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Bontiful Balcony Gardens

Published:
17/01/2016
Author:
Matt Leacy

As Sydney Develops its many high rise residential buildings it will become more and more challenging for ‘greenies’ to feed their hunger for planting and sustaining a bountiful garden on a balcony.

When you are developing your own balcony garden there are numerous things to consider before getting started. 

Assessing your area

The very first thing to do when looking to grow plants on your terrace is acknowledging the conditions in which your plants will be living. Checking the temperature, sun exposure and the force of winds will equip you with the knowledge of what plants to eventually place in your residence.
Many plants need constant sun exposure, where others will curl up and die. This difference in plants is also seen in dry verses moist conditions, or even strong winds verses slight breezes.

Map out a plan

The next thing to consider is the setting out of your balcony garden. 

Ask yourself how big can my garden be?

How much space will I have after installing the garden?

Whilst balcony gardens usually start with pot plants, it is always a good idea to remember vertical gardens are not only physically appealing but is also very space savvy.  Specifically in a small area, it is important to keep the space simple and functional. It is not ideal to be overwhelmed with pots and plants in a very limited area. To start, think about the balcony’s main purpose. Is it for entertainment, sitting or even dining? By stating the main purpose of your space, it can become easier to visualize the position of the plants.

Acknowledge restrictions

Living in an apartment comes with many compromises; weight limit and span of your balcony garden are just a few of these. A good way to keep the weight down on your balcony is to use plastic, polystyrene or wood pots. Fill the bottom half of your pot with polystyrene chips to reduce the weight of potting mix. By using these alternatives you meet regulations and use less potting mix in the process.

Deciding on what plants are right for your lifestyle and balcony

The number one thing about plants is that unless they are plastic or are already dead, they will need some amount of care. 
With the copious amounts of plants available to you, you will find yourself spoilt for choice when choosing the right plant for your home.

Shade plants:

  • Fuchsia
  • Jumpseed
  • Azalea
  • Any type of Fern
  • Pothos
  • Bleeding heart
  • Primrose
  • Pansies
  • Sun loving plants:
  • Cacti
  • Succulents
  • Geraniums
  • Gazania
  • Hellebores
  • Houseleek
  • Strong, low maintenance plants:
  • Pink/white/yellow daises
  • Bamboo
  • Poa tussock
  • Geraniums
  • Weeping rosemary
  • Oleander
  • Weeping Bottlebrush
  • Ivy
  • Succulents
  • Cacti

There are also many plants that produce vegetables, fruits and herbs. Although if planting edible plants, it is a handy tool to spray an organic spray such as garlic oil to keep insects and pests away from the plants.

Vegetables:

  • Garlic
  • Tomato’s
  • Carrots
  • Snow peas
  • Beans
  • Fruit:
  • Dwarf varieties of citrus
  • Strawberries
  • Herbs:
  • Thai Coriander 
  • Garlic chives
  • Opal Basil
  • Rocket
  • Common mint
  • Vietnamese mint
  • Rosemary

Matt Leacy has an established 16 year career in the Australian landscape and design industry.  Eleven years ago, Matt founded Landart Landscapes – a design, construction and maintenance. Matt was a co-presenter on Channel Nine’s Garden Gurus after previously co-presenting for three seasons of Domestic Blitz.  Matt Leacy has appeared on and continues to attract appearances on numerous TV shows, including the Today Show, The Morning Show with Kerrie-Anne, Renovation Australia and Random Acts of Kindness. v

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