How to build a balcony garden.

In Singapore not everyone is fortunate enough to have a garden. If you are living in a condo or HDB flat you may have a balcony and this provides you with a opportunity to create your own garden retreat. Balconies are often subjected to intense weather and strong winds, so special precautions have to be taken. 

Follow these 6 tips you will be able to build a successful balcony garden.
  1. The first thing to do when planning a balcony garden is check out the balcony’s construction. It is important to consider the additional weight that will be needed for containers and soil. You can find out from the URA (Urban Redevelopment Authority) how much weight the balcony can safely support. Never exceed the safety recommendations for the building.
  2. Floor covering may be needed if the floor is unattractive or unfinished. It may be tempting to put off replacing the flooring, but it is much easier to do it at the beginning of the project. You need to pick materials that are weather resistant and always consider their weight. Quality pressure-treated decking is both attractive and affordable. An alternative is composite becking which will last longer and dose not need yearly maintenance but is more costly.
  3. On most balconies space is limited, so use all the available space. Use the walls and railings. If your balcony gets a lot of wind you will want to install a wind breaker. The more sheltered the balcony garden is from extreme weather conditions the greater the variety of plants you will be able to choose from. Pots and hanging baskets can also be used to increase the vertical planting area, but ensure they are securely fastened.
  4. You need to be creative with the horizontal surfaces. You may be limited with you horizontal space so make the most of the balcony by adding a group of containers planted with hardy perennials or wind-resistant trees. Use containers that look like metal or heavy stone but are made of light weight plastic. You can install a trellis on the balcony. Depending on your personal preference, you can secure hooks to the wall to support the trellis or place the two vertical posts in containers to keep it in place.
  5. Before going out and purchasing plants take note of the amount of sunlight the different parts of your balcony receives. Adding larger shrubs is the quickest way to give a balcony garden an established look. Larger shrubs can be very expensive, but the effect is worth the expense. If your budget is limited consider growing a hibiscus. Hibiscus are reasonably priced and a small plant will grow rapidly.Grow dwarf varieties of trees and shrubs in larger containers. Plant cacti, succulents and flowering or foliage plants in the smaller containers, and trailing or scrambling plants in hanging baskets.
  6. Arrange containers for effect. Even a solitary planter can be displayed to a grand focal point. Arranging a number of mixed containers can create an effect of volume. Create visual interest by using containers of varying heights and widths. Line medium-sized containers along the walls of the balcony and place the larger ones at the corners. Arrange small containers in front of the larger ones for added depth and colour.
Know that you have created the perfect balcony garden, it is time to start enjoying it. If your balcony is large enough, place benches or garden seats in a corner of the balcony along with a small table and an umbrella to keep out the sun. Pour yourself a drink and start enjoying your space.

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