If you live in a flat and the only outdoor space you have is a balcony – no problem! Following the Covid pandemic and the need for private space, balconies are now being given plenty of attention – and rightly so! Balconies can be easily transformed into lovely outdoor spaces for relaxing and entertaining and with some clever thinking, you will be able to display indoor plants too that will help create the right relaxing ambiance- and without taking up too much space.
Why not use some great balcony garden ideas to give you a gorgeous new outdoor space- one that you would never know is right in the middle of town!
Choose your colour scheme
A colour scheme for your balcony will make it look very chic and this can be developed with chairs and cushions, rugs, flowerpots and even your choice of flowers! Grey is a really popular colour this year and can look particularly smart for your balcony- especially if you opt for plants with green and grey foliage or ones with only white flowers.
Soft natural shades look really good with plenty of wood and rattan for chairs and even plant pot covers. Blue is another popular colour this year and work very well on balconies with a nautical theme.
You may be happy with the tiled floor your balcony has as it is quick and easy to sweep and mop, but why not soften the look by adding a colourful striped rug or practical rattan runner? Wooden decking works well on balconies, especially decking tiles, as these are easier to fit. Wooden flooring, either hardwood or a laminate, will transform the space and can be in natural wood colour or painted blue or grey.
Some people cover their balcony floor with astro turf grass to develop the idea of a ‘mini garden paradise’.
Add some furniture & decorations
The choice is yours! Would you like a chic iron café table and chairs for impromptu coffee with a friend and al fresco meals, or a soft sofa for relaxing moments with a small table for placing glasses of wine or your favourite book? If you are still working from home, you can opt for a stylish wooden table and office style chair for work plus a comfy armchair for restful times!
If space is limited, a traditional wooden bench looks good – and very inviting when decorated with scatter cushions and a throw. Several large floor cushions or wicker stools are other fun ideas and if your balcony is really small, folding chairs and a table give you extra versatility.
A wall clock is always a useful addition and a barometer or wind chimes are fun to hang on the balcony. A small bird table fastened to the railing is another option. Ornaments can be used to emphasise the theme of your balcony such as a rustic country style or smart nautical. If you have a larger balcony, a stone garden statue can look good, surrounded by plants.
Clever ways to decorate with plants
Indoor plants are the ideal way to create your own leafy oasis! Choose your plants carefully- depending on the amount of sunlight you get on your balcony. It is also worth remembering that many of the plants will need to live indoors during the winter months. If your balcony is not going to be ideal for indoor plants, a collection of artificial plants will look equally good – especially if they are mixed with some good tempered flowers such as geraniums! Another fun choice for really sunny balconies is to grow a citrus tree such as a lemon or miniature orange tree. If you would prefer to add some shade to your balcony, a clever way is by using artificial bamboo plants.
Colourful annuals such as petunias can be purchased cheaply from garden centres and supermarkets and will certainly help transform your balcony. If you would like to grow some vegetables, you can grow them successfully in grow bags, long narrow plant troughs or a couple of large flowerpots.
If your balcony is large enough, you can build a raised flowerbed along the length of the balcony at the front – this definitely makes gardening easy! You can used recycled wood from old crates to make the container and then the wood can be stained or painted in your chosen colour.. To save money on soil- as it will take a large quantity to fill It-, carefully fill the bottom third with plastic boxes or empty bottles and top with soil before planting with flowers or herbs.
Be creative with your plant display!
Because there is limited floor space on a balcony and priority must be given to furniture, here are some clever ways to enjoy plants and flowers in a limited space:
Several conical woven planters grouped on a bare wall can look dramatic when filled with leafy ferns and spider plants. Alternatively, a few colourful pots on ropes, hung at the same height just in front of a bare wall completely transforms it! Metal plant pot covers are trending this year and can look really smart – especially if they are filled with flowering plants or those with colourful foliage.
A really eye-catching design is to attach a long piece of driftwood high on a bare wall – high enough that you can suspend a line of matching macramé hanging baskets at regular intervals. Alternatively, three or four, matching planks of wood, that have been stained or painted, will give a completely new look to a bare wall and an interesting collection of planters can be attached to the wood at different heights. This is a great way to grow your own herbs and you can tie a large luggage label with a description of the herb to each planter. Another option is to fix a piece of trellis fencing to the wall and hang assorted planters at different heights.
To add vibrant colour to a small piece of wall, suspend two flower-filled hanging baskets at different heights.
If you have a window sill on your balcony, this is another ideal spot for growing an assortment of herbs in small matching pots. If you have really limited space, look out for tiered shelving that you can fill with plants. If you only have a spare corner, look out for a corner tiered unit as this works really well.
Add colourful plants to the balcony railings…
Invest in some plastic railing planters that will sit on the railing or some window boxes with large hooks that will fit snugly over the railing. The ideal flowering plants for these are colourful trailing petunias and scarlet geraniums.
If you would like to add privacy to your outdoor space, consider hanging lightweight rattan blinds from the ceiling above the railing or a series of hanging pots at the same height – with each filled with a leafy fern or training plant.
… And some lights
If you are planning to relax on your balcony in the evening, you will need some soft lighting. Tea lights placed on every flowerpot or several candle lanterns will create a golden cosy ambiance. A string of fairy lights look pretty too or a large table lamp.
No matter how small your balcony is, you can transform it into an attractive outdoor room which you will love for quiet moments and your friends will enjoy visiting too! If you are fearful that you will not be able to enjoy your new retreat because of winged insects, we have a clever idea to solve this problem too! Hang very fine netting for the entire width of your balcony from the ceiling above the railing, down to the railing and secure it tightly. Not only will you not be bothered by any insects, no birds can mess your balcony or leaves get blown onto it – leaving you just to relax and enjoy your new oasis with a long cool summery drink and a good book….