Turn Your Balcony Blues into a Flourishing Garden

Not everyone is able to have their own garden. But just because you don't have a garden, it doesn't mean you can't do any gardening. If you're fortunate enough to have a balcony, it can be a brilliant place to create a mini garden. Even with just a small amount of space, you can add some beautiful plants to your balcony that you can enjoy. You can even attract some wildlife, ranging from insects to birds and squirrels. If you want to create a balcony garden, have a look at the tips below to get started.

Put Plants at Different Levels

Even with only a small space such as a balcony, you're able to create a dynamic and varied garden. One of the great things about a balcony is that it can still offer at least three levels for you to use. You can place plants in pots and planters on the floor, hang them from the railing or barrier of the balcony, and suspend them from the roof with hanging baskets. You can maximise the space you have to make a tiered garden with a variety of plants. You could have anything from trailing plants in your hanging baskets to a small fruit tree on the floor.

Draw in Wildlife

If you like gardens for the wildlife they attract, don't let having a balcony stop you enjoying it. There are several things you can do if you want to attract some wildlife to your balcony. You might not be accessible to hedgehogs, but your balcony can still be reached by bugs, birds, and squirrels. You might choose to hang a feeder if you want to attract birds. Another option is to choose your plants carefully if you want to attract bees and other insects to your balcony.

Consider the Weather

When you're selecting the plants for your balcony, don't forget to think about the weather. Of course, you need to select plants that will do well in the climate. But you also need to think about the safety of having various containers on your balcony. If the wind picks up, is there a danger of anything going flying? Selecting heavier contains is often best to ensure that they stay in place. However, your balcony might protect everything from the wind.

Create a Seating Space

Some balconies are bigger than others. Perhaps after adding plants, there might not be space for much else. But if there is room, you might want to create somewhere you can sit and enjoy your garden. Just try not to place any seating directly under hanging baskets, or you could end up being dripped on. A bistro table and a couple of small chairs are great additions to your balcony, giving you somewhere to relax on a sunny day. If you can't fit them in, you could consider a single chair, such as a rocking chair or armchair.

You only need a small amount of space to create a garden. If you have a balcony, it might be enough to give you what you want.

The Fantastic 5: Small Garden Additions, Huge Garden Upgrade

Image result for artificial lawn

Nothing beats having a garden that’s sparkling with personality and style. Whether you use it to host parties with friends, or as a tranquil getaway doesn’t matter. The outside space can offer something that no other part of the home can. Not making the most of it would be a huge waste, especially when you achieve so much with just five simple improvements. What are you waiting for? Let’s get to work.

A Fake Lawn
For most homeowners, maintaining the garden is a bigger struggle than creating it. Unfortunately, mowing the lawn can literally cut into your leisure time. Thankfully, astroturf solutions offer the perfect aesthetic all year round. Better still, you’ll no longer have a huge lawnmower taking up space in the garage or shed. You can still dedicate areas to planted flowers or orchids to maintain the natural beauty. However, maintenance will instantly become far easier.

The perfect modern garden will almost certainly boast a decking area. This one addition adds a far greater sense of practicality to the external parts of your home. Building a simple deck doesn’t have to cost thousands. You can have it completed in a short space of time too. Combine it with the right rattan furniture and a suitable cover for a stylish outside venue. Best of all, the upgrade will boost your property’s value as well as your enjoyment of it.

Image result for decking

Suitable Lighting

Lighting is a crucial aspect in all parts of the home, and the garden is no different. Without outside lighting, you limit time in the yard to daytime. Solar LED lights can extend your outside time into the evening. This can allow you to spend time with friends and family, or relax alone after a tough day at work. It certainly beats wasting a night in front of the TV. And as a bonus, the eco-friendly solution means you’re having a less damaging impact on the environment.

Suitable Heating

If you are going to spend evenings in the garden, it needs to be warm. A garden stove not only adds heat, but it provides a natural vibe that the whole family can enjoy. Meanwhile, some stoves can even double up as a BBQ. Just be sure to choose kiln dried logs for a cleaner burn, and those relaxed afternoons and evenings will feel like heaven.

A Water Feature

Most people would love a swimming pool in their garden. And it can be achieved on a relatively small budget. However, the far more accessible option is to have a water feature built in. There are plenty of options, and they all add to the sounds and sights of the perfect garden. Of course, you need to ensure those aspects are safe when children are around. Nevertheless, they can complete the peaceful vibe as you look out at the orchids and blooming flowers from the comfort of your deck.

Image result for garden water feature

Final Thought

The garden is a unique space, and it should reflect you. Above all else, make sure those decisions are based on your preferences. As long as you feel happy and relaxed in the outside area, it will make your property feel more like home. What more could anyone want?

