SPAIN provides hundreds of examples of the fact that a lack of space is no excuse not to have a lovely garden. A balcony can be the perfect place to create your very own mini garden and these tips can help you create one without getting lost along the way.
While it’s all very well to just stick a plant or two out there, careful consideration of a few points before you begin setting up your lofty greenery will help you turn it into an intimate, manageable, useful and stunning little garden in the sky.
First, bear the weather in mind. While your local plant shops probably only sell plants which are suited to the area’s climate, balconies can have their own microclimates which will vary the conditions a little. Think about whether your balcony gets a lot of light and sun, or whether it is generally shady, and check how windy it gets out there to avoid wasting money on delicate plants which will wither or be blown to shreds.
Next, decide whether you want perennial or annual plants. It’s usually a good idea to have a mixture, with some annuals including herbs, vegetables and spring and summer flowers and perennials to ensure some green all year round which will also grow and fill space over time.
When it comes to choosing containers, consider the practicalities rather than just aesthetics. Pots made of porous materials like terracotta are much better than plastic as they allow damp to escape, and you should always ensure they have drainage holes with something underneath to collect excess water to avoid root rot.
Finally look carefully at the space and think about how you can make the most of it. Rather than just setting pots on the floor, imagine hanging window boxes from the railings and hanging plants from the ceiling and walls in baskets.