Planning a patio (or balcony) garden? Here’s what to keep in mind.

  |     |   Helpful Tips

Whether it’s cold and snowy or gloomy and rainy where you live right now, there’s no end of sunshine in the future as the seasons turn to Spring and Summer. That makes now the perfect time to dream up your ideal small-footprint garden and begin planning for it! Read on for some tips and tricks to keep in mind for your best garden, ever:

Know your goal!

Like every apartment-improvement project, it’s important for you to lay out your goals first. Are you looking to supplement your vegetable and herb selection for all those summer meals? A cozy retreat for you and a friend? Or just a bright splash of happy color every time you step outside? By knowing your ultimate goal from the beginning, you’ll streamline your time and effort—and you’ll be much more likely to love the result.

Survey your space—the good, the bad, and the possible

Does your patio or balcony get blasted with sunshine or is it tucked into the shadows? Is it a private nook or open to the elements (and passersby?) Adapting your garden plans to work with your space, not against it, is key. Shade and privacy can be created with screens and awnings, and you can work with a shadowy space by choosing plants and flowers that love cooler temps and less sunlight. No matter what challenges your space provides, there’s a workaround if you are willing to get creative!

Translate your personal style to your garden

What style defines you inside your apartment—do you prefer sleek lines? Lots of color? Defined angles or rounded edges? Take those preferences outdoors to make your garden feel like an extension of your home. You can always surf the latest design magazines to see what trends are popping, but for a garden space you’ll truly love, be true to your style soul.

Figure out how you’ll make it rain

If you live in a rainy area, plan on incorporating lots of drainage options to your garden, whether it’s container-focused or in-the-ground. If you worry your plants will get too dry, look into portable irrigation solutions or ways to establish a watering schedule that will carry you all the way to Fall. A little planning up front can save you tremendous frustration in the height of summer.

Draw it, then do it!

If it’s currently winter, you have a few months before you will be able to spend much quality time outside, so take the opportunity to draw out your ideal patio or balcony garden, even to a very basic scale. Then, take your design to a local nursery or home improvement store and show it to an expert to get advice on materials, drainage ideas, and the perfect plants for your climate. By the time Spring rolls around, you’ll be able to create the garden of your dreams—more quickly than you think

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