Apartment balcony inspiration

Taking in the city skyline from your apartment balcony is an enjoyable way to pass the time. Whether your balcony "Apartment balcony inspiration"

Apartment balcony inspiration

Taking in the city skyline from your apartment balcony is an enjoyable way to pass the time. Whether your balcony is open or closed, small or large, you can style it and make it functional for many different pass times. Here’s some apartment balcony inspiration.

wooden flooring apartment balcony
Source: Pinterest

Beautiful apartment balcony gardens

Having some greenery on your balcony is magic; it’s good for the soul and looks beautiful. You can get very creative with designing an apartment balcony garden that suits you.  Having vertical gardens, planters that hang on balcony railings, potted plants and mini urban vegetable gardens are some great ways to achieve a sense of nature. Succulents are big right now, and the cactus is making a comeback; you’ve got so many options!

Airtasker have fantastic garden experts available to help you design, establish and maintain your apartment balcony garden. Also, if you’re into growing your own vegetables and herbs, check out our advice on apartment vegetable gardening.

apartment balcony garden inspiration
Source: Pinterest

Create some privacy

If you can see straight into your neighbour’s apartment, they can probably see right into yours. The addition of a privacy screen will give you a little extra seclusion, especially in built up areas. You can purchase privacy screens, or create your own stylish aesthetic by planting bamboo, building up a vertical garden or training crawling jasmine around the edge of your balcony railings. Leave a little space so you don’t completely block out the sunshine, or have your screen mobile.

apartment balcony privacy
Source: City Farmhouse

Designated ‘chill zone’

We love the idea of positioning a comfortable little day bed on your balcony so you can relax and unwind in your own dreamy balcony enclave.  There are some beautifully made weatherproof day beds and outdoor sofa options around. Style your ‘chill zone’ with the addition of a little side table or drink holder, some scatter cushions and a soft throw. It’ll be the perfect place to get into a good book, or admire the horizon on sunset with a glass of wine.

apartment balcony day bed
Source: Sea of Shoes

Laze back in a hammock

Alright, this probably belonged in the ‘chill zone’ section, but who can beat a hammock? If it’s not possible to be strung between two coconut palms on a tropical island, then why not on your balcony? If you really wanted the whole resort style shebang, you could have a little wading pool on your balcony too.

apartment balcony hammock
Source: NORD no.27

Create an entertainer’s nook

All you need to create the ultimate entertainer’s nook is a drinks cart, along with a little mountable bench or table for nibbles, and some fun lighting. Invite your guests to take a seat on your carefully chosen outdoor chairs, or scatter some cushions around so they can lean back against the wall and look up at the night sky while taking in the intelligent conversation. If you’ve got the space, a small BBQ will fit right in too!

apartment balcony entertainer's nook
Source: BLOGLOVIN’

Bring the backyard to the balcony

Have you got a boring cement slab balcony on the second floor?  You don’t have to feel limited to working with what you’ve got; all you need is a little inspiration!  You could liven it up by creating a ‘patio’ with some temporary wooden flooring, or by laying down some faux grass (this is very trendy according to every rooftop bar there ever was in Melbourne!).

apartment balcony grass astro-turf
Image credit: nellygoing via Buzzfeed

We hope you’ve enjoyed these ideas, and would love to hear more suggestions from you on how to redesign and fall in love with your apartment balcony.

Summer gardening tips

Summer is practically here! Your lawn is probably growing like crazy already, and staying on top of maintenance at this "Summer gardening tips"

Summer gardening tips

Summer is practically here! Your lawn is probably growing like crazy already, and staying on top of maintenance at this time of year can be time consuming. Here are some tips to help make Summer gardening a breeze.

summer gardening goals
Source: Home Bunch

Water your garden efficiently

In most regions of Australia, our Summers are a little on the warm side. Heat and evapouration rates are at their peak during the middle of the day, which can cause your plants to stress and wilt. It’s best to water your plants and lawn either first thing in the morning, or later in the afternoon. This way, the water will have a better chance to soak into the ground, instead of evapourating straight away. Giving your thirsty garden a decent drink at cooler times of the day is also an efficient use of water.

