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Urban Gardens | How to Make the Most Out of Your Balcony

simple urban garden balcony

Photo by Doug Beckers

We all enjoy the serenity and beauty of gardens and parks. Yet for some of us, city dwellers, it is not always easy to have a convenient access to green spaces in our busy urban lives. This doesn’t mean that you cannot create your own little piece of garden heaven and we’ll show you just how easy it is to do that if you have even a small balcony.

architectural garden balcony
Photo by Michael Gaida

Balcony gardens make the perfect outdoor spaces. Having an apartment doesn’t mean that you have to be deprived of the perks of having a cozy, outdoor space. Decorating your apartment balcony is a great opportunity to stamp your personality and create a stylish space of your own. Balconies are most often convenient, big enough to sit on and relax, or use as a working space. So why not turn it into your own creative oasis? Here is what you can do to get the best out of your small outdoor balcony.

Balconies are most often convenient, big enough to sit on and relax, or use as a working space. So why not turn it into your own creative oasis? Here is what you can do to get the best out of your small outdoor balcony.

Will decorating a balcony require too much work?

We devote most of our time decorating “primary” rooms like the bedroom, living room and the kitchen. However, what we usually seem to neglect is the time and energy to decorate the balcony. A little bit of originality and experimentation can transform this amazing space into a stylish relaxing spot in no time. Why not invest time in creating an urban garden, a pleasant place away from the hustle and bustle of the city?

simple urban garden balcony
Photo by Doug Beckers

Factors to consider before creating your urban garden.

Balconies can represent a charming extension of your living space. The good news is that there isn’t too much soil you need to take care of. This means that you won’t have to deal with weeds and pests while taking care of your urban garden. However, you should be aware of a few challenges that might appear along the way of decorating it.

balcony design for a small space
Photo by Rooky Yootz

Sun or shade

  • One determining factor is whether your balcony is in the sun or the shade. If it is on the sunny side, you will have to bring shade to it, and vice versa, if it is in the shade you need to brighten it up and refresh it.


  • Think about watering before you add plants. Even though an outside tap would be an ideal solution, it isn’t always possible. If you have to use watering cans to water your plants, think about how many trips you would have to take to keep them looking good.


  • Think about safety. Adding too many things might be an issue. Proper drainage, safely positioning pots and furniture are just some things you should consider when decorating your outdoor area.
Balcony with flowers in Granada
Photo by Pixabay

Decorate your urban garden

  • Invest time and energy into decorating your urban garden as much as you do with other rooms in your apartment. Treat your balcony just like any other room. Think about lighting and ornaments, decorating the walls and positioning furniture in order to create a functional  outdoor space.

Walls and vertical gardens

  • Don’t forget to maximize the use of walls. They can be turned into a crucial growing and decorating space.

Be smart with your budget

  • Define your budget. Even though it is possible to spend a whole fortune on a balcony garden, that doesn’t always have to be the case. You can’t really save on a good quality potting soil, but you might consider minimizing costs on other things. Pots or furniture for example. Besides, when you think about it, almost everything can be turned into a container, so you can save on pots.

Take care of it

  • Love it and enjoy every single minute spent in your urban garden. Nothing is sadder than the sight of a disregarded balcony. Make sure you dedicate at least half an hour a week to go out, water the plants and sweep. You will be surprised by the difference it would make.

How to transform a neglected balcony into an irresistible space perfect for relaxing?

If your balcony looks like a graveyard for dying plants or a storage for stuff you don’t use, you should step up the game. It’s time for a transformation. Here are some tips you could use to turn your neglected balcony into an urban garden everyone could wish for:

Use the walls as a vertical garden.

Sometimes plants take a lot of space when it comes to decorating your patio. However, without them, your outdoor area would lack character and that feeling of nature. Think about creating a DIY vertical garden. This way you will be able to enjoy your balcony without the feeling that plants are taking too much of your space. Besides, they can improve the quality of your life.

Think of a theme or a certain look.

It would be much easier to choose furniture, ornaments or wall paint if you already know what you want. How is it going to look like in the winter or autumn? Is it going to be too difficult to take care of? There are millions of ideas out there, just let your creativity out.

Add storage space.

Make the most out of your outdoor space. A simple bench with underseat storage or small boxes put under the chairs can make a huge difference.

Choose a small table.

All you need to relax is a chair and a small table where you can sip your morning coffee. Bonus tip: go for foldable chairs and tables, so you can store them inside if necessary.

Use a shelf attached to a railing as a table.

If your balcony is super tiny, and you can’t afford to fit a table, consider BalkonBar’s useful feature in mind. They created a table, i.e a shelf that barely takes up space, that only needs to be adjusted to the railing.

Add pillow seats, hanging chair or a hammock to create a laid-back vibe.

Just because you are in the city, it doesn’t have to mean that your urban garden can’t feel like you’re on a holiday. Besides, they are extremely comfortable.

Create pattern.

You can simply add a colourful rug, pillows or curtains to freshen up your balcony. If you are feeling brave, choose ornaments in bold colours.

Light up your balcony.

Late-night hangouts can be much more charming if you decide to invest in proper lighting. Outdoor pendants, lanterns, string lights or sconces – you name it, there are plenty of possibilities out there. Even a single candle can make a difference. If you choose to decorate your balcony with candles, go one step further and choose fragranced ones.

Now that it’s finished, make sure you maintain it.

  • Water it: Even though it might be a bit time-consuming, don’t forget to take care of your plants. That is why you consider choosing plants and flowers that will be easier to take care of. Store a full bottle of water on the balcony, it will always come in handy. However, you should be aware that watering is only a small part of growing plants. You need to feed them once in a while, as well as dust them and make sure you provide an optimal level of humidity. This of course, individually depends on the plant.
  • Place a small bin outside: this will make it easier for you to get rid of the rubbish and dead leaves.
  • Invest in pot trays: just as important as the pots themselves, pot trays will hold the water. This means that you won’t need to water the plants as often.
pots and plans on balconies
Photo by Michael Gaida

Let’s sum it up.

Cherish your balcony. Some people can just dream of a private outdoor space, and that’s even more reason to use it to the maximum. A balcony can be a beautiful extension of your living space. No matter how small it is, it has got a lot of design potential. With a bit of creativity and dedication, it can be turned into a charming, stylish and cozy place all year round.

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