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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Need help to transform a balcony into a small garden

natalielimmyDecember 17, 2012
I have a small balcony off my bedroom, approximate 3.8 meters in length and 2.4 meters in width. I am thinking of transforming it into a small garden, with climbers or hedges on the handrails/balustrades, and put a table and two chairs in. More importantly I want to screen out the neighbours. I'm also thinking of fake grass or outdoor floating timber to cover the tiles and to have plants along both side walls. Could you tell me how you'd transform this balcony and provide me with alternative ideas/pictures? Much appreciated!
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I'd use a pretty outdoor rug instead of anything fake, add some pretty furniture and lots and lots of potted plants with some fairly tall plantings around the perimeters to block out the neighbors.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 5:21AM
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Designs by Vincenza Interiors, Inc
Definately add easy to move furnishings, and to screen out your neighbors with out you feeling closed in; add a stenciled type of idea to your screen for extra privacy. There are many out there to purchase. But if your feeling artistic; go to your local craft store, and choose an extra large greenery stem and some spray paint. For example a palm frond that will hold up, because you would then position the palm ( I would suggest a corner to start ), and lighty spray the paint over it; remove the frond, and then continue in different areas for a layered look. Try even multiple complimentary colors for a work of art. Good Luck, and let me know how it turns out! :)
    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 5:50AM
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What is the weather like where you are? Do you know your planting zone? That will help with suggestions for plants. If you have cold winters, would you be able to bring large potted plants inside?
    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 5:53AM
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Thank you for the comments so far. I'm not sure about outdoor rugs as it is harder to wash but will definitely do some research about it. There's no problem with closed spaces because I'm on the top floor and there's no awnings or roofs above the balcony ie. when I step out onto the balcony and look up its all skies. I live in Sydney so it's Australia Zone 4/ US Zone 10. Winter is mild, my balcony faces east and gets full sun from dawn till around 4pm in summer.
    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 6:07AM
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I don't know if this is a good suggestion for your Zone, but I love this photo with the wicker and the giant fern for some privacy. And the rug, as feeny suggested.
Coastal Modern by Tim Clarke · More Info
    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 6:12AM
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Large flowering plants would dress up the space with color while providing privacy. Butterfly bush and Hibiscus both do well in large pots, and I believe they will be fine in your climate. Both come in a variety of colors. You can put the large plants on wheeled platforms to bring them inside when the weather gets too cold, just bring them inside the sliding door.

Butterfly bushes, aka Summer Lilac, will attract butterflies and give you a living landscape.

Is there any drainage from your balcony? I don't see any hole for a drain, and looking across to the other building, I don't see a downspout.
    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 7:45AM
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Here are some ideas for you.
Alice's house · More Info

Outdoor reading balcony · More Info

exterior · More Info

Hampton Landscape Screen · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 8:08AM
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The pictures posted by decoenthusiaste are really nice. I especially like the two that have rectangular planters along the outer edge. Nice clean look and doesn't take up too much space.
    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 8:16AM
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Outdoor rugs are actually 100% polypropylene and can just be swept off or hosed down.

Tangiers Kelim Reversible Indoor/Outdoor Rug, Flame · More Info
    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 8:32AM
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Custom Home Planning Center
This is what I use: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=planter+cedar&view=detail&id=1919ABB6E6F8A2475D46A0C54D442890E1DE8E43&first=73
+ you have a number of companies that offer plant walls
    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 8:33AM
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I am just about to post my own design dilemma for my patio which also is open on all three sides and to the sky. Last year I had used life plants on my patio and when I watered them some of the water escaped to the patio below creating a discontented neighbor below. This year I am searching the Internet for an artificial solution for example geranium Street in California has fronds of UV rated greenery. There is also printed mesh fence fabric that has an ivy design, also in California. I think that might look a little tacky. Finally there is a accordion style panel that has UV rated IV on it. Although my view is attractive, it bothers me to see so much jumbled visual distraction of the view showing through lattice railings. This is why I am seeking a cover-up solution.

Once I establish greenery, be it artificial or natural, I will finish off my patio with a colorful outdoor rug and an umbrella with four chairs surrounding an ottoman, and to one side a bench seating arrangement. On the opposite wall I'll set up a table/storage cabinet to hide/store my portable grill and propane tank. Of course, I'll be submitting my photos and my cry for help to the wonderful people commenting on house. Everyone has such fabulous ideas. I will certainly be following this stream of commentary as your balcony dilemma is very much like my own.
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 11:27AM
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