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Apartment Balcony Container Gardening for Summer

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Want to give your outdoor living area a fresh look? Apartment balcony container gardening for summer might just be the answer!

APARTMENT BALCONY CONTAINER GARDENING FOR SUMMER

Today is part two of My Wee Abode’s summer home tour! Welcome!

apartment balcony container gardening for summer terra cotta pots with flowers on balcony

I’m so blessed to be part of the 2023 Summer Home Tour hosted by the ever so sweet and lovely Marty of A Stroll Thru Life!

We have 25+ bloggers on this virtual tour, and I hope you will come back throughout the week and visit all the links listed at the bottom of this post!

If you are visiting by way of the amazing Yvonne from StoneGable, I’m so glad you are here! Isn’t Yvonne’s summer kitchen and dining area lovely? And that tablescape… Gorgeous, right?!

If you are new here…

You might want to learn a wee bit more about my blog, home, and family. Feel free to visit the MWA About Page to get all the ‘skinny’.

AND, if you want all the latest and greatest from My Wee Abode, including instant access to the FREE Printables Library, simply subscribe below:

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And, feel free to hop on over to part one of the MWA tour, and take a look at some ideas for decorating your summer home with a coastal touch!

How Do I Make a Balcony Garden?

For the first time, I’m sharing the My Wee Abode 2.0 balcony and garden!

balcony with container garden viewed from inside
This is the view from my “desk” where I work on the blog.

It’s quite easy to create a balcony garden using containers and just the right plants and flowers for your sun exposure! And today, I’m going to show you JUST how easy it is!

apartment balcony container gardening for summer full view
As you step out the door, this is what you see on an overcast day! πŸ™‚

But first, let’s take a look at what you can add to your small outdoor living space to make it pretty and cozy!

How Can I Make My Apartment Balcony Look Good?

Not only is it easy to make your apartment balcony look good, but it’s fun, too!

apartment balcony container gardening for summer full view

With a few items, you can even make your small outdoor living area feel cozy, as well!

balcony with container garden and furniture
Behind the door is a stacked washer/dryer and additional storage. I need something nice to hang on the door.

And, you can even do it on a budget!

This post may contain affiliate links, at no additional cost to you.
For more information, see my complete disclosure HERE.

Add Comfortable Furniture

The wrought iron chairs I purchased on clearance from Hobby Lobby last year are so pretty. They may not look comfortable, but they really are!

apartment balcony container gardening for summer full view

Unfortunately, these are no longer available. However, these are similar, as well as these chairs. Also, here is a whole shopping page full of great patio chairs!

You can also add comfortable outdoor pillows to make your chairs even more comfortable. Notice that the pillows on my balcony coordinate with the terra cotta pots and flowers. πŸ™‚

Use Outdoor Rugs

Adding an inexpensive rug to your balcony is affordable, elevates the area, adds coziness, and covers ‘ugliness’ you may want to hide. πŸ˜‰

apartment balcony container gardening for summer chair with pillow and rug underneath

This affordable outdoor rug is just the right weight, adds another touch of warmth to the area, and is easy to clean!

Cover the “Ugly”

And speaking of ugly… here’s a view of what’s behind the room divider that was once a closet.

apartment balcony container gardening for summer view of utility cabinet and projects on balcony

That’s my utility cabinet that is in line for a cute makeover, as well as some project supplies just itching to be accomplished.

Simply add a pretty room divider, lattice, or curtains to cover an area you don’t want exposed (especially in blog photos). πŸ˜‰

balcony with furniture plants and room divider

Create a Table for Your Outdoor Space

Now, when I say ‘create’, I mean you can use LOTS of different items to add a table to your tiny home’s balcony:

If you look closely, you can see that my patio table is a vintage galvanized tub (it’s quite heavy) that is going to be getting a makeover. In some photos, you can see the raw wood on top. Mid-photo-shoot, I decided to add a vintage linen table cloth to cover it. I kinda like the wood showing, how ’bout you?

galvanized tub as table with linen table cloth and summer decor on balcony

Use Summer Decor Items Outside As Well As Inside

Your summer decor items aren’t JUST for inside the home!

Plus, you don’t have to JUST use live plants outside! Add a faux plant to your table, with a plant stand (or even a tiny stool, or books!) to give it some height.

apartment balcony container gardening for summer plant in white container on stand with coral and candle holder

You can also add a citronella candle inside a pretty luminary. (Or these solar powered luminary lanterns are gorgeous!)

