With so many of us getting into gardening recently, especially due to lockdown, there has been a rise in the interest of balcony gardening, and we are using our balconies in new ways. With some simple tricks and a few investment pieces, you will find that growing produce, sowing flowers and displaying a plethora of plants is just as easy in your balcony garden as if you had your own sprawling back-garden. Read on for our top ten balcony garden ideas.
These are just the beginning of your balcony garden space. Try to be inventive and creative when it comes to your space and recycling and re-using old planters and pots for the balcony can be a great way of adding character to the outside space. It’s the perfect time to maximise on whatever outdoor space you have and turn your balcony into an oasis.
Don’t miss our tips for small gardens.
Use hanging planters
Hanging plants from your balcony railings, or from a trellis is a great space-saving technique for balcony gardens and the sky is quite literally the limit! Mix up the styles of hanging planters for a laid-back, boho-look, or keep things traditional with neat balcony railing pots.
The ones that work for you will depend on the balcony garden style you’re going for, but also the sort of balcony you have. If you don’t have enough space to hang things in your balcony garden, then perhaps think about investing in some freestanding hanging options, as variety in height is always great no matter what sort of garden you are working in.
Buy here: Corsica Easy Balcony Garden Planter 60, vintage blue, £22.99, elho.com
Buy here: Freeport Park Brendan 2 Piece Natural Fibre Hanging Basket Set, £30.99, wayfair.co.uk
Buy here: Two Hanging Metal Planters, £75, coxandcox.co.uk
And raised planters
Raised planters are an alternative space-saving technique, and their height will give your balcony garden extra privacy. Again, it’s all about using height, so make sure you measure the space you have and think carefully about the height of the planter, but also the plant you aim to put in it. If the plant is a hanging plant, then it won’t be much higher, but if it’s not, then you’ve got even more height to contend with.
These Terracotta Planters with stands will add a touch of the Mediterranean to your balcony garden, while also offering a modern feel too. The different heights complement each other and would be a perfect fit for a little corner.
Jara Terracotta Planter with Stand, £26.95, nkuku.com
Make the most of wall space
Wall space is fast becoming one of the best places to feature your plants. And you can get really creative with the type of wall planters in your balcony garden. Wall-mounted planters and shelves will give you more space to move about on the balcony, and will allow you to have way more plants on display. You could go for abundant lush green effect, and fill the shelves with trailing plants that pollinators will love.
There are a range of options to choose from, including the more rustic, and those that take up full walls, to those that offer little moments of green. And of course, if you pick the right wall planter, you can use it for storage in your balcony garden too.
Symple Stuff Wood Wall Planter, £92.99, wayfair.co.uk
Corolla Set of Four Round Wall Planters, teal, £35, made.com
Or even create a ‘living wall’
Living walls have become increasingly popular recently with so many of us limited by our outdoor spaces, especially in the city. Specialist hanging plant pots can be hung close together to create a green ‘living wall’, which boasts many positive effects for both our wellbeing and the environment.
A living wall is also a perfect way of bringing variety of colour to your balcony garden too. Think carefully about the type of plants you want – when to they flower, how can you make sure the wall has interest year round. And don’t forget scent: make your balcony garden appeal to all the senses.
Umbra Floralink Wall-Mounted Organiser/Planter, set of 3, £20, johnlewis.com
Use shelves for storage and to display plants
Keep your balcony garden spick and span with a simple shelving unit. This may seem like an obvious choice, but a sturdy, well designed storage unit can also be great for displaying your plants too. You can also feature your empty pots, brushes, bags of compost and tools, all neatly tucked away with satisfying tidiness.
We like the option with wheels, too, as it offers the chance for you to use it while potting up, or to easily move it around to different parts of your balcony garden, if you haven’t got the spot right initially.
HYLLIS In/Outdoor Galvanised Shelving Unit, £10, ikea.com
RÅSKOG Trolley, turquoise, £39, ikea.com
Pick folding tables and chairs
Relaxation in the garden is key, so don’t forget to create a nice spot to sit back and admire your balcony garden! Folding chairs and tables make the most sense, so you can tuck them away and clear the decks when the chairs and tables aren’t being used. There is a huge variety of styles available, a classic bistro table will bring a chic Parisian vibe, or you can go for something a bit funkier with the colourful director’s chair.
Whatever you get, try to make sure it’s comfortable – you want to make sure you and your guests are enjoying the fruits of your gardening labour as much as is possible.
Don’t miss our selection of the best folding tables.
Emu Snooze Directeur Folding Armchair, £175, madeindesign.co.uk
Fermob Balcon Foldable Bistro Table, £359, Bistro Folding Chair, £63, madeindesign.co.uk
Or something softer!
If you can find a little nook or cranny to turn into a comfy spot, then even better. You might not want the formality of a table and chairs on your balcony garden, so why not try a beanbag or the below daybed? This is perfect for maxing out the relaxation on a sun-filled balcony and allowing you to recline and read, or snooze in the sun.
The only problem is you might not want to get back to the gardening once you’re on it…
TRIMM Copenhagen, Mini Rocket Outdoor Daybed, graphite, £435, limelace.co.uk
Grow produce in a mini greenhouse
You may not think a greenhouse is possible in a balcony garden but think again! This greenhouse has been specially designed for a balcony garden, and can be hung from your railings. It’s easy to set up and perfect for growing tricky vegetables that need maximum sun and heat. Tomatoes? Check. Chillies? Check. Lemons? Check. You’ll be creating your own edible garden in no time.
Don’t miss our list of mini greenhouses for balconies and other small spaces.
Juliana Balcony Greenhouse, £399, gardensite.co.uk
Jazz things up with an outdoor rug
It’s not all about the plants. It’s worth investing in some decorative garden balcony accessories too, especially as we’re spending so much time outdoors right now. A simple, attractive rug will seamlessly connect the indoors with the outdoors and give you what feels like another room to your home. Make it cosy, homely and comfy for you and the guests. It could also be a nice alternative spot to sit, if you, or the cat, needs another option. Make sure you get one you don’t mind getting a little scruffy as inevitably there will be a little more dirt outside than in. Although rolling it up at the end of the day is always an option.
In & Outdoor Rug, morty yellow, £60.95, benuta.co.uk
Add lights to create a cosy atmosphere
You’ll want to use up the warmer nights, even as the sun sets earlier and earlier, as much as possible. As the summer days slowly fade, keep the glow going with some solar-powered LED lights. Lighting can make all the difference to your balcony garden, offering a romantic, atmospheric tone that means relaxing with a glass of wine on the balcony can make you feel like you’re on holiday. Uplighting plants can also be a great way of adding texture to a balcony too.
For extra space-saving points, you could invest in this 2-in-1 stool and light.
Fermob Inouï LED/Wireless/Bluetooth Luminous Low Stool, £265, madeindesign.co.uk