7 ways city gardeners can utilise space on balconies and terraces

From planting upwards to mini greenhouses...

Urban Gardening
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Creating container gardens, layering plants and hanging flowers from balconies are just a few ways in which city dwellers can make the most of their limited outdoor space.

'With more than 90 per cent of the population predicted to be living in a city by 2030, gardeners will be looking for ways to enjoy their outdoor space, however small,' explain the horticulture experts from GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk.

'Living inner city will mean your plants are exposed to higher levels of pollution too, and this should be kept in mind. However, planting more flowers and shrubs can actually help clean the air and promote a healthier eco-system.'

If you haven't tried these ideas, take note of the different ways in which city gardeners can utilise their space and create mini gardens, all whilst adding some colour to balconies and terraces.

Consider containers

Container gardens are ideal for those renting or living in apartments, essentially allowing you to make the most of the paved outdoor space with little cost. The best way to do this is by dotting terracotta pots around the area, or you could even use old wine crates.

Urban jungle wall is made of old wooden fruit crates, planted with a mixture of upright and trailing geraniums, summery vines and lettuce
This urban jungle wall is made of old wooden fruit crates planted with a mixture of upright and trailing geraniums, summery vines and lettuce.
Pelargonium for Europe

Shade-friendly

    In city areas there's likely to be plenty of tall buildings overlooking your garden, balcony or terrace, so consider planting flowers that thrive in the shade and stay away sun-hungry plants like Aloe Vera and Coleus perennials. Plants such as snowdrops, pulmonaria and ivy can all grow and survive shady conditions.

    Plant upwards

      Climbing plants make great features on walls but be wary if renting as they may be hard to get rid of once established. Consider instead installing a wall planter which will keep the plants from wrapping themselves around any external wires but also allow you to enjoy lots of greenery, even in the smallest of spaces.

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      Small succulents

        If your outdoor space is practically non-existent, consider cacti. Succulents require little water and maintenance and are great for those always on the go. Building a terrarium is a fun activity and can be done in less than 30 minutes – all you need is a transparent container, pebbles, soil, and some succulents.

        Bunches
        Mixed Succulents in Crate
        bunches.co.uk
        £31.00
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        Air Plants

        If planting in the soil is not an option due to limited space, instead opt for plants that get all their nutrients from the air instead. These underrated shrubs are perfect for the city garden and can be planted anywhere providing they receive adequate water and light. Tillandsia is a popular air plant variety, and only requires misting 2–3 times a week when planted in a wine cork.

        Crocus
        air plant - Tillandsia argentea
        crocus.co.uk
        £4.99
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        Remain Zen

        Replicating a scene from nature, a traditional Japanese Zen garden will use a limited number of plants. You can make a miniature version for the windowsill using pebbles, air plants, and sand.

        Miniature Greenhouse

          Even the humblest of gardens can benefit from a flourishing greenhouse, simply install a slim glass cabinet against the wall and paint with weatherproof paint to prevent damage.

          Very.co.uk
          Hardwood Coldframe
          Rowlinson very.co.uk
          £99.99
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