summer gardening watering
Source: Homestructions

Bee friendly summer gardening

A lot of fruit and vegetables in your garden probably require bee pollination. This Summer, attract bees to your garden to pollinate your fruit and vegetables by refraining from using harmful pesticides, and by planting ͚bee-friendly͛ flowering plants – this will help bulk their food supply up. Not only will your crops grow, but you’ll help save the bees!

summer gardening bee on flowersSource: HD IMAGES NEW

Set up an irrigation system

Setting up an irrigation system is a great afternoon project, and can be very cost effective when you do it yourself.  You can tailor your design and materials to best suit your garden needs; options include sprayers, sprinklers, drippers and more. The very brief version of the instructions is that you would start by measuring out your garden and map out your irrigation system design. You’d then choose your materials, measure out your water flow and start assembling. To make your irrigation system easy and water efficient, you could add an automated timer attachment to your tap so you don’t miss (or forget) the optimal watering timeslot.

Bunnings have some great tutorials for planning your irrigation system, and installing your irrigation system. If you’d rather not spend your weekend installing polytube, there are plenty of Airtasker garden maintenance professionals available who would be happy to do this for you.

summer gardening irrigation
Source: Gardener’s Supply Company

Weeding the pavers around the patio and pool area

How frustrating is it when the pavers around your patio or pool area get overgrown with weeds in the warmer months? Most people put gap sand between pavers to prevent this (and set pavers in place), but after a while, weather can wash it away and weeds creep back up. Environbond suggests a step-by-step way to resolve this issue when it occurs:

  1. Start by removing any large weeds by hand.
  2. Use a rough broom or pressure washer to brush or blast the smaller weeds out.
  3. Follow up by applying a solution of white vinegar and boiling water to help kill any remaining roots.
  4. Allow the area to dry then fill the gaps in-between the pavers with sand to prevent weeds from re-sprouting.

summer gardening pavers
Source: manoswelt

Cut your lawn a little longer

Grass grows at a much faster rate in Summer and you may be tempted to mow it as short as possible to avoid having to do it so regularly, but your lawn will keep in much better condition if cut a bit longer. Having your lawn a little longer will actually suppress weeds and bindi growth (Coleby-Williams, J.).

summer gardening lawn mowing
Source: Angie’s List

We hope you enjoy these summer gardening tips. Once you’ve got your garden in its Summer prime, you’ll want to have guests over, so have a look at these summer outdoor entertaining ideas.

Indoor gardening ideas

Indoor gardening is a great way to achieve a stylish look, and mood enhancing sense of tranquility. Having plants indoors "Indoor gardening ideas"

Indoor gardening ideas

Indoor gardening is a great way to achieve a stylish look, and mood enhancing sense of tranquility. Having plants indoors not only brings a room to life; it helps with air quality. Here are some beautiful indoor gardening ideas to try at home, the office, or even in the little café you’ve been dreaming about opening.

vertical indoor gardening
Source: woo home

Terrariums

Terrariums are gorgeous placed on a table or hanging from the ceiling (and they make great gifts)!  The word ‘terrarium’ is used to describe a miniature garden in a container, often made of glass and usually sealed, but can also refer to open-air containers.  They can be soil based, soil-free, sand based or water based.

water terrarium indoor gardening
Source: Etsy

You can purchase pre-established terrariums from garden centers, gift shops and online, or you can enjoy making your own. Get creative and try using random glass objects, such as a light bulb, water jug, or fish bowl, and fill them with succulents, indoor ferns, air plants, moss and florals.

indoor gardening terrariums
Source: Uncovet Blog

Vertical gardening

Bring your indoor area to life by installing a vertical garden. Vertical gardens are perfect for those with little space. Often mounted or hanging, you can choose to utilise your vertical garden for purely aesthetic purposes, or make it into your own little indoor herb or vegetable garden.

herbs vertical indoor gardening
Source: The Domestic Heart

vertical indoor gardening
Source: Karma Stream

Living walls

Living walls, or green walls are the ‘next level’ in vertical gardening. You can create a fixed or moveable feature wall with tumbling greenery, or brightly coloured flowering plants. Make it extra special by installing some down lights or water-proof fairy lights that you can switch on in the evening.

