With summer's arrival, it's the perfect time to get outside and exercise those green fingers. But if you live in the city and don't have a garden, don't worry, you can still reap the benefits of outdoor life by creating a beautiful space with these balcony garden ideas.
And if you're not sure where to start, plant experts fromGardeningExpress.co.ukhave advised onfive areasthatshould be taken into accountwhen planning a balcony garden.
Considering the weather conditions, such as the amount of sunlight the balcony gets and how windy it can be, will help when deciding which flowers to purchase or grow.
BALCONY GARDEN IDEAS
'Gardening on balconies can be more difficult than back gardens as there’s no soil to plant directly into, and often the space is much smaller too – but this doesn’t meant that you’re unable to enjoy the beauty of plants and flowers,' says Chris Bonnett from GardeningExpress.co.uk.
'Using containers and pots means that you can position your plants anywhere in the space and is a great way to personalise and add colour to a balcony. Adapt the size and amount of pots to the space and your taste. Plenty of pots may add charm and personality, but you may prefer a more minimalist space with subtle pops of colour.'
Discover top tips to consider when designing outdoor areas and choosing plants to grow below.
1. HELLO, SUNSHINE
You need to consider how much sunlight your balcony gets. This may mean you have to position plants in certain places and it will also help in deciding which plants to choose. If you get sunlight pretty much all day, choose varieties such as petunias or marigolds. If sun is hard to come by, primroses and foxgloves would be good options.
2. IT'S A BREEZE
If your balcony is quite high up, your plants may have to also survive the harsh wind. If this is the case, try and find more sheltered areas to position the plants. Plants which are low-lying and therefore less likely to break in the wind, such as begonias, should fare better than taller plants such as delphiniums.
3. PRETTY POTS
If you have no soil to plant directly into, containers are a great alternative and will provide the conditions needed to grow flowers. You can choose from pots, hanging baskets and window boxes. Containers are a great way to let your personality shine. For the eco-conscious you can use an old wellington boot as a container or find a brightly coloured pot to add some happiness and colour to the space.
4. CREATIVE THINKING
Consider the direction you want to grow your plants in. Using bigger pots and growing vertically is easier and definitely a popular option for a balcony garden. Having several hanging baskets all at different heights against a bare wall can create a great feature, and could be the main focus of the space.
5. STAY HYDRATED
Plants will need to be watered in order to survive and look their best. Think about the best way to do this. If you can, install an outside tap that will save you carrying water from inside the building. If this isn’t possible think about the number of trips you’ll have to do, and don’t get more plants than you’ll be willing to water. It's also a good idea to invest in a chic garden watering can for those top-ups for thirsty plants.