And for good measure, add a coastal touch with a large piece of ‘coral’.

plant in white container on stand with coral and candle holder

The Best Way to Create a Balcony Container Garden

Now that we have our furniture and decor added to our apartment balconies, let’s add the REAL pretty, shall we?

Choose Containers That Will Work in a Small Garden Area

When you have a small space to create a container garden, you need to make sure to purchase the right containers.

apartment balcony container gardening for summer terra cotta pots with flowers on balcony

Using similar planting pots, such as terra cotta, throughout a container garden creates continuity and flow. Using too many different plant-container-finishes on a small balcony can look messy and hap-hazard.

The container on the ‘welcome’ chair plant stand is about 6 years old. I love how it’s weathered!

Here, the balcony edge is lined with two different size pots, and the larger pots with the flowers are on risers, which gives it some interest.

apartment balcony container gardening for summer terra cotta pots with flowers on balcony

All of the terra cotta pots on the floor are new. I picked them up at Hobby Lobby for 50% off, and they were SUPER affordable!

One more thing… be sure the plant containers you choose will give your plants plenty of space to grow! Make sure they are at least as deep as the plastic pot you purchase them in, and have at least an inch around to add new soil.

Pick Out the Right Plants and Flowers

When choosing the plants and flowers that you want to add to your balcony container garden, keep in mind two tips:

  • Notice the sun exposure on your balcony or patio. Does your balcony receive full sun all day? Is it shaded all day? Or do you get partial sun exposure? Be sure when you take your trek to the nursery, you notice where the plants are being kept. In full sun, partial or complete shade. If you’re not sure, ask the botanist on duty.
  • Do you have animals that like to eat your plants? Be sure to ask your nursery expert which plants are NOT a desired food source for pests (there aren’t a lot), and what plants may help to deter rodents.

My Wee Abode has almost complete shade all day long on the balcony area. I actually asked the botanist on duty at our local nursery what plants she would suggest. She kindly showed me the area I could make my choices from, and gave me some advice on what she thought would work well.

What Plants Need Full Shade?

Since My Wee Abode’s balcony is a fully shaded area, these are the plants in my containers:

  • Kalanchoe
  • Coleus
  • Mojito Mint
  • Impatiens
  • Snap Dragons (I cheated, and I’m going to see if these will grow with some light sun exposure… we’ll see)
  • and, Pyrethrum Daisy (I cheated on these, too… these were in full sun when I bought them!)

Kalanchoe

The Kalanchoe are a succulent type plant that flowers almost year round. They are hearty and low-maintenance and need very little water.

This red one is a flaming red! So pretty!

flowering plant in terra cotta pot on balcony

And this Double-White Kalanchoe is gorgeous, too… and the creamy white flowers remind me of a wedding!

apartment balcony container gardening for summer white flowering plants with green leaves in pot

Coleus

Coleus come in quite a few color variations. This one was the closest colors to summer I could find.

Then, I went to Home Depot and found one in vibrant lime and purple… for less money.

Don’t you hate when that happens?

two toned leaf plant in terra cotta pot
Love the weathered look on this 6-year-old pot, too!

Impatiens

Impatiens do great in shaded areas OR full sun! (Sunpatiens are even better, and prettier!)

And again, very low maintenance.

apartment balcony container gardening for summer impatien in pot

Daisies

Again, my hope is that the Pyrethrum Daisies will get enough sun by sitting in my window boxes on the railing. So far, they are doing fine!

daisies in window box on balcony railing

Do you remember I used miniature daisies on my spring patio at the loft apartment?

I think I just love little daisies… They are so fresh and cute!

apartment balcony container gardening for summer closeup of daisy flower

And one more peeking out…

closeup of daisy plant

I even added one to a small pot and made it a neighbor to the Coleus on my new tiered plant stand.

small plant in pot on stand

One Last Tip… Natural Rodent Repellants

Now for the reason why I went a little overboard on the Mojito Mint.

Last spring and summer, ALL the plants that I brought from the loft apartment were devoured by rodents and birds.

It has taken me a whole year to decide to take another stab at creating a garden on the balcony.

The Sweet Smell of Mint?

Do you know that varmints do NOT like the smell of mint? And Mojito Mint has a stronger mint odor than your standard mint plant.

white flowering plant and mint in terra cotta pots

So, it seems logical to me to surround all of my Kalanchoes with Mojito Mint plants. Every other pot, to be exact.

It’s make me happy that these herbs can be used, and are a lovely green, at that!

apartment balcony container gardening for summer mint plant in pot with dragon fly light

Coffee Grounds Aren’t Just for Mornings

The other natural product I’m using to ward off the critters is coffee grounds.