Will You Be Left Behind When Spring Has Sprung? Here’s How To Stay Ahead

At this time of year, it’s easy to concentrate on keeping yourself cosy, warm and occupied inside of the home. Because of the harsh temperatures and the even harsher weather conditions, you don’t always want to prioritise any work that needed doing outside of your house. But, a keen gardener will always get ahead of the game and start early. It’s true, there are ways that you can enjoy your garden in winter, but you can also work on getting it ready to enjoy spring as soon as it’s here.

Clear What You Can

Firstly, you should work on clearing away whatever you can. This may be a task that you set yourself at the very start of winter, which will mean that you have less to do now. But, if your garden is currently full of weeds and leaves and dying buds, it’s time to get outside and get to work. Rip away what you no longer need and clear beds ready for planting. You’ll also want to deadhead anything that will reappear in spring.

Pick Out Your Furniture

Then, when the garden is a lot clearer and tidier, you’re going to want to start doing your research for how you’re outside living space will look. If you want to enjoy your garden as soon as the warmer days arrive, you’re going to want to get this task done fast. Whether you choose comfortable sofas or wicker furniture, consider what options will work best and pick out a set to buy now.

Plan Your Design

Now that your furniture is chosen, you can think about the design of the rest of your garden. You might have gone with the same style in the previous years, but if you’ve chosen a new style of outdoor living furniture, you might want your garden to follow suit. Either way, you need to know what you’re going to plan and where you’re going to plant it. You could even think about buying bulbs and keeping some plants indoors if you want to get them all into the ground as soon as the frosts are finished.

Create A Cooking Area

Then, you’re going to want to complete the rest of your living space. Choosing the furniture isn’t enough. If you plan to spend a lot of time outside during spring and summer, it’s likely that you’ll be dining al fresco on many occasions. So, you need to work out what cooking equipment you’ll need, including any grills, as well as additional seating, drinking areas or preparation stations.

Decorate Away

At this point, you might feel as if your outdoor living space is really taking space. But, it’s likely to be missing a few things. To ensure that the space feels comfortable and complete, you’re going to want to accessorise in any way that you can. Firstly, you might want to add in some lighting, or at least purchase it ready, for when the nights draw in and you’re still outside. It can also be an idea to stock up on blankets and throws to decorate the area, as well as heaters for when the weather drops.

In the Night Garden: Designing a Garden for Evening Hangouts

Do you want to use your garden more often? Too many people only get outside when it's warm, dry and sunny. Even when it starts to cool in the summer evenings, they retreat inside to continue their fun elsewhere. But if you think you should use your garden more often, you can set it up for evening use. As the sun goes down and even when it's almost completely dark, you can continue to sit outside and enjoy your garden. You just need some useful features to ensure the space is still enjoyable in the dark.

Rustle Up Some Warmth

The first thing that might concern you about using your garden in the evening is the temperature. Even in the summer when there's a rare heat wave, it can cool down in the evening. And if you want to use it at other times of the year, the temperature could be much lower. But don't let the cold stop you from enjoying your garden. Start by installing an outdoor heater or having somewhere you can light a fire. Create a comfortable seating area with blankets and think about how to shelter it from the wind too.


Light Up the Night

Of course, you're going to need some light for your garden if you want to use it in the evening. If nothing else, it will help to make the garden safer. There are several types of light you might choose to use outside. Installing some LED decking lights is a great idea so that you have some lights under your feet. Put lighting at different levels, including over your head and close to you when you sit or stand. You can use wired lights, solar powered lighting, lanterns and candles for different effects.

Keep the Drinks Flowing

When you're out in your garden, you're probably enjoying the space with friends or family. If everyone is having drinks, you don't want to have to keep going back inside the house. There are a few things you could do if you wanted to keep the drinks coming. Setting up an outside bar could give you a space to make drinks all evening. You could even consider some facilities for making hot drinks. Have an outdoor kitchen or just use some camping equipment to make hot drinks for anyone who wants them. You could even use an open fire to boil water or milk.

Provide Some Entertainment

You might also want something to do while outside in the evenings. Your first thought might be to have some music. If you want to do this, you need to think about soundproofing. You should try to make your garden as insulated as possible, so your neighbours don't hear you. This is good practice anyway if you're going to be outside chatting. Don't forget to consider getting some speakers that are designed to work outside. They need to be tough and possible stand a bit of moisture.

You don't have to abandon your fun in the garden when the sun goes down. If you want to continue partying, it doesn't take much to create the perfect evening space.

