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Savvy Gardening for Balcony Spaces

By Kevin Cain

Living in a condo or an apartment does bring its challenges to growing plants and forming a green haven outside your window. But it does not necessarily mean that it is impossible to have a great garden full of colour.

There are a number of ways that you can turn your small space into a spectacular garden area with a little hard work and some imagination.

In this article we look at some of the more original and wonderful ideas that may give you some pointers towards raising your very own balcony oasis.

Because many balconies have limited space, you must take a different view of the space available and perhaps look upwards.

  • Vertical Gardens

Look upwards as often this is the largest space you have. A shoe organiser is a great way to build a vertical garden, it can look great and the plants and herbs can cascade down in a wall of colour.You just have to fill each of the shoes spaces with compost and then add your favourite plants. The hanger must be placed somewhere that will get enough sunlight and of course water.

  • Gutter Gardens

This is a great way to utilise old guttering or cheap inexpensive plastic guttering. The amount of guttering depends on the size of space you have.

Guttering also allows you to take advantage of your vertical spaces around your balcony, these types of gardens also form natural dividers between spaces.

  • Vertical Pallet Gardens

Sometimes even the most unusual discarded items can be great for Savvy Gardening. Who would think an old pallet could look superb adorned with plants. Pallets can give you loads of vertical hanging space to attach your terra cotta pots.

Perhaps paint the pallets first with a bright glossy colour that will complement the types of plants you are going to grow.

  • Tiered Gardens

Tired gardens are ideal for small spaces as once again they focus on height. Simply put a range of stacked pots and fill them with whatever takes your fancy. Plastic pots can be used but terra cotta are more sturdier and look much better, this is a great idea for annuals, particularly if you want something colourful on the balcony.

  • Hanging Old Tin Can Garden

Don't throw out your old tin cans, recycle them to make a unique garden. Simply paint the cans a variety of bright colours and use them as planters. You can join the cans together or in groups with twine.

These hang nicely from a trellis or wall and are most portable so you can move them around your balcony to change the effect.

  • Raised Box Gardens

Often to use the most out of a limited space you have to be creative and by elevating your garden it can bring stunning effects.

Simply raise the garden boxes to whatever height you want, configure them as you want. For a casual look, stack the boxes in a haphazard manner and pot trailing plants for the ultimate effect.

  • Soda Bottle Gardening

Ideal for those of you that have good wall space, this is a modern and chic way to hang your garden vertically.Again this idea is great for recycling old plastic pop bottles. Simply cut the side out of the bottles and plant anything you like. This idea is particularly good for herb gardens and brighten up the dullest of walls.

  • String Gardening

Perhaps the cheapest and easiest way of creating your own vertical garden. Simply suspend different lengths of string from the ceiling and hang plants on it.This is even more effective if you create a mesh for the plants to sit in so the whole plant is visible. These suspended string gardens are a great way of bringing the garden indoors and leading the eye to the outdoor space where similar plants are growing.

  • Living Pallet Table

This is a superb idea for a balcony as the pallet is dual purpose being a piece of furniture and a part of your garden.

Adapt the discarded pallet as a table, remembering to sand off rough edges and paint well to give a strong but rustic finish. Remember to create enough space in the center of the pallet to enable you to plant your favourite greenery or annual flowers.

The finished result will give you something unique and definitely a talking point of your balcony.

  • Window Boxes

Do not dismiss the original idea for outdoor gardens in limited spaces, namely the good old fashioned window box.

For gardening and saving space, nothing is easier than a window box. Window boxes are extremely easy to make and you can grow everything from flowers to herbs and even vegetables.Paint the boxes a variety of colours to add extra brightness and fun, remember your limited outdoor space needs as much help as you can give it.

If you do live in a condo or an apartment with a balcony you can still create a lush garden area that will be perfect for cocktails or simply relaxing outdoors.Contrary to popular opinion, you can use full, mature plants for your balcony garden. Simply plan your design from some of our suggestions and mix larger plants with smaller ones for variation.You will find that creating a beautiful balcony garden area is fun, very rewarding and it will definitely get your neighbours jealous.