When you think of gardens you probably imagine the lush greens of Cubbon Park, or the carefully curated blooms of Lalbagh. These vast expanses of flora are certainly impressive, but what if you wanted to bring some of that colour home? Well, balcony gardens are a simple way to create a little slice of paradise in your abode. With just three easy steps, you can have a lush, vibrant, and sustainable greenspace in your very own balcony.
Step 1: Plan Ahead
To create the perfect balcony garden, you first need to visualize the end result. Figure out how much space you have to work with. Will you be using pots or planters? How many of each can fit in the space? You can even incorporate hanging planters, just make sure you have the right infrastructure to support them. Then plan what you’re going to grow. Is your garden going to be functional, decorative, or a combination of the two? Variety is the spice of life, so don’t be afraid to mix it up. Pair sun-loving plants with those who need more shade, plant vegetables and herbs near decorative flowers, and maybe introduce some climbing vines to bring new life to walls and railings –– the opportunities are endless!
Step 2: Choose Carefully
The best balcony gardens are the ones that bring you joy all year round. So you’ll need to select plants that flower all year round — or rather, make sure that you have a variety of plants that bloom at different times. Perennial plants give your garden that coveted burst of color through every season, so selecting the right blossoms are a vital part of the planting process. Of course this isn’t limited to decorative flowers alone, fruits, vegetables and herbs also have a certain flowering period — so even the most functional garden can offer a rainbow of stunning visuals.
Step 3: Go Native
Flowers are just the first step to a truly impressive garden — after all, plants are not only decorative, but play a vital role in the ecosystem. Planting the right blossoms will attract indigenous birds and butterflies to your balcony, creating a space that lets you experience the best that nature has to offer. You just have to choose the right native plants. Indigenous flora are more sustainable than foreign species, as they are specially suited for the climate, atmosphere, and soil of the region. Here are some vivid plants native to South India that can brighten up your balcony:
- Ascocenda Princess Misaka — Delicate flower from the orchid family with vibrant purple or white blossoms
- Jasmine — Fragrant flower that blooms well in winter, grown in semi-moist soil and partial sunlight. A unique variety (Queen of the Night) flowers only at night time, and can be distinguished by its distinctive smell
- Marigold — Vibrant orange blooms that are an important part of many Indian celebrations
- Hibiscus — One of the most popular flowering plants in the country, the blooms come in a variety of colors from vibrant red and orange to pale pink and yellow
- Bengal Clock Vine — Tube-shaped light purple flowers make for a very visually interesting climbing plant
With a little planning and research, you will be able to create an oasis of color in the dull urban landscape — the perfect place to enjoy a cup of coffee or a good book while soaking up the sunshine!