Spring’s nearly upon us and there are many things to do to get your balcony or patio garden ready for the coming season.
Many retirement apartments have beautiful balconies that open up from either the lounge or the dining area. If you’re a keen gardener this is great news! Retirement developments such as Kings Place in Fleet have great sized balconies so if you are downsizing there is lots of room to keep stone ornaments.
Although balconies are usually smaller than most gardens, this can be a blessing as the maintenance is lower than tending to a full-sized garden.
If you’re clever with space, a multitude of plants and flowers can be squeezed into the balcony using clever storage solutions. These can maximise the space available. By using a mixture of shelves, pots, window boxes or an aged wooden ladder, you really can optimise the limited amount of space available.
Here are some top tips to get your balcony looking great this season:
How do I create space?
Pots – use a variety of tall but slim pots to create height but do not take up too much floor space. The additional benefit is they can be moved around to find the best position for the plant. This may be shade or direct sun.
Ladders or wooden pallets – old or refurbished wooden ladders look great with a few pots on each rung of the ladder. Try using a refurbished wooden palate to grow a variety of flowers and herbs.
If the balcony is south facing and gets a lot of sun, use stones or woodchip to prevent moisture escaping from the compost during the summer months. This not only saves water but also saves time watering the plants.
How do I develop a theme?
It’s easy to develop a theme for a balcony. This may be done by using a particular colour or by starting with something that inspires or interests you. This could be Chinese gardens or woodlands etc. Decorations and or ornaments such as sculptures can then complement the chosen theme.
What to plant?
There are a variety of plants available that grow well on balconies. It’s nice to have a bit of colour all year round. This can be achieved by choosing bulbs to flower in early spring. Or select small fruit trees to blossom slightly later in the season. Or choose small evergreen shrubs to provide a variety of colour throughout the autumn and winter.
In many retirement developments, balconies are located near to the kitchen, so it’s nice to have a balcony that provides a nice snack! Herbs such as mint, chives, parsley, coriander and rosemary usually grow well in pots on a balcony. This is due to the good position and they can be protected from the wind. In addition, vegetables such as lettuce and tomatoes are probably the easiest to grow. However, courgettes and runner beans are also good. These may require slightly more preparation with support sticks when sowing.
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