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How to turn your balcony or patio into a lush garden space

December 14, 2023

Unit-C97-Murray Halberg-08-blog-post

If you have a green thumb, just imagine what you could do with a balcony with a fantastic view like this one at Murray Halberg Village. This elevated space offers the perfect blank canvas to create a lush outdoor space without lawn maintenance or heavy lifting.


Shane Fairbairn, Landscape Manager at Ryman Healthcare, shares some tips for creating the perfect outdoor space on your patio or balcony so you can enjoy the benefits of gardening without the hassles. 

Define your vision

First, decide on a theme. Is it cosy and bohemian, sleek and minimalist, a lush urban jungle, or something else? Do you want to entertain friends, or is it your private indoor-outdoor retreat? Your vision will guide your plant and furniture choices.


IMG_7080-blog-postAdd colour

Colours such as white, soft blue, pale pink and lilac are calming, while bright blue, yellow, and red invigorate. Think about the overall feel you would like to create in your space and select colours that reflect this. Flowering plants flourish in a container garden include geraniums, cyclamen, pansies, and lavender. 


Incredible edibles

Your patio or balcony offers a sheltered space to grow fresh herbs. Basil, rosemary, thyme, chives, coriander, and mint thrive in container gardens and are perfect for vertical planters. You can also grow strawberries, blueberries, cherry tomatoes, and miniature lemon or lime trees.




Plan for the climate

Does your outdoor space get morning, afternoon, or all-day sun? Select plants that thrive in the sunlight conditions and consider a mix of potted plants and layers of greenery using vertical planters.

Hebes, Buxus, and Dwarf Pittosporum are hardy evergreen shrubs suitable for pots. Hebes come in a variety of sizes and have beautiful white, pink, or purple flowers. Dwarf Pittosporum is a compact shrub with glossy, dark green leaves. Slow-growing Buxus has small leaves and can be clipped into interesting shapes.


Maximise comfort

Think of your patio or balcony as an additional room to relax. Add decorative cushions, outdoor rugs, art, and comfortable outdoor furniture so it becomes an extension of your indoor space. Keep a couple of cosy blankets stored nearby for cooler temperatures. Then sit back with a glass of wine or a cuppa and enjoy the tranquility.




Tips for potted plants

To keep your plants happy, plant in well-drained soil and tend to them by watering, fertilising, and pruning as required. Select containers which provide proper drainage with a saucer underneath. Using a variety of sizes and heights adds visual interest to your container garden.