If you’ve managed a small balcony garden for a while and feel you’ve mastered it, you know how it can sometimes feel a little monotonous. After all, you’ve seen the same plants grow season after season. Are you ready for something different? Here are some creative ways to challenge your skills with small balcony garden ideas that you may have never considered.
DIY Determination Required
The following ideas require varying levels of skills, effort, and creativity. Some ideas will require special tools and pots. You can find supplies like plant wicks, automatic watering solutions, wall planters, and more at home improvement stores, gardening stores, and online.
Moss & Fern Gardens
Moss and ferns like shady balconies. You can purchase ferns at garden stores, and you can purchase moss online. You can also collect native species in the wild if it is legal in your area. Native species may prove hardier in your balcony environment.
Moss is easy to collect. You can find it growing almost anywhere–on a sidewalk, a rooftop, or under a mailbox, for example. Sheet moss and moss growing on small rocks is easy to transplant. Don’t select moss that is too dry, and don’t let it dry out while you’re carrying it home.
Put moss-covered rocks in a shallow bowl, mossy-side up. Drape sheet moss on clean rocks or soil, and it will eventually attach itself. Mist the moss often, don’t let it dry out, and don’t touch it. After a period of time, the moss should start looking vibrant and recover from transplant shock.
Most mosses never grow taller than a couple of inches. Mass requires little care aside from plentiful watering. Moss patches will grow larger over time and change with the season. The beauty of moss is mostly in miniature, making it a perfect fit for small gardens.
Cactus And Rocks
If you live in a hot, dry region, your balcony may be too inhospitable for any plant to survive. Try a cactus garden. Add interesting rocks, sculptures, and other desert plants. Try succulents to fill in the spaces.
Photo by Priscilla Torres
Be careful of plants with thorns, spikes, or spines, especially if children are in the area. Pets can be injured if they bump into a cactus. Accidents with thorns can be very serious.
Mushroom gardens are meant for dark balconies that get only low levels of indirect sunlight. This situation can result from nearby hills, other buildings, or plant growth. If you have a mold or mildew problem on your balcony, then you can probably grow mushrooms.
Purchase a mushroom kit and see how well it grows before you commit yourself. Typical mushroom growing kits don’t provide much for you to look at aside from a basic box. You can get creative with trays, platforms, and containers, once you perfect your mushroom-growing technique. Add some sculptures and LED lighting for added interest.
Some balcony gardens veer into whimsical. Fantasy figurines and miniature garden gnomes are just the start. A small waterfall on a small balcony can make a big impact, and the sound of a waterfall can be very relaxing.
Water features are for advanced gardeners only. Tending them requires some practice and skill. They require a pump and special containers, along with regular maintenance.
Depending on where you live, your water feature may attract visitors. Don’t be surprised if local frogs, lizards, and other small critters take advantage of the idyllic environment you have created.
Grow Forth And Multiply
Challenging your gardening skills can be fun. Unless you’re a very good gardener or are very lucky, be prepared to fail. But every time you fail, you learn, and determined gardeners can overcome almost any challenge. With enough effort and a little luck, you’ll soon be posting pictures of your unique small balcony garden online!