Condo balconies are often left in the dark especially in the city of Toronto. Condo owners and tenants often add a chair, table, bubble chair or other forms of furniture. However, only a few think about making a small balcony garden, and to many, the idea was once impossible.
Now, it is a possibility.
A balcony garden is a place of beauty and delight and a
perfect spot for creating a small oasis of nature. Science has often proved the
restorative effects of nature in humans and since a balcony garden is known as
an oasis for the condo, it will surely liven up the mood of the tenant of a
stylish Toronto condo.
With some plants, pots and some creativity in turning old
stuff useful for the balcony, let us have a look at some tips to help turn the
balcony into a balcony garden.
Checking the condo’s rules
When intending to create a balcony garden, it would be wise
to check the rules of the condo building first. It isn’t fun when you must tear
down what you created carefully. Check the condo agreement (or the rental one).
If there are no permissions for creating a garden then it is best to ask the
landlord, superintendent or the condo board in case if there are any
Building rules often do not allow any greenery hanging over
balcony edges as well as any wines going up the walls. Additionally, they may
have restrictions of size and weight on the pants. In case the rules are quite
stringent and rigid, placing small planters strategically can help create great
The situation can be different on small buildings as they do
not have much hard and fast rules. This does give the tenant freedom in
planting plants on the balcony. However, those plants should not encroach
others’ property else complaints will then lead the building management
creating a set of new, stringent rules.
Making use of small space the European way
The potential of small gardens has often been ignored in
North America, but in Europe, they hold strong potential. Europeans have often
taken advantage of their balconies and other small spaces in creating beautiful
and carefully designed gardens.
You will see balconies of European balconies and apartments
laden with plants and small seats. In fact, this European tradition of small gardens
goes all the way back to the medieval times when small herb gardens can be
found in high castle towers.
It would best for tenants to decide how much space they want
for a seating area with a table as it will be the garden’s focus point. Having
plants at the sides will spruce up the seating area with greenery. Such an area
should be in front of windows which gives a good view from the inside.
Around the seating arrangement, place small plants close to
them with large plants around the sides. This gives a feeling of sitting in
nature. It hides the balcony’s edges with organic growth.
It is best to keep the plants and their containers as simple
as possible. Strong plastic containers are strong and lightweight despite their
looks. Hence, let containers hold the plants and let the plants bring beautify
For some extra brilliance, using string lights in
illuminating such a space at night is a brilliant idea. Such a glow goes
through the leaves in a pattern which creates an aura of European comfort.
Plant the plants according to Toronto’s climate
What you want to grow on your condo’s balcony requires sun,
water and good soil. This works directly with the climate zone. If you are a
resident of either Houston, New Orleans or Miami, then your plants can get
ample sunlight and favorable winds.
However, since Toronto is in the North, plants in condo
balconies of Toronto are unlikely to get the needed exposure. Hence, shade
loving plants will work. Wind must also be considered especially if the condo
is above the eighth floor because they are most likely to face strong winds
which only a hard plant can endure.
Hence, for your condo’s balcony, select plants that can
survive cold climates and high-rise conditions.
Do not hesitate in mixing and matching plants in
Those who are gardening for the first time do not understand
that the same container can hold many plants. This is a technique that makes
container gardens amazing.
Like florists combine many plants in bouquets, this is the
same way medieval herb gardens merged many plants and vines in small castle
spaces. This variety helps create a natural and organic appearance.
Using two different plants in one container creates a much
more interesting space, by combining a low coverage plant and a high sprouting
vine or flower together. The coverage plant will go over the container’s edges
while high vines and flowers go in the sky. Among the plants that work well in
this regard are gypsophila, creeping jenny and false spirea.
Trees and balcony gratings go along well
These two are a great way to bring greenery to any balcony’s
space, particularly Toronto condos
balcony. They would feel low, empty and barren if neither are present. Dense
trees help stop the wind, thus protecting wind sensitive plants.
Balcony gratings are not allowed in all buildings. If they
are allowed in certain buildings, then condo owners there must fasten them to
balcony railings with ropes or zip ties. Do not use a twine as it will
Balcony gratings help cover large areas in greenery without
occupying much space. Plants such as honey suckle and climbing hydrangea go
along well with them.
Cedar, fir and pine are those conifer trees that can
withstand strong winds of Toronto and work well on condo balcony gardens.
Kentia palms can work but in less windswept conditions (i.e. below the eight
story) and offer more dense protection and shade than most conifer trees.
It must be kept in mind that trees should be planted in
containers that are 22 inches deep and are wide enough to allow the roots to
grow in a healthy manner.
No balcony deserves to be left out as a desolate space. It
can serve as a green oasis above the ground nearing the sky. When it comes to
your condo in Toronto, it can serve as a beautiful mini sky garden that help
give you a unique view of the city.
A little bit of work, effort and creativity will bring
nature to home. It will help you relax and recuperate in a cozy green
environment giving you purified air and aura.