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You can turn even the tiniest of balconies into an enchanting garden. Here’s how to add some greenery to your home

We now spend most of our time indoors; hence, it is imperative to make use of our spaces to the fullest. And balcony gardens are possibly the only refuge one can seek in today’s growing urban landscape. Therefore, our experts guide you on ways to convert your balcony into a mini garden.

Small balcony garden ideas are an interesting way to introduce a garden space in your home without the need for a much larger area. Here are some beautiful balcony garden ideas that you can use to enhance the space around you.

Where to start?
To transform your outdoor area, first, design your balcony on paper. The idea is to create a green corner that has enough space for movement too. “Look at the flooring, ceiling, lighting and railing. See if any of these items need to be upgraded, re-installed or redone. Check for water seepage, leakages and water inlet-outlets. Ensure that the balcony is waterproof, so that it does not bother your neighbours below and that the water outlet does not make a mess elsewhere. Once these are in place, you can move ahead with nursery shopping

Plan your space
The first step to making any space utilitarian and beautiful is to plan it well. The notion of wanting a large space is preceded by using the space you have optimally. Hence, it is imperative to plan what goes where before you start working on your balcony garden.

Divide your balcony into three areas – the garden area, the seating, and the utility space. Reserve the hottest and the sunniest part for the garden area and the cooler area for seating. Chalk out a small area where you will store the essentials that you would need for a well-maintained garden. This can either be open or you can use containers or multi-utility items to store gardening equipment.

Choose the right furniture
This is one of the key factors that you have to keep in mind while designing a small balcony garden. Use furniture that is light, weatherproof, and foldable. Introducing very large or heavy furniture is not only inconvenient but will make your space look smaller. It would be ideal to first determine if you want it to be your reading area, hang-out space, or multi-utility space. You could even add a small dining table instead of lounging furniture and make your balcony garden an outdoor dining area that is great to also accommodate guests for an evening outside.

Choose the right lighting
While a balcony wouldn’t need lighting during the day, choosing the right lighting for the night is very important. You may or may not use your balcony garden after sunset, but good and functional lighting is a must. However, what would really be ideal to make your balcony more dream-like is the addition of unique and creative lighting ideas. Use fairylights, LEDs, or table-mounted lights to make your balcony dreamy and magical.

Choose the right colours
While your balcony garden is going to be predominantly green, adding the right colour to the other parts of the design will determine how your balcony will look in the end. While bright colours are a great addition, adding too many of these will make your space look small and cluttered. Adding too much wood texture and darker shades will also have similar effects. If you have a small balcony using light colours with subtle shades of blues and yellows is a great way to make your space look large and airy. To this, you can add a pop of colour to make the space livelier and more vibrant.

Choose the right plants
Plants are the most important part of your balcony garden. Depending on how much time you can dedicate to tending to your garden, you can pick plants that are easy to maintain, or that need a lot of care. The rate of growth, the size that they achieve on complete growth, and the kind of care they need are the most important factors to keep in mind while selecting your plants. Some plants are more prone to infection than others, and this can be risky as they can contaminate the other plants too. Opting for something hardy is the safest option that one can resort to.

If you are short of space do not opt for plants that have a large radius and grow rapidly. You can also opt for vegetable and herb planters as they are not just a great addition to your garden, but will keep your kitchen stocked with fresh and organic herbs. You can also opt for hanging pots, and planter boxes along the railing and vertical garden as they are beautiful to look at and save space too.

East-facing balconies tend to get about four-six hours of direct morning sunlight that is ideal for the plants. West-facing balconies receive four-five hours of the evening sun that is usually harsh and less filtered, so pick plants that thrive in full sunlight. Besides, north and south facing balconies may not receive much sunlight. Hence, identifying the amount of sunlight that your balcony receives is critical.

“If the balcony gets direct sunlight, then you can opt for flowering plants like geraniums, pentas, begonias, bougainville, vegetables like tomatoes, chillies, brinjal, carrots, etc and fruits like lemon, pomegranate, etc. If your balcony receives partial sunlight, then opt for plants like orchids, impatiens, jade, purple oxalis, herbs like mint, coriander, lettuce, fenugreek, basil, etc. In case your balcony is always in shade, then you can opt for house plants like monstera, philodendrons, ferns, syngoniums, pothos, etc

Handy tips on how to convert a barren balcony into a green patch:

  • Size: Before you start nursery shopping, take note of the size of your balcony. Don’t overwhelm or underwhelm the space;
  • Lighting: If you are planning to create a mini garden balcony, then make sure your balcony receives ample amount of natural light during the day;
  • Analyse the wind: Extreme weather conditions can be a bummer for gardens. The higher up you are from ground level, the more exposure to heavy winds. Plus, hot dry winds can quickly parch your plants;
  • Containers: Before you put on your DIY hat for pots and containers, make sure you know which materials to skip. For instance, vinyl and polystyrene plastic bottles are not ideal. Opt for terracotta/ceramic pots as they tend to keep the plants moist;
  • Maintenance: No matter the size of your garden, maintenance is a must! The fact that plants don’t have their roots growing in the land means there’s no constant source of nourishment. Besides, if you wish to build a garden plus a relaxing set-up in your balcony, hang your pots and planters from the ceiling or you can also bring in climbers and creepers for your balcony railing. This will give you free floor space, allowing you to add some furniture and décor pieces to elevate the set-up.


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