Due to the ongoing pandemic and subsequent lockdown measures, many homeowners and renters have been taking stock of their homes and looking at what space they have.
For some, more outside space has been the driving force behind their home move. However, due to the current financial climate and market uncertainty, this is not possible for everyone right now. So, for everyone who can't move home for the time being and wants a little more green space in their homes, Good Move shares its top tips on how to create a balcony garden.
Consider your balcony’s climate
If your flat gets lots of light, you’ll have better luck with the usual garden plants that flourish with heat and sun. If you’re going to be growing in shade, don’t worry – there are still plenty of options. Salad leaves like rocket and parsley are better in the shade, and some of our recommended go-to balcony growing options like begonias and geraniums will be just fine even if they’re not getting constant sun. If your space is windy, consider ferns or grasses that won’t lose petals in a stiff breeze – just bear in mind any plants growing in wind might need more watering than usual.
Plan your space carefully
Think vertically, for example, if you have wall space on your balcony, attach a tall planter frame for plenty of extra growing room. Whether you want rows of your favourite flowers or a dramatic living wall of trailing plants, this will also make a pretty feature wall that’s sure to be Pinterest-worthy.
If you have space for a trellis fixed on to your wall or the railings of your balcony, you can tempt climbing plants to grow along them from large planters or pots beneath – some beautiful plants like jasmine will grow easily on a trellis. If you can’t fix anything to the walls of your balcony, why not use a ladder shelf in the corner of the balcony? This will still give you plenty of vertical room, without needing to add any permanent fixtures. Just make sure your shelves are securely fixed, and that any plants you stack on it aren’t in a position where they could fall.
Get the right gear
If you’re planning on fixing some hanging pots to your balcony grates, make sure you invest in heavy-duty cable ties and fixings to secure them. And if you are installing planters or beds, make sure they’re going to have adequate drainage.
Most balconies and roof terraces will be pretty sturdy, but if you’re planning on sitting out in your little slice of paradise, don’t overload the floor with heavy terracotta pots, cement, or wet compost, or you risk straining the foundations of your balcony space.
Choose your containers carefully
While it’s important not to choose heavy containers for your plants, be careful with really lightweight containers, like plastic pots or beds – if your balcony garden is quite exposed, heavy winds could blow them over or even knock them off completely. Make sure they’re appropriately weighted or fastened down during bad spells of weather.
Nima Ghasri, Director at Good Move, concludes: “We hope this guide gives people living in a flat or apartment with balcony space the inspiration to make the most of their area, and add a little oasis of calm and peace to their abode with a balcony garden – something we all need and will benefit from during these tough times.”