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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Balcony Gardens

A balcony can become the most pleasant spot in your home if only it is made use of properly and any plantings are designed as an integral part of the flat. Nowadays, b
alconies have been transformed into the "backyards" for thousands of apartment, condominium, and townhouse dwellers across the country. Anyone can transform their balconies into a peaceful garden at home.

When choosing subjects for planting, it is always necessary to have an appropriately-sized container for each plant species or cultivar. Tiny, low-growing plants should never be planted in large boxes, bowls or troughs, as their fragile beauty is completely suppressed there. Similarly, too robust plants look incongrous if planted in small containers and will quickly exhaust the soil, and themselves.

The rigid outlines of modern facades usually call for some optical 'softening', which can be best achieved by placing on the balconies and window-sills containers filled with suitable plants.

The furnishings of a balcony can be quite inexpensive and simple. Where there is a shortage of space, a collapsible table and a few wicker or canvas chairs will do. A small sunshade provides necessary shade in summer, and creates privacy.

The most beautiful decoration for balconies is flowers. However, always bear in mind the colour of the building's facade; the flowers used should be in either pleasantly contrasting or complementary colours. As for containers, these can be of various materials, shapes and sizes.

Balcony boxes are usually suspended from the railings on solid iron hooks, either on the inner or outerside of the balcony. If possible, it is always better to think of this while the house is being built, as the construction of a supportive device may cause some difficulties later on. In taller buildings, however, it is advisable to place the boxes inside the balcony because this is safer and the plants will not suffer so much from being buffeted by wind.

Containers planted with flowers can also be placed on the floor of a balcony, along its walls. But as a considerable weight is involved, do check first that th ebalcony is able to bear such a load. The walls can be equipped with variously-shaped wooden trellis or frames, with a wire or nylon fibre stretched to form a support for perennial or annual climbing plants. Many of these produce an extraordinary abundance of beautiful flowers or fruits and most are relatively fast growers. A choice of annual non-climbing plants can be planted beside them.

Where balconies are equipped with iron bars for the purpose of safety, the containers can be suspended on the inner side of these railings. With a suitable choice of plant species, you can soon create a nice green 'curtain' to cover the bars and form a pleasant, shaded retreat.

For a larger balconies, a construction of bamboo sticks, laths or light-metal tubes can be made. Hooks or holders fastened at irregular intervals will bear pots or boxes, preferably lightweight plastic ones, planted with a variety of flowers.

Container gardening is great for your balcony because you can use a number of containers that you may already have at home. By using your creativity, you can create a unique garden out of various containers, including window boxes, hanging baskets and some other pots that you might have at home. Best of all, container gardens are easily maintained by even the most novice of gardeners. Everytime when you want to change the layout of your garden design, moving the containers around is easy too. Strong candidates for container gardens include annuals like pansies and sweet peas as well as such perennials as daylilies and oxalis.

Regardless of what kinds of real estate you own, if you don't have a backyard, nevermind! As long as you have a balcony, you can have a balcony garden of your own. Depending on your creativity, your balcony garden can be a gorgeous garden!

Realtor in Sebastopol, Prudential California Realty (Sonoma County, Healdsburg, Sebastopol,
Guerneville, Santa Rosa) Specializing in West Sonoma County , contact (707) 869-9011


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