Published: 23/03/2021If you’re fortunate to have outside space in the city, there are numerous ways to turn it into an enviable, cool, green haven and you don’t need to be Alan Titchmarsh to boot.
The first thing to remember is ‘less is more’ when it comes to good design, so the most important thing when creating a successful outdoor space, is showing restraint.
Balconies generally lead off reception rooms, so connecting your interior and exterior spaces will do two things:
Create a flow from one space to the next encouraging you to move from the inside out.
Create an illusion of increased space.
Position the furniture where it can be seen from inside the apartment and then accessorise the space.
Glass and stainless steel furniture, white pots, and an outdoor mirror will help bounce the light around a shady balcony.
Be bold with colour, as colour adds interest and vitality to a space and can uplift and energise you.
Remember, your balcony doesn't stop at the balustrade. Assess your views and use pots and plants to frame them from the best angle.
Check how much sun the balcony gets because if it faces north, this will dictate the planting scheme.
If you have a sunny balcony, then it is often sweltering in the summer and many plants struggle to survive.
Here are a few of our suggestions for creating a successful balcony garden in full sun:
Use large pots, as small pots dry out too quickly.
Choose the hardiest of hardy plants.
Consider installing a watering system.
Use a top-quality potting mix, one with added fertilisers and water storing crystals.
Summer-flowering bedding plants, such as ivy-leaved geraniums flower well and trail softly.
Jasmine climbs through railings or up a wall.
Lavender has wonderfully scented leaves.
Marigolds, Verbenas, Petunias, Fuchsias, Heathers, Pelargoniums, Ivy and Nasturtiums all thrive in small spaces.
For an edible garden, plant herbs such as Rosemary, Thyme, and Sage.
Try Saladisi, which will give you cut-and-come-again salad leaves for around six months and are easy to grow from seed. Rocket, both wild and common, are the same.
Our top tip is, you can transform your urban space into a mini haven of nature too. Pick plants that will give pollinators a boost and you’ll be helping the birds that feed on insects.
Don’t be afraid to make a big statement in a small space. Many people make the mistake of using small pots and small plants that don’t make any impact. Go big and bold.