Top 5 Reasons to Start a Terrace Garden:a Quick Start Guide to Create a Garden on a Terrace
My Balcony Garden
Terrace Gardens Are The Best
There is absolutely no reason why you can’t grow a small garden on your terrace.
You may only have a small space to work with but there is no reason why you can’t have a garden on your terrace. If you have a limited space for a garden, you should be can enjoy growing plants and watching wildlife.
Top 4 Reasons For A Terrace Garden
As a matter of fact, small green urban spaces are vital to wildlife and I never seize to be amazed at the amount of butterflies and birds that visit my balcony garden. Focusing on buying plants which attract wildlife also creates an interest, and makes your balcony garden come alive.
Plants absorb toxins such as carbons. Even a window box will help to cut down on air pollution.
Gardening is great therapy. Having your own garden, no matter how small, will help you to relax.
You grow your own fruit and vegetables in the middle of the city. Growing your own is surprising easy.
Some Basic Facts About Terrace Gardening
Planning your terrace garden is as important as planting your garden. There are some basic facts to keep in mind.
- What direction does your balcony face?
- Water – where is your nearest water source?
- Weight – make sure your pots are not too heavy.
- The size of the plants is important as well. Do you want to have lots of plants or just a couple of big plants?
- Is your terrace only going to be for your balcony garden, or do you need to share your garden space with other activities such as hanging out the laundry, eating, and family pets?
- Do you want a high or low maintenance terrace garden?
All of these are important points to consider when you plan your balcony garden. Perhaps the most important point is the orientation of your balcony. My balcony is south facing so it is subject to warm winds, and lots of sunshine. It is very important that your plants like the direction, or orientation, of your balcony as much as you do.
Best Plants For A Balcony Garden
Once you have found out in which direction your balcony faces, it is time to plan your planting. My terrace is south facing and I live in a warm climate. Cactus and succulents thrive on my terrace.
Over the winter my balcony garden gets a bit of a rest, and I change the plants to more low maintenance plants such as Christmas Cactus which love the south facing orientation.
If you are keen on providing a small sanctuary for wildlife, it is a good idea to take that into consideration. It is also nice to be able to create a colorful garden. Here are some ideas on what plants you should buy for your terrace garden.
Plant Ideas for Small Gardens or BalconiesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Getting in touch with your inner gardener
Do you think you have green fingers?
Don't throw away
Size of plant
Annual or Perennial
Good for wildlife - yes or no
Water Retention Crystals
Plastic bags can be used for replanting
No more mosquitoes with lavender
Best Plants For A South Facing Balcony Garden
Lavender – a great herb for your balcony. It is loved by both birds, butterflies, and other useful insects.
Rosemary – rosemary is another plant loved by wildlife.
Kalanchoe – a small plant that flowers for a long time but does not need a massive amount of water.
Tomatoes – tomatoes often do well on a south-facing balcony.
Cactus and succulents – many varieties of succulents flower. What makes them such great balcony plants? The main advantage of growing succulents and cactus on your balcony is that they don't need a lot of water.
Rosemary Looks Great In Pots
Best Plants For A North Facing Balcony Garden
Buddleia – commonly known as the butterfly bush as it attracts butterflies.
Geranium – geraniums are great for brightening up a north-facing balcony.
House leeks – don’t need a lot of water but grow quickly and can be very interesting. They are also very tolerant of cold weather and winds.
Gooseberry bushes – gooseberry bushes tend to do well on north-facing balconies
Rosemary – Rosemary is quite hardy and can handle quite cold temperatures
Pansy Come in Many Colors
Best Plants For An East Facing Balcony
Heather – you do get some summer flowering varieties.
Pansies – pansies are very colorful and blooms last a long time
Carnations and pinks – also very colorful and can be scented
Honeysuckle – a climber such as honeysuckles do well and add scent to your balcony. Grow outside of your bedroom for scent sensation.
Blueberries – blueberries in pots are just as delicious as their wild-grown cousins
Best Plants For a West Facing Balcony
Angelica – this is a big showy herb and they always grow better in a Western direction. It also keeps mosquitoes away.
Roses – both climbing and standard roses can be grown on balconies
Courgettes – courgettes (zucchini) have the most amazing flowers and you get to enjoy your own vegetables.
Grasses – there are lots of interesting grasses you can grow on a balcony. Avoid pampas grass as it grows too tall
Bamboo – bamboo plants are not too large and you can easily create a Chinese themed balcony.
More on Water Retaining Crystals
The Best Composts, Fertilizers, Pots and Plant Crystals For Terrace Gardens
It is important to buy good quality compost for your balcony garden.
If you initially invest in better quality compost you don’t need to change the compost that often. Good quality composts also tend to retain more moisture, and saving on water usage is important.
There are many great fertilizers on the market but try to find a good natural fertilizer or plant feed. There are some really good available which both look after your plants and do not cause harm visiting wildlife.
Pots are also important. In general I use plastic pots as they are not only lighter but they are not affected by frost. They are also a lot easier to move around, and lift up to put on a table for general plant maintenance.
Plant crystals are a fantastic solution for smaller and medium sized pots. They work by retaining water so you need to water less to maintain your balcony garden. I use them as my terrace gets hot very quickly.
Water Storing Crystals from Miracle-Gro - Best in Test
Add a bit of fun to your pots
More to Gardening Than Plants
Plants are great but there are many things which you also liven up and brighten up your balcony.
Garden ornaments look great on the balcony as well. You can always add wind chimes but might disturb the neighbors on windy nights. Consider perhaps swapping your wind chimes for dream catchers or sun catchers.
Making a seating area nice and welcoming is another, often welcomed, idea for your balcony garden. Even a small table with a couple of chairs make a nice addition, and you can add some candles for that extra special touch.
Mirrors might even be a good idea if you would like to give some of your plants some extra reflected light.
Important Things to Remember Before You Get Started
- Where is your water? How far is your water?
- How big will a plant get?
- Direction – north, south, east and west.
- Drainage – don’t forget your plants will need good drainage
- Quality compost
- Don’t throw away water from boiled vegetables or lentils- it makes excellent plant feed.
© 2014 Annie Messeri