Everyone loves being outdoors, communing with nature, the vibrant colours, open air, feel of soil under their feet as well as the satisfaction that comes with growing things. However, living in apartments might feel a little restricting for those with avid green fingers. But don’t let that get you down as a lot can be done even when living in a high-rise building.
Provided you have the will and a little imagination, you can still get the satisfaction of growing your own herbs, vegetables, summer flowers and even trees and shrubs! Gardening on a small scale can be enjoyable and fulfil too, the trick lies in container gardening which can be used in different ways – growing upwards, hanging downwards and even as the new, exotic vertical garden walls…
While balconies are great places to grow your plants, do check how much sun it gets as some plants require more sun than others. Then buy the plants accordingly. Eight hours of sun is considered as fully sunny while less than four hours is considered as shady.
Next thing to consider for urban gardening is the type of soil to be used. While it’s easy to get a potting mix from your local garden shop, ask for the specific needs of the plants you intend to buy.
Sunny windowsills are great places to grow small pots of bright-coloured flowering plants like purple, magenta, red or deep blue flowers. White flowering plants look good on balconies as they show up at night too.
Plants that are kept on the balcony and experience full sun have a tendency to dry out quickly during the summer days; consider using self-watering containers for such plants. You won’t have to worry about your outdoor plants dying out this way, even if you are away for two-three days. These come in many, shapes, sizes and colours and aren’t difficult to find.
For smaller balconies, consider using plants and trees that grow upwards, not outwards; columnar or pyramid-shaped plants fit well into tight spaces. Sweet-smelling flowering plants like moonflower and nicotiana are great if you spend your evenings relaxing on your balcony.
Plants with bright or multi-coloured leaves like polka dot plants and crotons grow well out of direct sunlight. Place small flowerpots in groups for greater appeal. Palms also look wonderful in the hall or living room but need to be taken outdoors every few days. Finally, growing plants indoors is not only relaxing but also adds class to your home.