It doesn’t take a lot of acreage to cultivate a garden – in fact, your balcony, patio, or even a sunlit room can be sufficient space to exercise your green thumb. Whether you are interested in harvesting herbs, growing flowers, or simply adding foliage to your home, there are a lot of great options from easy-to-maintain to those that require more tending. Make sure you take seasonal temperatures and direct sunlight exposure into account for whatever you choose.
For bursts of color, turn to easy-growing and durable pansies. Available in a rainbow of colors, pansies endure the heat but thrive in cooler temperatures, so they are particularly well-suited to Milwaukee’s zone 5 climate from early spring to late fall. Marigolds offer bright blooms and the added benefit of repelling some pesky insects – a great consideration if you intend to add edible plants like herbs or vegetables to your urban landscape. Geraniums offer similar benefits. While they’re more sensitive to cold and hot temperatures, well-tended geraniums will produce bloom after bloom for you to enjoy all summer long.
Even with limited space, you can create a bountiful harvest. Tomatoes are excellent container plants, especially if you’ve got enough room for a large pot. Depending on which variety suits your taste, from bite-sized to sliceable, you can trellis tomatoes on a balcony or add a wire frame to support taller growth. Peppers are another edible option to add low-maintenance color. They can be planted from seed almost as easily as potting starter plants and there are near-infinite options from purely decorative to packed with flavor. Kale is a surprising seasonal option for your balcony garden. Densely packed leaves tinged with deep green and dusky purple add an elegant contrast to flowering plants and they are as good to eat as they are to look at.
Herbs are a perfect choice for small spaces, especially because they flourish when picked. Basil may be the best plant for your container garden with its fragrant leaves and full shape. Its low-maintenance beauty goes well (on your balcony and in your kitchen) with grass-like chives and multi-purpose mint. Some herbs are dependent on frequent watering and lots of sunlight, so take care to position them in your space for maximum growth and yield.
Want dual-purpose plants that add ambiance to your outdoor space and enhance your interior? Topiary boxwoods add an elegant touch to well-shaded balconies or terraces and they transition easily indoors. Likewise, with their trumpet-shaped flowers and glossy deep green foliage, calla lilies are hardy for outdoor display and as houseplants.
Even without an outdoor space, potted plants can add a lot of beauty to your home. An African violet will thrive in a sunny windowsill and offer vibrant blooms throughout the year. Orchids are, of course, exotic and elegant additions to any tabletop, and for the Zen effect, look for a compact bonsai with an interesting shape.
Link to Kellner Greenhouse or a local nursery
Promote the content on social media by offering a give-away of a balcony makeover or tabletop landscape (you could partner with a local nursery on this)