Apartments are fast becoming a preferred living style choice.
With no mowing to do, many people appreciate the simple life of unit or apartment dwelling.
However, the void of ‘not having a patch of ground’ can be overcome with some great ideas.
The first item people have to get use to is that plants do need some care. You must first identify how much care you are willing to provide. An average balcony garden will require about 30minutes every two days. Some will require less, others more.
Balconies suffer most fiercely from winds and sun. Determine the wind and sun levels then head off to nearest nursery for advice on plant species.
Privacy is as important for unit dwellers as it is for land dwellers. Aim to utilize hedging plants in box planters, or strategic pot plants to produce a filtered view.
Due to wind, plants will dry out exceptionally fast so ensure your potting mixture has water crystals in it. Alternatively purchase a bag of a new product called Hydrocell to add into your pots. For distributors of this product, contact Centenary Landscaping Supplies (ph (07) 3373 4923).
Developments in modern manufacturing have created an assortment of light weight water features suited for balconies.
Traditional urns or pots in a water base and even wall mounted plaques are suited to small balconies.
Consideration must be given to the weight of a water feature while running, noise of water to neighbours, ease of set up on the balcony, possibility of removal when relocating, plus costs to run the pump and lights.
It is feasible to incorporate vegetables and herb plants when creating a balcony landscape. Either use these plants as focal pot specimens or as compliments to a large balcony landscape planting scheme.
Ensure furniture is weather resistant unless you intent to bring it in everyday.
Removable cushions is a good balance between comfort, style and heavy lifting.
Balconies attached to units and apartments have possibly the best views. Entertainment on the balcony surrounded with plants, a water feature, soft dining lights and the views of the city are equal to any land-dwelling landscape offering a similar experience.
Plants suited to exposed balcony units
Golden cane palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)
Sago palm (Cycas revoluta)
Yucca (Yucca spp.)
New Zealand Christmas Bush (Metrosideros spp.)
Mock Orange (Murrya paniculata)
Gymea lily (Doryanthus spp.)
Feijoa (Feijoa sellowiana)
Plants for protected balconies
PomPom lillypilly (Syzygium wilsonii)
Umbrella Tree (Schefflera spp.)
Star cluster (Pentas)
Ivy (Hedera helix)
Fig tree (Ficus)
Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
By Paul Plant F.A.I.H. writes for HOME magazine, Courier Mail