There is something magical about greenery that leaves us feeling rejuvenated and renewed. Nothing can beat the euphoria of spending time surrounded by Balcony Garden lush green trees, cool breeze, soft lawns beneath our feet, and birds chirping in the distance.
Imagine sitting in a park, under a tree facing a beautiful rose garden, breathing in the fragrance and fresh air after a tiring day at work – just the thought of it brings a smile to our face.
As much as we need moments like these, we find it extremely difficult to sneak them into our ever so busy schedules or even if we have the time to do so finding a park to suit our requirements can be a task.
Fortunately, newer societies have green spaces as part of amenities for residents to unwind; but what about the majority of the population that lives in concretized paradises they call home?
The need to have a piece of nature, along with wanting to grow one’s produce (in whatever capacity possible) inspired the concept of “Balcony Garden”.
A designated space in the comfort of your home where you can grow anything from flowering plants to vegetables.
A place that adds to the beauty of your apartment, doubles as an interesting hobby, a family bonding activity; balcony gardens may seem like a new concept or even a step above having a few potted plants around the house or nested in the kitchen window, but that’s far from reality.
But the concept itself is not novel, in retrospect, house plants especially medicinal bushes like the Tulsi (Holy Basil) or Curry leaves along with a few other herbs have been found in most Indian households for centuries to bring in positivity, for home remedies, as well as ingredients for local cuisine.
It all started with a variety of plants in the courtyard or ‘aangan’, which gradually reduced to a few on the kitchen window with modernization and urbanization setting in.
None the less the love for greens hasn’t changed, people are becoming more aware of the benefits of having houseplants.
There is a deeper value to having a green corner in your apartment than it may seem on the surface. Plants are beneficial for overall health – having plants in and around the apartment is a good idea as it purifies the air and makes it healthier.
Plants release about 97% of the water they take in which increases the humidity of the room, this is especially good for those suffering from certain skin and respiratory conditions.
It also boosts the immune system. Secondly, they exude calmness and are therefore recommended to better mental health, fight anxiety and depression as well as other conditions.
With all these, it also aids in keeping a positive atmosphere, in turn, bettering the quality of interpersonal relationships. Lastly due to the oxygen they release plants to improve productivity and help individuals focus on tasks better. They also have many other positive long-term implications.
The concept does seem appealing and you would consider transforming your balcony into a picturesque garden. We have put together a list of things to consider before getting started
- Placement – All the love and care in the world will not be enough if your plants do not receive enough sunlight. Hence it is crucial that the aspect or the positioning of the balcony is given top priority while planning a garden. Plants must receive at least 3 to 4 hours of direct sunlight; this will not only help them grow better but also keep them healthy.
- Weight restrictions – Now that you have identified a well-lit place it is important to do a little research on weight restrictions that societies in cities levy. Big pots teamed with wet soil tend to get heavy; this will reduce the number of plants you can have in your garden. Consider planters and pots made of wood, terra cotta or other materials that reduce the weight.
- The space available – In metropolitan cities space is always a constrain. But the beauty of having a balcony garden is that it is not restricted to the volume of space available. There is an option of layering pots using racks, planting climbers or having pots hanging from the ceiling. You could also convert your boring wall into a living piece of art.
- Over spillage – Another essential factor to keep in mind is that pots overflow and leak, before finalizing the placement of pots it is vital to check if is there an outlet for spillage. Most balconies have one but be sure of not spraying people with muddy water while watering your plants. In addition to this, walls get dirty with the water dripping from above, this can also affect the structure of the building in the long run due to seepage, it could also result in the rotting of wooden furniture or flooring. This can be avoided by drip irrigation combined with a catchment system at the bottom,
- Birds and insects – Mosquitoes and other insects can breed in the water trays if proper care is not taken. On the other hand, it can attract pigeons and other birds that feed on tender buds and fruits. Regular inspection of pots and trays along with nets to cover openings can be an easy solution.
- Wind – If the balcony is high wind is another factor to consider, necessary precautions need to be taken to prevent mishaps. Along with this, the selection of plants depends on the overall weather – is it too hot or cold – be vigilant.
In conclusion ‘Balcony Garden’, are a good idea if you would like to have an escape den for yourself. You do not necessarily need to spend a lot of money, upscale materials you already have – almost everything can be converted into a pot so get creative.
It may seem time-consuming at the beginning, but it all pays off. Have a variety of plants, this gives you different hues of green as well as diversity in produce.
Let’s get together and create miniature ecosystems in our balconies and do our best to reduce our carbon footprint as well as live a more fulfilled life.
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