Transform Your Container Garden in Five Easy Steps


If you’re like me, your balcony or patio could use a little TLC. That’s okay. The upside of having a small garden is that small changes can make a big difference. Here are five easy ways to spruce up your balcony fast. If you did one thing a weekend, you would have a whole new balcony or patio by the beginning of May.

  1. If your pots are looking worse for wear, or are a motley crew of mismatched pots, paint them! I upgraded cheap plastic pots with a special kind of spray paint that made them look like hammered metal. You could employ any number of paint techniques to give new life to your collection of pots.
  2. Use bedding annuals (the kind you get in a six pack or half-flat) to fill in around perennials or edibles that haven’t grown in yet. For about 30 cents per plant, it’s hard to get much more bang for your buck. Annuals flower quickly and profusely and grow like crazy. I don’t like seeing any dirt in my pots, so I’ll often tuck in “six pack annuals” around plants that will be a lot bigger 3 or 4 months from now, then when the time comes, I just pull out the annuals.
  3. Add lighting to highlight spectacular plants or create interesting shadows. Even better, you’ll get more use out of your balcony or patio if you can actually see out there at night. Imagine romantic dinners or inviting a few friends over for cocktails.
  4. You can upgrade the flooring of your balcony or patio, even if you rent. Check out these removable decking tiles. Creating a fabulous floor can be a good way to make a small balcony look bigger.
  5. Add a bit of privacy with plants or some other physical barrier. Even an umbrella can add privacy. Espalier a citrus tree onto a trellis, or pot up some bamboo. But do something to make your outdoor space more enjoyable by hiding it from nosy neighbors (or hidw your ugly neighbors from your balcony, if that’s the case).

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