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October 2010
Balcony gardens for condominiums


Condominium living has become classy. Compared to landed property, space in a condo is constrained so designers and architects have learnt to optimise it fully.

It’s common to see some of the best home interior designs come out of condos as it is not only relatively more affordable to do up the entire condo unit, but it’s also easier to focus on a smaller area compared to a double-storey bungalow.

Condos are the staple of young married couples, or single professionals who want the mark of luxury, and this in turn has fuelled high-rise living into a popular trend.

By that extension, balcony gardens have also become fashionable. The balcony garden makes full use of its space constraint, creating a cozy nook amidst the hustle and bustle of the city below.

Coupled with the fantastic view and permanent cool breeze, a well-designed balcony garden is sure to impress your friends or date you bring home. But more than a showpiece, balcony gardens add personal value to your home.

Just picture endless evenings spent relaxing in your balcony watching the crimson hues of the darkening sky, or mornings with a cup of steaming coffee in hand, silently thinking a prayer for the new day ahead.

Before and after: A well-designed balcony garden is sure to impress your friends.

Neo Nusantara balcony gardens

Doing up a garden like the one described above doesn’t take all that much resources due to the small space. Of course, if you’re one of the privileged few with balconies as big as your living room, then you can pretty much do it up as a conventional landed garden.

Unlike most houses that make a clear distinction between indoors and outdoors, a balcony garden serves to integrate the two. That means, you should be able to leave your sliding doors open and it seems as if your living room naturally extends all the way out to the balcony. If not, then chances are you’ll relegate the balcony into a storage area or leave deserted, which is quite a waste of real estate.

Having said that, the other extreme is cramming too much furniture like cabinets, tables and chairs unto your balcony.

Try using bean sacks or big pillows, placed on a straw mat or wooden decking, which is more weather-resistant. You can incorporate a fountain or some other water feature, which would greatly enhance the ambience. But most important are plants. Using big-leafy plants complemented with bushy shrubs of differing sizes not only softens the concrete and steel look, but also enhances the quality of air in your unit.

Transformed: A balcony garden can be made up to provide a cosy nook amidst the hustle and bustle of city living.

Balcony potted plants come under the category of indoor plants, and there are hundreds of books written on them. However, one important tip to remember is that it’s actually better to underwater plants, as too much water suffocates the roots and the plant will collapse soon after.

Symtoms of overwatering include drooping leaves and yellowing of the foliage. Also waterlogged pots tend to exhibit green slime on its side. Because both dry and waterlogged plants have drooping leaves, a lot of people confuse the symptoms. They think a plant may be dry when in fact it has too much water, and so they water the plants more. Be careful! Dryness causes the leaves to wilt and brown, whereas too much water causes yellowing.

However, when watering plants, give them a generous ration. A feeble spraying, now and then, is less than useless as the soil may become hard and insoluble.

Plants go a long way in bringing to life your dream garden.

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