Balcony Gardens

Balcony Gardens: Fun Tips for Decorating your Balcony

While apartments have their advantages, one big downside is the detachment from nature.  As opposed to a house with a big green yard, apartments tend to feel closed off and small. The only gateway to the outside world often comes in the form of balconies.  Sitting out on your balcony, sipping a warm cup of tea (or coffee), and just watching the world go by is an undeniably therapeutic hobby. But often balcony spaces are underutilized. A common sight is a couple of old chairs, some pots with small plants, and heaps of refuse that we store for no real reason.

In recent years the concept of “handkerchief gardens” has blossomed (pun intended). What originally started as small, square garden spaces is now a term used to describe gardens in small spaces. So why not bring this concept to your balcony?

Landscaping small spaces can be a daunting task. Not only does it need to be space efficient, it also needs to fit your personal creative tastes. Here are some tips that can help set the wheel in motion.

Plan it well
As with any DIY project, the first step is planning. Having a clear idea of the space available is a must. Measure the area and create a plan for where you want to eventually place each item.


Clean it up
The next thing you need to do is clean up the balcony. Remove the clutter that has been lying around. Keep a lookout for cobwebs and dust bunnies that may have appeared in the unused space. Put up nails and hooks wherever you may need them. Remember to check the wiring and sockets that can be used. If you want to go the extra mile why not try hand painting the wall for extra flair?

Know your climate 
The primary requirement of any garden is, naturally, plants. While everyone loves the idea of exotic sweet-smelling flowers, we should remember that these plants need a lot of work. Look up plants that may be easier to grow in your locality. Also, check the direction of your balcony. This will have a direct effect on the amount of sunlight your plants will receive. Instead of flowers, consider growing herbs (like mint) that not only smell good but can be used in your kitchen.

Pots and pans 
A pot garden with the little mud pots is a common sight in most balconies. But why stop there? Almost anything can be reused as garden pots; bottles, old buckets, kettles, old cans, everything is fair game. To add a little variety you can also purchase hanging pots or hooked planters.

Stack it up
Balconies are usually small. In such small spaces, vertical gardens are usually a good idea. Old bookshelves, step ladders, tables and stools, all provide good surfaces to put your pots on. Do not be afraid to add variations in height. It is all part of the aesthetic.



Drape it down
Another dramatic addition you can make to your balcony garden is vines and creepers. If you want to add an aura of magic and fairy tales to your space, this is the way to go. Just remember, vines take a little extra effort to maintain.  Team it up with your vertical garden and it can make a striking impression.


Read more about the types of vines you can grow:


Always accessorize
Gardens do not have to be limited to growing plants. Adding decor pieces that compliment your setup is always a good idea. Place random knick-knacks like figurines and windchimes. A popular addition you can install is a water feature. Small fountains and aquariums can add a bit more zing. You can also create a small bird bath. If you are lucky, the chirping of birds will be a great new feature of your new garden.


Let there be light 
Outdoor lighting can go a long way in building the aesthetic. Drape fairy lights along your walls or hang paper lanterns from the ceiling. This is usually cost-effective and easy to remove. However, if you want something permanent, buy new light fixtures for the space. Try to opt for warm lighting. It creates a more cosy ambience.


Keep it simple
One of the most effective ways of creating a low-maintenance garden is through terrariums. A terrarium is a glass container with a plant growing inside. It is a usually self-sustaining ecosystem. The evaporated water condenses on the surface of the glass and waters the plant over and over again. Once in place, it requires almost no help to grow. All you need to do is open up the container every so often to fertilize or trim your plants.


Seats for all
Do not forget to add some outdoor furniture to the mix. Your balcony could be used for anything from reading to meditation. Seats and throw cushions can help create a comfortable nook. Outdoor swings are an ever-popular choice in India. Choose quick dry foam cushions to avoid rain damage. Make sure whatever furniture you place outside is weather resistant or coated with oil paint.


A balcony garden is a very good place to relax and unwind after a long day. The sense of tranquillity that comes from being surrounded by foliage is unparalleled. Big or small, it has a proven effect on your mood and psychological well-being. In a life always on the move, everybody deserves a chance to stop and smell the flowers.

So pick your favourite ideas from this list and create your own handkerchief-sized masterpiece. Happy gardening!

