Monday 27 July 2020


Whether your outdoor area consists of a small balcony, a courtyard, a side passageway or no outdoor area whatsoever, you can beautify your world and fill your air with oxygen by creating a garden that’s right for you and your lifestyle. Start with potential spots to place plants and work out whether you require containers. Is the spot sunny or shady, is it outdoors or inside. Don’t overlook windowsills. These make wonderful mini gardens which can serve to enhance an otherwise bland outlook.

For a balcony, you’ll need pots or planter boxes. You may already know you favourite plants and what suits sunny or shady spots, but you may be a gardening novice in which case you need help from the experts if you want to be sure that what you buy actually lives and, even better, thrives. Your local gardening centre will have a great assortment so it can be quite overwhelming. Approach the hopefully friendly staff and let them know your requirements and they will be (almost) sure to point you in the right direction. From there you can choose what appeals to you aesthetically but don’t forget to use your olfactory capabilities and have a good sniff. Beautiful scents can enhance your environment substantially.

Don’t overlook unattractive walls that can be beautified with creepers. Bougainvillea grows brilliantly in direct sunlight and is gorgeous to behold. Chinese Wisteria, White Potato Creeper, Clematis and Madagascar and Star Jasmine are also gorgeous and grow profusely. If you want substantial growth, buy a planter box and insert trellis behind it and with a little care, you will have a verdant vertical garden in no time.

Edible gardens are very motivating. If you can look forward to adding fresh, home-grown produce to your meals, you will be likely to want to care for them to reap the rewards. Generally speaking, a sunny spot is required. If you have a courtyard or exposed ground area in your apartment, you can go to town with this. Balconies and window sills also yield great results. Herbs are so easy to grow and tend to just keep on keeping on. My favourites are parsley, mint, rosemary, basil, coriander, dill and chives. Certain fruits and vegetables are also hardy and grow pretty easily – tomatoes and peas (again have a bit of trellis for these), lettuce, strawberries, raspberries, spring onions and garlic.

Purely indoor gardens are possible no matter how much sun you get. They add colour, scent and oxygen and make you and your home healthier. Potted plants can be placed on floors, window sills, shelves or pot plant stands, or suspended from a ceiling hook in pot plant holders. Always make sure you have a ceramic pot plant saucers or sandstone with a cork bottom under the pot to avoid staining surfaces. Cyclamens, African violets, polyanthus and orchids are gorgeous things and bloom beautifully. If you prefer to stick to green, Madonna lilies love the indoors and bless you with the occasional white flower, then Devil’s ivy, Philodendrum, succulents and rubber plant also grow fantastically well indoors. So get out your gardening gloves and head to your closest nursery and let the fun begin!

Images sourced on Pinterest

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