Everyone loves a balcony display and, for a flat owner with a busy life, they can be the ideal outdoor space. Big enough to enjoy growing your favourite flowers in colourful pots and small enough to be manageable.

A huge benefit, of course, is that there’s minimum soil – so minimal weeding!

So what does it take to make a balcony bloom? We asked some keen gardeners in the office for some ideas:

Don’t scrimp on potting soil, use the best you can afford and augment it with compost.

You might be short of space, so layer plants that bloom at different times on top of one another in the same containers and fertilize once a month.

If you are super keen and have lots of containers or small trees, bear in mind the amount of weight you are putting on your balcony. If you have any concerns, ask your residents association or managing agent for advice.

Watch how sunlight moves across your balcony over the course of a day and cluster your containers to take advantage of the sun or shade depending on their preference.

Of course, never balance anything on the rail unless you have got those special ports designed to fit over the rail – even then, check they are secure and that the lease allows them!

Most containers will dry out and need water every day.  During a heatwave, provide water twice a day but do spare a thought for the people downstairs – they may not welcome an unexpected shower!

If you’re going to be out all day, try freezing bags of water in the freezer and then pop a ‘mini’ iceberg into each pot.

If you enjoy gardening, you’ll probably know that the bee population is in sad decline. So plant pollinators’ favourites to attract bees and butterflies.

Herbs are the easiest edibles to grow in containers and they smell wonderful.

Some fruits also are surprisingly easy to grow in containers too; blueberries, for instance, and currants.

Vines and fast-growing climbers are good for a small space because they will lend vertical interest quickly – but do be sure to keep them under control.

For lots of inspiration, check out Balcony garden on Pinterest but, above all, enjoy your balcony.

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