Oota from your Thota – Greening Bangalore’s Terraces and Balconies

ApnaComplex organized the Oota from Thota event on Sunday, 8th Jan, 2012 at Electronic City, Bangalore and here is the participants perspective of the event.

There was a sizable crowd of green enthusiasts with personal passions of greenery, gardening, no-plastic, organic farming and community well-being, bonding together through a common thread on this platform. Delighted to see participants coming from far distances such as Hanumant Nagar to attend the event and that’s true passion!

The pace got set with a talk from Dr.Viswanath of Garden City Farmers Trust – who presented some hard facts on the kind of food that we eat today. The dangers of consuming pesticides-ridden food taking their toll over a period of time was emphasized to create awareness. Though the speech was an eye-opener, all hope was not lost yet. Be it a terrace or a balcony, Dr. Viswanath & Laxminarayanan, also from Garden City Farmers Trust, showed the basic steps of planning for a garden, soil, grafting, seeds, seasonal plants etc. Pictures and success stories were shared on how even amateurs grew their own vegetables like capsicum and brinjal and fruits like the papaya and grapes in as little as 2ft by 2ft by 2ft space.

Oota from Thota by ApnaComplex - Session in progress

Oota from Thota by ApnaComplex - Session in progress

Following this, was another inspiring session from the Ms.Vani Murthy, another go-green expert who gave an actual demo of the materials that can be segregated in our day-to-day rubbish from our homes. Simple things like dry leaves, vegetable peels that can be separated out and mixed with soil and shredded newspapers to create nutrient-filled compost for plants. The difference between recyclable and reusable materials was also spelt out for the rapt audience.

The way the questions and queries from the audience till the very end were answered reflected the passion of the speakers.

Finally there were the packed stalls relevant to the theme of the day. Kids and their family thronged to the tasty organic chaat and snacks stall put by In the Pink. Then there was the unique and surprising flavours of homemade jam from Nature in a Bottle that teased your taste buds – you couldn’t resist taking home a bottle or two. For those looking to start their own kitchen garden, they were spoilt for choice of the garden tools and instruments, and exotic seeds by Varsha Enterprises. There was on display and sale, a variety of very informative and cost effective composting products and solutions from “Daily Dump” right from offices to homes to communities. Also present was Opron Biotech providing digital diagnostic equipment such as Thermometers, Blood Pressure Devices.

All-in-all a very satisfying and different way to spend a Sunday – one small step for the conscientious citizen. Heartening to see the pockets of change and hoping that this cascades into the right direction for Bangalore and rest of the world.

The event was supported by Garden City Farmers Trust, Celebrity Paradise Layout and Citizen Matters along with ApnaComplex.

Get your Society on ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s most comprehensive web based housing society accounting, management and communication software. It is designed to make the life of residents and owners a lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out the features of ApnaComplex and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer a free 30-day trial as well so that you can try before you buy!

Apartment Management Monsoon Maintenance – Gardening Tips During Monsoon

The monsoon is a great time to make new additions to your garden. You have to plan ahead for this season so that your garden thrives for the whole year.

Preparing Your Garden

The rainy season is an excellent time to grow new plants, but excess water can prove to be too much of a good thing. Make sure that young plants and plants that are too fragile to withstand the onslaught of a storm are well sheltered.

Trim your trees and plants before the rain starts. This ensures that enough air and sunshine gets through to every part of the tree and also to any plants that are growing in their shade. Clear your garden and ensure that water does not stagnate anywhere. Excess water that collects and stagnates can cause the plants to rot and die. If you are putting in new plants, choose those plants that can withstand the moisture of the season. Prepare the ground around new plants so that the excess water drains away.

Make sure that the pits around your plants are shallow during this season. Stagnant water not only serves as a breeding ground for mosquitoes, it can also result in root-rot. Spread mulch around your plants. The rain water that soaks through this will bring in additional nutrients for your garden.

Earthworms are good for your garden, so if you find them concentrated in a single place, pick them up and spread them around. They dig deep into the earth and nitrate the soil.

Maintaining Your Garden During Monsoon

Getting Rid of Weeds and Pests

Remember, if the select plants of your choice can thrive in this season, so can weeds. Pull them out and ensure that they don’t grow back again during this season. Otherwise they could spread fast and choke up your garden.

