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Gardening guru Donna Balzer suggests, If permitted, adding containers to the edge of the balcony rail to give more planting space.
Gardening guru Donna Balzer suggests, If permitted, adding containers to the edge of the balcony rail to give more planting space.

June 22, 2016 | CREBNow

Beauty on the balcony

Five tips on how to add some wow factor to your outdoor space

newDonnawebIt is possible to plant your balcony using leftover plastic containers and old grocery bags. That said, it is also possible to wear old coffee sacks as clothing.

If you want beauty on your balcony or your body, plan ahead and look for the right pieces to make a statement because even a small space deserves to be beautiful.

Here are five tips to boost your balcony's beauty this spring:

1. Cover the balcony floor

If you have old, tired outdoor rugs or a concrete balcony, laying outdoor floor decking can quickly change the ambiance. Outdoor floor decking can be cut to size to fit your space. It doesn't need to be glued down, so it is easily lifted for winter or when you move. If your balcony is the same size of a woven plastic rug, skip the wood floor and buy a new area rug to cover the existing surface.


2. Minimize furniture

A single, large comfortable chair with bright cushions can make your balcony space inviting. But if two people are juggling for the outdoor space, add a second chair. Avoid Cape Cod chairs because they take up too much room. Buy plastic wicker chairs with "sunbrella" fabric cushions so they comfortably survive the seasons when left outside.

3. Add some green

If permitted, add containers to the edge of the balcony rail to give more planting space. Fabric containers, such as Root Pouch Saddle Bags, simply hang over your railing. Selecting a colour-co-ordinated pot or small group of pots to sit on the balcony "floor" can tie together the ground elements. A single larger pot is more dramatic and easier to care for than several smaller pots that need to be watered five times a day. Put each floor pot in a tray to stop water from dripping on your new deck or the balcony below. Use drought-tolerant plants such as Echeverias to reduce the water demand and simplify your life.

4. Get crafty

Find an old picture frame, paint it with lively colours and install a mirror or mosaic with mirror tile image inside it. This reflects more light back into the small patio garden, and looks like a window into a bigger space.

5. Add the finishing touch

Finish the area landscape with old or repurposed materials such as wooden wine crates beside or just below your mirror to display decorator items. Candles, empty planting pots, interesting antique finds or a small changing display keeps the area interesting and fun.

Finishing a small balcony with co-ordinated and colourful furnishings brings it visually indoors and adds space to an otherwise tiny apartment. Get started expanding your space and creating beauty on the balcony today.

Donna Balzer is an enthusiastic gardener and entertaining speaker. Sign up for her blog feeds at or follow her on Twitter @NoGuffGardener.

Tagged: advice | balcony | Calgary Real Estate | Calgary Real Estate News | container gardening | Donna Balzer | Gardening | Guest Column | YYCRE

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