Depending on your design, to set up a living green wall, you might need a:

  • Free-standing or mountable structure
  • Layer of water-proofing (plastic) to protect the wall behind
  • Layer of fabric for your plants to grow on, and
  • A drip irrigation system with appropriate drainage.

Once you’ve got the structure sorted out, you can then select and install your plants.

Airtasker have some very talented gardening professionals available to set your green wall up for you.

living green wall indoor gardening
Source: studio m interior design

Suspended indoor gardening ideas

Suspended indoor gardens and upside down gardens are stunning indoor gardening ideas that will make your space feel extravagant.  Imagine the serenity of having a rainforest canopy above your floating kitchen bench, or in the middle of your family room.

suspended indoor gardening
Source: Happy Interior Blog

suspended indoor gardening
Source: woo home

Upcycled planters

Mason jars, glass jugs, light bulbs, old lanterns and vintage trunks are all perfect items to recycle and revitalise by using as a planter for your indoor garden. Hunt down inspiration on Pinterest and head to your local second hand store to find a bargain item in need of some upcycling love.

indoor gardening tulips planter
Source: Pinterest

lightbulb indoor gardening
Source: 1001 gardens

Succulents

Succulents do exceptionally well in most indoor gardening situations. They come in a wonderful variety of shapes, sizes and colours and are generally readily available at gardening centers and nurseries.

succulents indoor gardening
Source: Stagetecture

Air plants

Tillandsia (a.k.a air plants) are the brown-thumb’s best friend; they literally need hardly any attention because they thrive on oxygen (hint: over-watering will kill them). However, due to recent changes in import restrictions, they are not so easy to get in store anymore. When sourcing air plants, it’s best to purchase them online from a specialist retailer like Air Plant Décor, who will package your plant up delicately and have it delivered with full care instructions. Place them in terrariums or on unique air plant holders.

air plants indoor gardeningSource: Craft Organic

air plant indoor gardening
Source: Idle Hands Awake

Love our indoor gardening ideas, or have a few ideas of your own you’d love to share with us?  Let us know in the comments below!

How to grow vegetables in your apartment

Apartment living has it’s perks; no lawn to mow, no garden beds to weed. It is nice to have the "How to grow vegetables in your apartment"

How to grow vegetables in your apartment

Apartment living has it’s perks; no lawn to mow, no garden beds to weed. It is nice to have the satisfaction of growing your own vegetables though. Whether you’ve just got an indoor area, a small balcony, or if you’re lucky enough to have a rooftop, you’ll find there are a number of vegetable gardening ideas that will suit your apartment.

potato apartment vegetables
Source: Pinterest

Container planting

Container planting is a great option for growing vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, bush tomatoes, climbing beans, root vegetables, lettuce and salad leaves. Containers come in all different shapes, sizes and materials. Do some homework on the required growing conditions of whatever it is you’d like to plant to and check the size required. The best thing about container planting is if you do move out, you can take your crop with you.

Wooden planters – construct your own using old pallets (often free from industrial sites if you ask politely) or find some gorgeous planter ideas online

vegetables gardening wooden planter
Source: Pinterest

Need some help putting your wooden planter together? Get some help from an Airtasker handyman in your neighbourhood.

Plastics planters – plastic pots are cheap and readily available from gardening and hardware stores, or you can recycle old plastic bottles to make your own apartment planters

vegetables gardening plastic planters softdrink bottles
Source: Just Imagine

Terracotta and ceramic pots – they look great, especially for things like citrus and olives – but beware they can get a bit heavy

cauliflower vegetables terracotta pot
Source: Balcony Garden Web

Smart pots – made from porous, lightweight material, they encourage drainage and root growth, and can be washed and folded up when not needed

Tip: A small hessian bag will work just as well for planting potatoes.

smart pot vegetables gardening
Source: Nutriculture

Herbs and micro-herbs in tins

Use old tin cans and biscuits tins to house herbs and micro herbs. Although they’re not technically vegetables, they are perfect for growing indoors and outdoors in apartments.

