Balcony Gardens Add Color and Style

If you live in a condo or apartment without a backyard, you may think that gardening isn’t for you. It simply isn’t true. You can grow an assortment or flowers and vegetables in small spaces on a balcony or ledge.

Consider the lighting. North facing balconies or ledges pose a problem when it comes to vegetables that need more light – but there are a wide variety of shade-loving flowers that thrive in northern light. East of southern facing balconies provide the best light for sun-loving vegetables and flowers. Choose a variety. This includes variety in color, shape, texture and size. Selecting a variety adds depth and dimension to your garden making it appear larger than it really is. Self-watering containers. Using self-watering containers makes watering a breeze and provides your plants with a slow release of moisture. I prefer those with a reservoir that holds enough water to keep my plants happy for a few days, but what you choose is up to you. Visit your local garden center to browse those available. Arranging plants. As a rule, place tall plants – such as ornamental trees – on the outer border of the plant arrangement. This adds height to the entire garden while working with your existing architecture.. Trailing plants. Add trailing plants to spill over the edges of the balcony. These extend the line of the garden and create an attractive view from the outside. Don’t be afraid to mix and match. Consider combining patio tomatoes, herbs and nasturtiums for an attractive garden in a sunny location. Other mini vegetables, such as mini peppers and baby eggplant work well. Don’t forget neighboring walls. Use trellises to extend climbing flowers and vegetables up the wall creating an impressive display near your balcony. Deadhead flowers. Removing faded flowers from your balcony garden does more than keep it looking good. When dead flowers are removed, it sends a message to the plant to produce more flowers in an attempt to produce seeds.

Browse seed catalogs or visit your local garden supply center for ideas for your balcony garden. Keep in mind the amount of light your plants will receive, as without adequate light they will not produce as expected. Otherwise, experiment with size and color to create the feel you are looking for.

More work by this author:

Moon Gardens: Designing and Planting
Five Old-Fashioned Favorites for the Flower Garden
How to Paint Terra Cotta Planters for Outside Gardens

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