Even it if is not very large, the balcony can become a beautiful flowery space where you can relax. You will first need to organize your available space and select plants that are suitable to the location where you live. But with a little taste and a few tips, your balcony will quickly turn into a real urban garden that remains throughout the year.

Before undertaking your balcony’s layout, you will first need think about how to organize your available space. If your balcony is relatively small, only plan for a minimum number of trays and pots, because if you have too many of them you could quickly run out of space and feel confined. To make the best use of your available surface, you can opt for climbing plants that will cover up your walls and railings while giving your balcony a country-style appearance. On the other hand, if your balcony is bigger, add more trays and pots to beautify your exterior as much as possible. Exposure is also a criterion to take into account to the extent that this factor will determine your choice of plants. Indeed, it is important to remember that all plants do not grow in the same climatic conditions. While some of them have a particular aversion to shade and wind, others need more air and sunlight.

Finally, you should pay particular attention to your choice of trays and pots. If you live in an area where winters are harsh, choose lightweight pots because they will suit your plants best. Also, if you decide to choose trays make sure they are strong enough to withstand the combined weight of the soil and plants. Flower boxes are usually ideal for those who want to have beautiful flowery railings. Given that they extend in length, they are also more apt to accommodate different types of flowers. Consequently, this diversity will allow you to provide your balcony with beautiful colourful touches. In regard to pots, they are the most suitable option for high plants and foliage. To play on the tones, colours and sizes, you can alternate flower boxes and pots.¬† Once you have finally organized your space and chosen your individual containers, you can start planning your balcony’s layout by selecting the flowers and plants that will be most effective for embellishing it.

Which flowers to prefer?

Before choosing the flowers you will grow, you will need to think urgently about your area’s prevailing climate as well as the time you have available for maintaining your balcony. If you cannot devote much time to your flowers’ maintenance, it is best to favour perennials because they do not need to be watered frequently. In addition, they are always very colourful and can withstand extreme condition, thanks to their natural hardiness. Also opt for aromatic plants such as rosemary, thyme, sage or mint that do not require extensive maintenance. Not only are they ideal for the kitchen, these plants will also appeal to your senses with their pleasant fragrance. Finally, choose flowers that will brighten up your balcony with their beautiful colours.

Along these lines, select flowers like azaleas, geraniums, pelargoniums, fuchsias, pansies or petunias. Easy to maintain, these beautiful flowers have the distinctive trait of declining themselves in several shades. For more originality, you can mix several species and colours in the same flower box, but remaining cautious in your selection, as some species can sometimes choke others and hinder their growth. For example, you can alternate geranium trays with trays of petunias of various colours, both of which can be separated by a container of aromatic plants to create more contrast. Also, choose climbing plants like Star jasmine and ivy to decorate your walls and trellises. Finally, remember to include some green plants such as yucca, cactus, cypress and boxwood for their original shapes.

How to maintain your balcony?

For beautiful flowers throughout the year, it is useful to provide them with a minimum amount of care. Most balcony plants need a well-drained soil because they are particularly concerned about excessive moisture. To that extent, always choose trays with pierced bottoms, which you will take care to line with a layer of gravel to prevent water from accumulating. Also avoid over-watering your plants and always wait until the soil is dry before watering again. However, care must be taken to water them more frequently during periods of high heat to prevent them from drying out and dying. You will also need to remove all the yellow and wilted leaves, as they can only hinder your plants’ growth. For beautiful plants, you can also resort to organic fertilizer. You will need to add some as early as April, taking care to stop everything in the fall to start again the following spring.

Upon the first frosts’ arrival, you will need to bring the most fragile plants (geraniums, petunias) indoors, only leaving out the most cold-resistant species (pansies, yucca, star jasmine). If you do not want to bring everything back inside, know that it is still possible to protect some of your plants with mulch or a protective cover. For the duration of winter, let your plants rest and avoid watering them often as moisture could damage their roots. As soon as the warm weather returns, resume pampering your plants by watering them more frequently and by feeding them with organic fertilizer. As for your green plants, be sure to repot them after each winter so that those of which the roots have grown too much can benefit from larger pots to thrive. Moreover, repotting will allow you to renew the potting soil each year, thus allowing the plants to be better nourished which will in turn ¬†make them much more beautiful.

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Published in Home by Alexander on 06 Jul 2011