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Maintaining a home

6 simple ways to create a beautiful balcony garden

9 November 2021

As property prices have risen in recent years and the urban living trend has grown, more and more of us now call an apartment home. But one downside is — what apartment living offers in convenience it lacks in outdoor space.

That doesn’t mean you have to give up gardening though. In fact, if you have a balcony, you can still make the most of your green thumb and make a big impact in a small space. Here’s how.

Grow up

Embracing the trend for vertical gardening is a great way to add more greenery to your balcony without taking up too much of the precious floorspace. You can DIY a planter wall with pallets, unused hanging shower organisers or old shopping totes and fabric scraps, or you can save yourself the time and buy pre-made wall planters and panels. Before you get to work installing it, spend a few days monitoring the different levels of sun exposure on your balcony to determine where to put your planter. Most plants will thrive in a spot that has both sun and shade throughout the day, as opposed to full sun or full shade. If you love to cook, herbs are a great option for vertical gardens, but if you’re just looking for some low-maintenance greenery try Boston ferns or begonias.

Go double duty

The best way to make the most of any small space is to invest in double-duty items that can serve multiple purposes while taking up less room. On the balcony garden, be smart with your furniture and pot plant selections. A tall planter with shelves underneath can provide extra storage for things such as watering cans and spades, while a bench seating with storage underneath can act as furniture while hiding away bags of soil or unsightly tools.

Fold and stack

When you’ve put in all the effort to create a gorgeous, green garden, you’ll want to ensure you’ve still got space to sit down, enjoy your morning coffee and admire your work. To be able to do this, clear away big, bulky furniture that’s hard to move and will get in the way when you’re gardening. Outdoor furniture that folds up is your best bet: it can be neatly put away when it’s not in use. Choose a material that can withstand the elements, such as teak or another hardy timber, or rust-resistant powder-coated steel.

Wind protection and privacy

Plants are a great way to give you a little extra privacy on the balcony, and some hardy species can even help to protect your other plants from wind. Bamboo is a great example of this, but you’ll need to invest in a solid pot that won’t blow over in a strong wind. If the pot is deep enough, add some weight by including rocks or gravel in the bottom to keep it upright.

Look down

Make a style statement on your balcony with statement flooring. In a small space like the balcony, you can usually afford to be a little more experimental in your design choice and your budget. For a timber look, outdoor deck tiles are easy to install yourself and instantly elevate the aesthetics. Stone and porcelain tiles can require a little more work to prepare and install but bring charm and character. A black and white pattern will also make your greenery pop, making the space look more luscious. 

Mix it up

For the ultimate urban oasis on your very own balcony, the trick is to include a variety of plants with different colours, shapes, and sizes. Agave should be one of the first on your list – it’s a stunning plant with a subtle blue shade to its foliage, and it’s very hardy. The beloved ‘Cousin It’ plant is another easy-care variety and will give your garden a lush layer of green. For height, try a spineless yucca or a giant bird of paradise plant, if your balcony is large enough. Potted marigold is a great way to bring a burst of colour, and if you’re looking for a climber pick up an orange trumpet vine for vibrant winter flowering. 

Make sure you’re covered

If you’re spending time, effort and money getting your balcony looking beautiful, you’ll want to make sure it’s covered if a wild weather event causes havoc out there.

Luckily, Suncorp Contents Insurance covers things like outdoor furniture and potted plants, as long as your sum insured is enough to replace them.

Explore Suncorp Contents Insurance

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General Insurance (including Home Building, Home Contents, Landlord, Strata, Car, CTP, Motorcycle, Caravan, Motorhome, Boat Insurance, Business Insurance and Barristers Insurance) is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision about this insurance.

The information is intended to be of a general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.

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