Living in building in the middle of the urban jungle doesn’t have to put a damper on your love for gardening. If you live in an apartment, a small terrace as small as a walk-in closet is enough room to create a garden. With sunlight, a ledge for pots and a tiny floor space, you can grow your favorite plants and flowers; and even herbs and edibles.
House Beautiful lists balcony gardens as one of the gardening trends on the rise, as more people are making their homes in with little or no outdoor space.
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Terrace gardening tips
You might be among the urban dwellers gifted with a green thumb but have limited garden space. Or you may be lucky enough to have a big yard but still want to freshen up your balcony or patio with some greenery. These tips will make your terrace gardening endeavor more rewarding and productive.
- If you’re a beginner, keep it simple. Choose low maintenance plants so you don’t get overwhelmed. Gardening is meant to be a relaxing hobby, not a stressful one. Start with potted marigolds, begonias or pansies. In choosing, remember that native species are the easiest to grow.
- Make a plan. A simple sketch on a piece of paper will give you an estimate of the gardening opportunities the space allows and how you want to design your garden. Exploit every inch of space and think multi-dimensionally. Look for vertical spaces for trellises or where planters can be hanged. From there, you will also have an idea on how much you’re going to spend.
- Consider the space’s micro-climate. Does it get a lot of Australian sunlight? Is it windy? Which direction is your terrace facing? For example, plants in sunny areas might need more watering than those in the shade. Luckily, there are plants for every type of environment. Do your research to find them.
- If you live in an apartment or high rise building, ask if there are certain rules to follow. Some buildings prohibit plants that dangle over the railings, or there might be safety limits as to the weight load on a terrace.
- Think about how much attention you’re willing to give your plants. Depending on the species, they will need watering and fertilising. If you don’t want to be bothered by frequent care, there are options to install a drip irrigation system, use self-watering pots, or choose drought-resistant varieties.
- Lend variety to your mini-garden. You can have both annuals and perennials and throw in some exotics as well. Vary the colors as well, with flowering plants. Warm colors like orange, red and yellow bring energy and make the space vibrant. If you want a calmer ambiance, go for more calming violets, white and blue. Also, you can use planters that display bright colors and patterns to make your garden more interesting.
- If you can, grow edibles. Tomatoes and peppers can be grown in pots; and herbs are super easy to grow. And do you know that some even grow fruit trees in containers on their balconies? This way, you get to lessen your grocery bills and eat healthier.