Gardening Ideas for an Apartment Balcony

Eriks Draiska
Published on April 4, 2017

Gardening Ideas for an Apartment Balcony

 

Garden envy – a common malady of the apartment dweller who longs for a patch of dirt in which to work his or her Botanic magic. The arrival of spring only worsens the symptoms but it doesn’t have to.

Whether your unit or apartment has a balcony or a patio or even just a front porch, you can garden; it just takes fewer lofty dreams and a bit of creativity.

It’s all about the light

The first consideration when creating your balcony garden paradise is to ascertain how much sun the area gets. This means watching it over the course of the day.

Does the sun shine on the area most of the day, half of the day or not at all? Morning sun or afternoon sun?

Yes, shady spots are challenging for most plants to thrive in, but not all of them. Forests are full of specimens that do quite well in the shade of giant trees.

The trick is to do some research or speak with a gardening professional at the local nursery. Remember, not only do you need to find plants that eschew sunlight, but they must also be suited to growing in a container.

Some to consider for your shaded balcony garden include the gorgeous foliage-bearing coleus (Coleus spp.), tuberous begonia (Begonia Tuberosa Group), the adorable fuschia (Fuschia spp.) and coral bells (Heuchera Americana).

Gardens provide privacy

Apartment or unit living is not always known for its privacy.

Whether it’s an adjoining building that looks directly onto your balcony garden or patio or your unit is located on the street, people can (and most likely will) peer in.

Rather than tolerate that living-in-a-fishbowl feeling, use your mini-garden to help provide privacy.

Look for tall, dense plants and learn how to strategically space what you grow. Plants with a shorter silhouette can also be used if you elevate them.

Hit the flea markets, op-shops or Gumtree or Craigslist to shop for used end tables, nightstands, shelving units or any other item that can be used to raise the shorter plants.

The bonus is that these repurposed items act as decorative hardscape elements.

Vegetables can be decorative

Urban gardeners are well aware that one need not live on a farm or even have a backyard to grow a nice crop of vegetables. Vertical gardening is one of the biggest trends in the gardening world and a boon to the micro-gardener.

Get ideas online at Pinterest, Popular Mechanics (an excellent how-to article) and HGTV.

Don’t want to go vertical? Grow bags come in all sizes and the deeper ones will even accommodate a hefty potato crop.

Peppers and bush beans take up little space and cucumbers, tomatoes and squash can be grown upright. Then there are the fruit trees bred specifically for container growth.

These include dwarf varieties of blueberries, lemons, limes and mandarins.

Harvest to Table offers a handy guide to determine which pot size to choose for specific vegetables.

Check out the ABC Gardening Australia website at ABC.

Don’t forget the accessories

If there’s room, add a small path, seating for your guests, maybe consider adding a small fountain, lighting (a lamp post or string of lights), statues and even a small birdbath will all add charm and interest to your mini-garden.

If Spring has sprung – how’s your balcony garden growing?

Got questions? Email [email protected]

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Like most things in life, these are recommendations only. It is not legal advice, it may or may not suit your own circumstances and you may need to make your own additional enquiries.
Regards Eriks & Team 
Plaza Real Estate 

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