Incredible Landscaping Ideas You Can Get Done for Summer

Summer is still at least half a year away yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get some work done in your garden! In fact, some renovation of the outdoors of your property right now could be started around now and be finished for summer so you can enjoy them properly in the sunshine.

You shouldn’t underestimate the ability of your garden to adjust to the colder climate. A lot of people seem to think that winter is a time in which nothing is worth doing to your garden - that you’ll just end up wasting your time because everything out there is dead and infertile.

But this simply doesn’t apply to every sort of garden work. Indeed, crafting a beautiful garden for winter is something a lot of gardeners are keen on. But what about landscaping? A lot of people would dismiss any full-on renovations for this time of year. Besides, how would they possibly be done in time?

Not all renovation projects take nearly a year or more to complete. Here are a few ideas you get started on now and finish in time for the sunny months.

Secluded resting place

Feels strange the type the phrase “resting place” when talking about your garden, right? I’m not referring to building yourself a grave in your backyard! I’m referring to the development of a small and simple getaway tucked somewhere near the back of your garden. Bring in a few hedges and flowers towards the back of your garden and get yourself a luxurious outdoor chair. Position everything so where you’re sitting is out of the house and vice versa. In other words, make this seating area secluded by vegetation. You’ll be surprised at the feeling of escapism this can bring!


This is one of the most popular home renovations of all time, and for good reason, too. It’s practical, fun, luxurious, and adds great value to a property. But can decking really be completed within six months? If you get the planning done properly and work with good contractors, then you can get it done in a matter of weeks without having to skimp on quality. In these darker, wintry months, you may want to ensure that there’s decent protection so the wood doesn’t get too wet while you’re working on it. As long as you have that, there’s no reason why you can’t start a decking project in winter and get it finished by summer.


Another project you may think takes much longer than it actually does. Even if you throw in some new steps leading up to your back door, the project can be completed in a matter of weeks. Of course, a “garden courtyard” is actually a much more vague term that you may realize. There are so many varieties out there, so it’s possible that the image you have in your head is a very complex project that could indeed take a little too long for it to be ready in time for summer. Your best best is to check out a bunch of courtyard ideas to see what would work best for your garden.

Looking after your orchids

It is often said that more orchids fail as a result of getting the watering regime wrong than any other reason. When it comes to watering epiphytes there are two elements to consider when considering your watering regime, these are When and How. The vast majority of orchids grown by hobby growers are naturally found on trees above the ground where the light is more plentiful. Most orchids that are not terrestrial need their roots exposed to light, air and water.

When to water?
Orchids should be watered as they start to dry out. Dont allow them to completely dry out, but just before. This rule generally works for most orchids with variations depending on whether the orchid is able to store its own water. Orchids such as cattleyas and oncidiums should be allowed to dry completely between waterings while orchids such as phalaenopsis and paphiopedilums that have no water storage organs should be watered before they dry out.

There's is no strict rule on how to water, that can apply for every grower. This is because your local growing environment will not be the same as anyone else's. Key climatic differences such as temperature, humidity, air movement, the potting mix (type and age), and light levels all influence the watering requirements of individual plants.

When deciding whether to water, there are several identifying clues to determine when a potted orchid is almost dry:

  • the surface of the potting mix will appear dry when the potting mix is moss 
  • dry pots will feel lighter when lifted.
  • clay pots feel dry;
  • If you insert a pencil or wooden skewer into the potting mix when removed it will come out almost dry.

Generally it is best to water your plant in the morning to give the moisture on the leaves time to dry off during the day, this will reduce the risk of fungal damage. If any water remains in the center of the plant then use some kitchen towel to dry it off.

Many people prefer to use natural water rather than tap water to avoid any of the added chemicals or to have water with a different PH. If you use water treatment such as that provided by Lagan Water then this can help increase the range of plants you are able to cater for.

During the summer months when temperatures are higher then you will need to water more frequently, and conversely in the winter months water less frequently. Keep in mind that temperatures close to the window on a windowsill will be colder or hotter than your general house temperature. Keeping your plant away from radiators in winter will help minimise premature drying.

When orchids are watered, they should be watered copiously, infrequent and plenty is better than little and often. Place your plant into the sink and let the water run freely from the drainage holes for about a minute. Do not use salt-softened or distilled water. Allow the plant to drain completely. This is an opportunity to examine how the potting mix behaves. If you cannot pour water rapidly through the pot, the potting mix is too dense and you run the risk of starving the roots for air. If you see finely divided material that looks like coffee grounds in the water coming from the drainage holes, your potting mix is breaking down and it's time to repot into fresh mix.

Cymbidium Putana gx x Claudona gx

Cymbidium Putana gx x Claudona gx
Cymbidium Putana gx x Claudona gx