Now is the time to consider what would work for next year for those who are considering creating a garden room on that balcony or rooftop area of your home, apartment or condo. Your balcony backyard is becoming more and more popular and with a little attention, can become a focal point of your home and wonderful area for entertaining.
Because balconies are usually quite small, space is a major design consideration. The main design principle is to keep the design as simple as possible. The last thing you want is a cluttered, busy look.
One major consideration for those narrow or small areas is to use a square or rectangular container or garden planters that follow the angles and edges of balconies. They will also save space. Hanging baskets, espaliered, and climbing plants will bring the walls to life. The plants themselves can be grown in your containers, easily moved around with the seasons. A trellis attached to the wall is a great place to grow climbing plants and still leave enough room for a small table, bench or a couple of chairs.
Rooftop gardens and some balconies are often blasted by wind and sun, so select plants that are suitable for these conditions. Some suggestions may be Cacti, Kalanchoe, Ivy and many ornamental grasses for they are somewhat drought resistant. Others that may need a little more care are Roses, Citrus, Daisies, Geraniums of course, Bamboo and Conifers. Surprisingly the biggest killer of balcony plants is often overwatering. The urge is great to add water every time you check on the progress of your garden. Beware of being too kind!
Garden pots and planters filled with clipped shapes or standards create a truly elegant effect and may be used as dominant features for your rooftop garden. You can create an exquisite look in a small space by using several pots of clipped shrubs. Boxwood can be clipped into spheres, squares or any shape you desire. Keep in mind that it is less expensive to purchase large unclipped boxwood and then create your own design.
Containers filled with your shrubs make great portable hedges or screens. They are ideal for separating the space from the rest of the area in order to create a separate garden room.
Think carefully about the style and function of your balcony, or rooftop space. Do you want it formal or informal? With a formal look, you can create a modern minimalist style with a few containers filled with select garden plants. In either case, be sure to use heavy, wide pots and planters in windy areas to prevent the pots from being blown over.
If you have a large area, or one that is elongated, consider using repeat plantings to give a clean, uncluttered appearance. Several large containers or planters can be more eye-catching than a collection of small pots.
Use your imagination and just get started. From season to season you will learn what works best in your space and how to make the garden room part of your home.
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