The sight of balconies, often cluttered, dusty in summer, often causes a feeling of annoyance. Why not make them green with your own hands, decorate them with bright flowers? How the face of the house would change, how smartly the street would look. And balcony or loggia could become a nice place in the city apartment, especially for those who do not have a cottage, a garden plot, who for some reason do not have the opportunity to go to nature in the summer, out of town.
Let’s imagine such a flower garden on a balcony or loggia. On the sunniest side – a shady corner will create climbing plants on the supports: chickpeas, chickpeas, morning glory, decorative beans – these are annual lianas.
In front of them on the outer side of the balcony hang stems of ampelous nasturtium with bright orange flowers, sea alissum bush white foam, interspersed with blue and white pads of lobelia. They bloom until late fall.
On the floor in crates, pots or baskets velvets stand firmly next to the bench, on which it is so convenient to sit down in the evening. At this time, fragrant tobacco, mathyola, and reseda smell especially fragrant.
Flowering plants surround you on all sides: in a cachet hanging from the ceiling, on a shelf nailed to the wall. Here and petunia – a particularly common balcony plant – with semi-sagging stems, and ever-flowering begonia, which has a light green or red-brown leaves and an abundance of white, pink, red flowers. And how ornate is the fuchsia! Fuchsia and other indoor plants feel good in a mini garden on the balcony and decorate it abundantly with greenery, unusual coloring of leaves and, of course, beautiful flowers. Almost all houseplants can be put out on the balcony or loggia as soon as the frost has passed. There are such indoor plants, which open air is just necessary in summer. So in the mini-garden will certainly move from the room forest tropical cacti: zygocactus decacabristus, epiphyllums. Together with you in a mini-garden will rest in the fresh air and indulge in fragrant flowers and oleander jasmine, there is room and citrus, and conifers, which spent all winter in the room.
If possible, a mini-garden is good to plant perennials prepared to flower. The mini-garden can be in bloom from early spring until the fall.
Creating a flower garden on the balcony: the choice of plants, planting
So, you have decided with your own hands to arrange a garden on the balcony, loggia, apartment window in your house. What to start with? It is necessary to decide where you will plant plants. In stores you can always buy plastic boxes and various containers. Wooden boxes can be made yourself. Experienced florists recommend the following dimensions for them: height 25-30 cm, width – 20-25 cm, the length is conveniently no more than a meter. Balcony boxes are usually hung on the top edge of the railing from the outside or inside. Fasten them firmly and reliably. In high-rise buildings the boxes are put on the inside of the balcony for safety and the plants are less affected by wind. The bottom of the box should have holes for water drainage. Before pouring nutrient soil into the box, you must arrange the drainage. To do this, put a layer of gravel (2 cm), on top – sand (3 cm), then soil, the level of which should be 3-4 cm below the edge of the box, so it does not wash out when watering and rain. The soil should be light, fertile: a mixture of humus, sod and leaf with the addition of sand (2:1:1:1). If necessary, add peat along with quicklime or chalk. It is not necessary to replace the soil in the boxes every year completely, it is enough before each new planting to remove plant residues, loosen and add fresh (5 cm).
Do not try to plant many plants at once, limit yourself to one or two crops to start with. If you planted seedlings early and there is a risk of frost, cover the flowers with film, paper just in case. When planting seedlings, try not to damage the root system. Do not thicken the planting – this hinders the development of plants.
If you put indoor plants in pots in a box, the free space between them fill with earth, peat or moss, and keep them moist.
Taking care of flowers on the balcony
Godetia, calendula, clarkia, Iberis and some other annuals can be sown in boxes with seeds, in late April – early May. Seeds are sown in furrows or scattered. Smaller ones should be mixed with sand or ash to make the sprouts even. Large seeds are placed a few grains at a time, making a depression in the soil. Sowing is covered with a thin layer of soil or sand, carefully watered through a strainer. Until the emergence of shoots, cover with a film. If the sprouts are dense, they are thinned. Young sprouts are covered against frost, but so that the cover does not touch the plants themselves.
A watering can with warm water should always be kept in the mini-garden, because you have to water the flowers on the balcony more often than usual. Don’t forget to loosen the soil, especially after watering. Feed the plants in 7-10 days with a ready-made nutrient mixture. It is better to apply it on a cloudy day in moist soil, taking care that the solution does not get on the leaves.
Do not leave your flower bed without attention and careful care for even a minute. After every watering and long rains, gently loosen the soil with a fork or small trowel, and remove weeds. Constantly cut back wilted flowers and withered leaves so that the plants bloom better and the balcony garden looks tidier. You will see for yourself how pleasant its coolness, how pleasing the greenery and bright flowers, what freshness fills your entire city apartment.