Grasshoppers and other insects that can attack your plants also thrive during the monsoon season. Take preventive measures to keep them out and address the issue at once if you see any signs of pests in your garden. Frogs, toads and birds are excellent natural pest control options. Encourage them, if you have the space, with small ponds and bird-baths.

If you have to use pesticides, try to go in for the safe and organic options. They might cost more initially, but they can pay back a lot in terms of good health besides being better ecologically.

Watch out for plant mildew, a white powdery substance that can shrivel up leaves and stems, which affects photosynthesis. Get rid of it if you spot it. Constant dampness in the stems and leaves serves an invitation to this disease. Do not water plants from the top during monsoons. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda and some liquid soap in a gallon of water and spray it on susceptible plants. This is a preventive measure; it will not be of much use once the plants are affected.

Take Advantage of the Rains

Move indoor plants outside but ensure that delicate plants are not exposed directly to the rains. Keep these in a sheltered area or under the shades of trees.

Harvest rain water. If you don’t have collecting tanks, at least channel the rain water so that it flows through your garden. Do not allow the rain water to drain away on the streets. Preferably, excess water should be allowed to drain away into the earth so that it can return to the water table.

Take advantage of the rains to grow your garden. You will need to plan well and take measures to control pests and diseases. If you plan your monsoon gardening well, your garden will sport a rich look for the entire year with home-grown fruits and vegetables and beautiful flowers.

Get your Society on ApnaComplex – Today!
ApnaComplex is India’s most comprehensive web based housing society accounting, management and communication software. It is designed to make the life of residents and owners a lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out the features of ApnaComplex and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer a free 30-day trial as well so that you can try before you buy!

Indoor Gardening 101 – How to Create and Maintain a Balcony Garden in your Apartment

With the space constraint that’s prevalent in cities, it can be a tad difficult to plant big trees and plants or own independent houses with gardens – but you can create your mini garden in your very apartment!

Indoor Gardening

Indoor plants can help in improving the overall appearance and lend an aesthetic appeal to your house in an apartment complex. Although the idea might seem quite hard to implement, it is possible to have a green surrounding if you use your balcony optimally by growing some indoor plants.

If you have access to the apartment complex terrace, you can talk to the managing committee and lend a touch of green and spruce up the overall environment there too.

Choosing the Right Plants

Depending on the amount of space you have in your balcony, you can decide on what plants your indoor garden should sport.

#1 – Regular Plants
If you’re not too keen about flowering plants or other categories, you can opt for regular plants which will add a hint of green to your interiors. If your balcony is well shaded, you can opt for plants like the Chinese Evergreen Plant and the Snake Plant. These grow well even in dark spaces and don’t require too much sunlight. English Ivy is another plant that you can opt for, while setting up your indoor garden.

#2 – Flowering Plants
Certain high rise apartments provide separate spaces for flower beds in all flats so that people can place their flowering shrubs. You can grow brightly coloured flowering plants in earthen pot containers. Your balcony space can also accommodate small flowering and fruit and bearing plants.

The choice of flowering plants is important and you can opt for peace lily plants or poinsettias. The quintessential rose bush can also give your balcony an attractive look. Get plants and shrubs that are of medium height so that maintaining them is simpler and hassle free. If you like shrubs, you can also grow a hibiscus shrub and the flowers from these plants can be used for everyday purposes as well.

#3 – Climbers and Creepers
If you like climbers and creepers, your balcony can be an ideal place to grow them once you provide the right kind of support. Climbers will have soft stems and these can grow out of control if you don’t maintain the garden properly and restrict their growth. Ideal options for climbers would be the Grape Ivy Plant, the Bleeding Heart Plant and Clematis. If you want to opt for creepers, Bougainvilleas will be a good choice.

#4 – Ornamental Plants

Ornamental plants can also be planted in your indoor garden, although you’ll have to note that these are high maintenance options. You can go for plants like Magnolia, Flowering Dogwood, Jacaranda and Cassia Javanica.

The choice of tiles and bricks that you use is important too. They need to get along with the home décor and should not look starkly different, singling out the balcony from the main living space. With a proper indoor garden, you can bring in some zing into your apartment.

Get your Society on ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s most comprehensive web based housing society accounting, management and communication software. It is designed to make the life of residents and owners a lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out the features of ApnaComplex and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer a free 30-day trial as well so that you can try before you buy!