduce the chance of things looking cluttered.
Otherwise you can blend layers of color to create endless effects:
  • You could have small pots of a bright color in front, for instance, with taller, paler variations rising at the back.
  • You could also change out plants to create seasonal themes. Start with spring plants and colors and replace them later with bold summer tones.
  • You can even dress up your balcony in the winter by placing evergreen boughs and branches in the empty containers.
Playing with flower colors and leaf textures is a great way to give your balcony a personal touch, and it’s easy to make changes whenever you want.

Add Exterior Lights and Decoration

If you intend to sit out on your balcony through the summer evenings, you’ll want some illumination. Arrange some fairy lights around your plants and pots or invest in an external lamp or two. For other decorative enhancements, add baskets of varnished pebbles or curls of silver-tinted ivy, or paint your pots in bright colors.

Enjoy Your Balcony Garden in Comfort

small table and chairs on a balcony surrounded by plants and outdoor decor

If buying a new sunshade, choose one in keeping with your color scheme. A couple of garden chairs and a little table will make your little haven even more inviting, but if space is an issue, use stackable stools or arrange seats in the doorway. Polish up your windows for indoor viewing and open them up on fine days to let in your lovely garden fragrances.
With your beauty spot complete, you can put your feet up and enjoy it!
balcony planter with mix of colorful flowering annual plants

Containers are a great solution for adding life to small spaces. Colorful planters filled with flowering plants, vegetables or tropicals are easy to arrange into your own mini garden. Find out more in our article All About Container Gardening.

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