Just because you live in an urban area does not mean you don’t enjoy nature. If you want to enjoy the outdoors, yet all you have is a balcony, don’t despair, it can be more than enough.
The fact that you do not have ground in which you could plant the perennials should not prevent you from growing them. You can easily plant them in large pots. Since you lack horizontal space, vertical is an excellent way to go. By having few of the taller plants, you will be able to layer out the greenery and make it look rich, without taking up too much space. This mainly involves growing small trees. What’s even better, they can share the pot with some of the smaller perennial flowering plants. Don’t forget to include evergreens as it adds color to your balcony all year round.
Don’t bother by growing annuals to have them nice and in blossom for the season. Having said that, you certainly can if that’s what you enjoy doing, but better dedicate that time to perennials. You can get the flowering annuals in full bloom readily available all over town and make use of their color while it lasts. With good maintenance, there will be something to please your eye throughout the warm season.
We have already touched upon the subject of layering which is your best option for creating vivid greenery on a balcony. If you lack space than bushy arrangements could clutter your space. Instead, use railings to arrange smaller pots. You can also add some hanging baskets to make additional use of the vertical space.
Speaking of the vertical space, attach railings to the bamboo screens to create a vertical garden. It is even easier if you have the means of attaching a pallet to a side and planting your vertical garden there. Compensate the lack of space with your creativity and mix up the plants a bit. Have several different compatible plants mingle in the same pot.
For those who live in apartment blocks, it is not rare to have a balcony which is surrounded or even attached to neighboring balconies. If you love your neighbors, this gives you an opportunity to chat, however, it is a concern for those who wish to have some privacy. While you cannot stop the sounds from coming to and from your garden, you can certainly stop the looks. Use bamboo fence screens on the side to add the natural look, create privacy, as well as a sunshade.
The bamboo screens are blocking some of the sun coming to your garden, but how about the direct sunlight? Perhaps the easiest and most widely available solution for covering balconies and protecting them from the sun is using folding arm awnings as a retractable roof to keep the sun and some of the rain away. The room connected to your balcony will also be cooler due to lack of direct sunlight exposure. In the instances that you want to let more sun in, or keep your roof safe from strong winds, you can simply retract the awning.
For a true backyard feeling on your balcony, you need to recreate the right type of ground. The simplest way would be laying out some artificial grass. The trouble with artificial grass is that it can be hard to clean, particularly in the areas with high air-pollution where there are a lot of particles of dust and dirt just flying around. Alternatively, if the layout allows it, you can build a wooden deck. If this does not work for you, simple natural stone tiles, or the ceramic ones in the natural stone style, maybe the best solution requiring the least maintenance.
Furniture and décor
Add some carefully picked garden décor. When there’s enough space, you can even add a grill, provided the neighbors don’t mind it. If you are tackling this project on your own, ask for someone to lend you a second pair of eyes and let you know when the balcony starts looking cluttered. You may get over excited and not notice this. Add some pretty patio furniture with the scale of the balcony in mind. For smaller balconies, foldable furniture is the way to go. This way you can even occasionally leave them folded and lay down some cushions to enjoy a different perspective.
Perhaps you cannot use it to play catch, but with a couple of tricks up your sleeve, you can certainly use your balcony to relax and spend time with friends and family.