At the beginning of spring, I caught a squirrel digging through the one and only container plant I had left. Coffee grounds can deter squirrels from digging through plants/dirt, so I tried it.

Not a squirrel on my patio since! (I used fresh grounds, because I had some I didn’t like… but I’ll try used grounds next time!)

One More Tip…

Speaking of Mojito Mint… It’s not just for warding off unwanted fauna. If you suffer with allergies during the summer, these essential oils for congestion might be a great natural option to ward off the results of outdoor living once you’re go back inside!

Now It’s Your Turn

Are you starting a container garden this summer? Do you have a balcony or small patio area that could use a refresh? What types of plants will you use?

If by chance you want to start a thematic garden, or give a bouquet to your fave person, check out these flowers that start with p! Such a fun list!

Here’s a few more of my favorite closeups of my apartment balcony container garden for the summer.

closeup of red flowers in pot
The red reminds of the flames in a summer firepit at the beach.

Do you think these Double-White Kalanchoes could be used in a summer wedding bouquet?

apartment balcony container gardening for summer white flowering plants with green leaves in pot

Gotta love those mint plants! Anyone have some ideas (other than tea) for the harvest these plants will bring?

apartment balcony container gardening for summer terra cotta pots with flowers on balcony

Thank you SO much for dropping in! I hope you enjoyed the tour, and maybe even learned something new and helpful!

Next on the tour is my sweet friend Kate from Southern Home and Hospitality. You’re going to love her elegant southern style, and you’ll be getting even more tips for your porch!

And remember to be sure to check out all the virtual home tours this week, listed below!

signature updated 2022

2023 Summer Home Tour Lineup

Monday’s Tours

A Stroll Thru Life // Simply2Moms // Our Southern Home //
The Tattered Pew // Whispering Pines Homestead

Tuesday’s Tours

Eleanor Rose Home  // The House of Silverado // Calypso In The Country //
StoneGable // My Wee Abode // Southern Home and Hospitality

Wednesday’s Tours

Worthing Court // Thrifty and Chic // The Stonybrook House //
Decor To Adore // Chalking Up Success // She Gave It A Go

Thursday’s Tours

Shiplap and Shells // Pasha is Home // DIY Beautify //
CitrineLiving // Thistle Key Lane // Country Road 407

Friday’s Tours

White Arrows Home // It All Started With Paint //
Southern Crush at Home // Amy Sadler Designs

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50 Comments

  1. How wonderful to have that view from your desk! I love what you did out there, Julie! From the outdoor rug to the pretty furniture, it’s so pulled together. All your plants looks so lush and healthy…(you wouldn’t see that at my house – haha). So many great tips and so nice to tour with you again!
    Shelley

    1. Those flowering succulents are supposed to be really easy to take care of! We’ll see! Thanks for stopping in, Shelley!

  2. Julie your outdoor patio is fabulous! It’s so cozy and inviting, I could sit out there all day reading a book or on the computer. You’ve done such a great job creating an inviting space that doesn’t feel too full. Thank you for all the wonderful tips, I loved reading your blog post!

  3. Love your balcony and love that you have such a great view from your desk. You have created the perfect place to sit and enjoy some fresh summer air and I am amazed at the pretty flowers and how great they are growing. I can grow trees, but flowers are not my thing even though I try. Thanks so much for sharing your tips and ideas and for joining the tour again this season. I love visiting your home and loved seeing your beautiful family.

    1. Thanks so much for allowing me to be part of the tour, Marty. It’s always so enjoyable. And thank for visiting my About page. The Lord is good!

    1. Well, the people next door aren’t so much a problem, just the area behind the screen. LOL! It’s windy here today, so I had to collapse the screen for now. I’m thinking lattice would work better. πŸ™‚

  4. Your patio is perfect! What a beautiful spot to sit! I love all of your flowers and containers – I wish I had a green thumb, ha! But I agree impatiens are so easy, I use New Guinea Impatiens for that reason! Beautiful space and fabulous tips!

    1. Yes… I think the New Guinea are also referred to as Sunpatiens. Those are my fave variety as well! So easy, hearty and gorgeous! Thanks for stopping in, Tamara! Your home tour is lovely!

  5. Your balcony looks lovely, and I hope you enjoy spending many hours out there without any pests! Let us know if the mint plants work to ward off pests. I have had a mint plant for many years here in North Carolina, and I like to make mint simple syrup to add to ice tea or water – just boil equal amount of sugar and water until sugar is dissolved, then turn off heat and add mint sprigs and let sit for about 15 minutes. Remove mint and refrigerate, then add to drinks according to your taste. I also plan to try freezing mint leaves in ice cubes.

