If you have just one small space as your ‘outdoors’, you could start by curtaining off the utilities area for clothes drying etc. with screens or blinds. Says Sriram Aravamudan, founding member, My Sunny Balcony, a Bangalore-based garden design company: “A balcony space has multiple uses, and completely covering it up with plants is often not feasible.”
Next, choose plants that are appropriate for the available light. “Remember to leave the central area empty for walking around or seating,” adds Aravamudan. If seepage is a concern in an apartment, keep saucers or stands under the pots to facilitate easy drainage. This also keeps water from stagnating or seeping into the floor.
Since a flower-intensive garden is high maintenance, you could opt for a full foliage garden. Grouping many pots with green foliage adds a lot of drama to your balcony or small garden.
Thankfully, unlike interiors, garden elements never really go out of style. Bamboo fencing or water features always add value, as do wrought iron planters, a wall of hanging plants, or a beautiful statue.
Where pots are concerned, go haywire! Recycle old containers, even shoes, old bath-tubs, discarded cisterns, or old kitchen pots and pans, as Aravamudan says. And, of course, interesting outdoor furniture always adds a nice dimension.