There’s no doubt about it. Balcony gardens are “in”. There’s a trend for modern condominium owners whose only claim to an interesting façade is what they do to their balconies. Interestingly, the government has been calling on apartment dwellers for years to beautify their balconies and not to dry their clothes there as it creates an eyesore.
The past decade has seen the number of condominiums around the country double, as high-rise living becomes accepted as a norm, even trendy as a residence. But there are lots of people who, while relishing the move from landed property to the towering kind, miss having a garden or being close to nature.
Well, there’s only one thing to do – improvise. And that’s how balcony gardens got started.
The first thing that strikes any new apartment owner is that any outdoor room is severely limited to the drying area and the little balcony. What garden in the sky? In that, actually, lies the appeal of the balcony garden.
It’s not meant to resemble the spacious lawns with wide pools and a fountain on the ground. The balcony garden makes full use of its space constraint, creating a cozy nook amidst the hustle and bustle of the city below. It seats up to four comfortably, although two is the ideal, surrounded by rejuvenating scent of fragrant plants and the soothing sounds of a mini-fountain trickling into a tiny pond. Coupled with the fantastic view and permanent cool breeze, and you can almost picture endless evenings spent relaxing in your balcony watching the crimson hues of the darkening sky, or a myriad misty mornings with a cup of steaming coffee in hand, silently thinking a prayer for the new day ahead.
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 whatnot unto your balcony.
Balance is of the essence here. Chairs are nice, or a bench even. Better yet, use 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. Make sure you have enough of them. 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.
For that distinctive Malaysian look, Terra Garden Design offers a range of balcony gardens complete with timber decking, water feature and even a swing! Of course it’s only after we consider the owner’s lifestyle and needs.