    1. Oh, Jeanine! Thanks for the mint recipe! Love it! And the ice cube idea is genius! The mint is working thus far. No critters visiting yet! And everything is still in one piece! Woot!

    1. Thanks, Michelle! Yes, I just went to pinch back the mint, and things are looking good! I have a couple impatiens that are looking a bit sickly, so not sure what THAT is. They are normally so easy to grow… in the shade AND sun!

  6. What a wonderful place to sit and hang out Julie! I love the style of those new chairs and both of your genius ideas for the rustic galvanized bucket for a table and the closet doors for a screen. And all of your pretty plants look so happy. California weather does them right – I’m jealous!

    1. Thanks, Kate… the plants are happy for now… we’ll see! As long as the critters stay away from the flowers… so far, so good! πŸ˜‰

  7. Julie,
    Your patio is my favorite! It is just so lovely and the perfect spot for someone who wants to relax and smell the mint! LOVE all your ideas and suggestions for plants and plant care. Julie, you are the queen of small-space living. You created a beautiful space for you and your mom. I’m praying for you, dear friend!

    1. Thank you, Yvonne. This was a very fun post to write, even though I was up and writing until 3:30am to meet the deadline! Shame on me! πŸ˜‰ I’m very much enjoying the garden, and just finished pinching back the mint. Smells amazing while I’m trimming!

    1. Oh, thank you so much, Laura! I’m glad it was a timely post! I’m sure your daughter will love her apartment… and balcony!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Sim! I just finished watering and pinching back the mint. I’m really enjoying it!

  8. What a pretty balcony area you’ve created Julie! I love how that striped outdoor rug pulls everything together. I could imagine sipping a nice summer cocktail there or cozying up with a good book in the evening. I’m going to try your tip with the Mojito Mint. Last year I had some indoors and it made my kitchen smell divine, I didn’t think of using it on the porch too, thanks for the idea! Happy summer!

    1. Thank you, Jayne! I think maybe simmering some of the mint on the stove might work, too? You are so welcome for the tip!

  9. What a perfect spot to relax and admire all the flowers. I love your balcony, Julie. And I love that you have so many beautiful plants out there to enjoy. The beautiful bold pillows and striped rug pull everything together so beautifully. Happy Summer my friend.

  10. Julie,
    I love this…I want to move to an apartment and no longer be a homeowner having to worry about maintenance but my husband will not move..The apartment I like would be on the first floor but has a patio that is very similar to your balcony and I could see me do exactly what you have done here in your balcony, on that patio….Thanks for the inspiration!!!
    Hugs,
    Deb

    1. Oh, thanks, Debbie. Interesting… it’s usually the woman who doesn’t want to move from a home that is owned. Maybe your hubby has a hard time thinking about ‘throwing money away’ on a rental. I know most people have that attitude, and I understand. πŸ™‚

  11. You have created a lovely garden on your balcony Julie, what a great spot to enjoy! Using a room divider to hide the “ugly” is such a smart idea and the outdoor rug really makes it feel cozy and well put together~ You sure know how to make the most of small spaces!

  12. Julie you’ve done a fabulous job! You created a mini sanctuary for you and your mom, which is so important in this hurried, I need it yesterday world. The rug is a great touch and I love, love the tub table with the wooden top. SO many other details to mention but I thoroughly enjoyed this post. Have a great day. XO- MaryJo

  13. Julie, this is such a pretty and relaxing spot. What a great place to unwind in the evening. Love all your gorgeous plants. Had to laugh about the squirrel digging in your plants. I’ve never tried coffee grounds, I’ll have to. I love to watch them but they are little terrors here. spoiled and naughty. I wouldn’t have thought they’d try out a balcony. Your complex is gorgeous!

  14. Julie, you’ve created such a beautiful area to sit and enjoy the outdoors! I love those chairs, the creative table, and the closet doors repurposed as a privacy screen! Your plants look amazing! So nice to tour with you again!

    1. Thanks, Cindy! Had to prune the mint completely. Powdery mildew, and I’m not sure why. I think I’m doing everything right!

  15. Everything looks so beautiful, Julie. I love seeing how you make the most of the outdoor living space you have. Very welcoming and inviting.

    1. Thanks so much, Beverly! I had to cut back my mint plants… they are getting mildewed for some reason. Womp, womp.

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