vegetables herbs tin gardening
Source: Pinterest

‘No dig’ wheelbarrow veggie patch

A wheelbarrow is a fantastic way to create a mini, movable vegetable patch that you can chase the sun with. The ‘no dig’ or ‘lasagna’ (layered) method of preparing a garden bed will work great for this style of gardening as it provides maximum nutrients with little effort to maintain. Follow the steps below to get started:

Step 1
Scout out a pre-loved wheelbarrow at a second hand store or pick up a cheap one from a gardening and hardware retailer. Make sure you bring your wheelbarrow to your balcony or rooftop before filling, otherwise it will be too heavy to move.

Step 2
Create some drainage by either drilling holes in the base (you’ll need to keep a container underneath the wheelbarrow to catch any excess water that leaks through), or by filling the bottom few inches with light stones.

wheelbarrow vegetables
Source: Lushome

Step 3
Prepare the ‘no dig’ garden bed:

  1. Start with a layer of newspaper – wet it
  2. Add a layer of mulch – lucerne hay or sugar cane mulch works well
  3. Add a layer of manure – chicken, cow or horse manure work well for vegetable growing
  4. Add a layer of straw
  5. Add another layer of manure (clearly this type of gardening is best kept to outdoor areas)
  6. Add a layer of good compost
  7. Depending on how deep your wheelbarrow is, repeat

Check out the ABC’s step by step guide to No Dig gardening. If you’d rather leave the garden bed construction (read: manure layering) to someone else, get an Airtasker gardening professionl to help you out.

Step 4
Plant your vegetables. It’s up to you to decide if you want to start with seeds or seedlings (for beginner gardeners, seedlings are a great head start). You can even use vegetable scraps from your crisper; they’ll do remarkably well! Try celery, shallots, carrots, lettuce and chili.

Root vegetables in glass

Make a masterpiece out of your indoor vegetable garden by planting brightly coloured root vegetables or herbs in a glass jar or container. Start collecting mason jars, vases or vintage jugs and try planting a spring mix of carrots, spring onions and raddish. Most root systems prefer to be kept in the dark while the leaves enjoy a little light, so tinted glass containers are ideal for planting vegetables and herbs that require a decent amount of sunlight.

herbs vegetables mason jars
Source: Wonderful DIY

Strawberries 

Not technically a vegetable, but so great to grow in an apartment that we couldn’t leave them out!  Strawberries do well in containers or hanging baskets. There are even varieties that require no sun and can be completely grown indoors, such as the Alpine variety.

strawberries vegetables fruits
Source: Plant Care Today

Mushrooms

Don’t have much sunlight available? No worries! Mushrooms love cool, dark places. Get a complete starter kit online for as little as $20 (Enfield Produce Pet and Garden Supplies).

mushroom kit vegetables
Source: Mushroom Kit

Have you got any more fantastic vegetable gardening ideas suitable for apartment living? Leave us a comment below.

Beginner’s guide to: Gardening

If you’re embarking on your first gardening project and you’re not sure where to start, our beginner gardening tips will "Beginner’s guide to: Gardening"

Beginner’s guide to: Gardening

If you’re embarking on your first gardening project and you’re not sure where to start, our beginner gardening tips will help you succeed.  Knowing where to start, planning and understanding your garden design will be the key to your success. Before you get down to the local landscaping store, there are a few considerations you need to make.

gardening roses and bench seats
Source: Pinterest

What type of gardening do you want to enjoy?

How do you want to use your garden? Are you doing some landscaping to finish off a newly constructed home, or giving your existing garden a facelift? Will this space be used as an entertaining area, children’s play area, veggie patch or chook pen? Do you want to build a feature garden? Understanding the purpose of your garden will help you plan the design.

tuscan gardening
Source: Pinterest

Landscaping and layout

Think about the space you have and how you might make the most out of it by carefully planning the layout. Garden goers with large, country back yards are blessed in their options. But if you’re in a terrace house in suburban Sydney and don’t have more than a 4 meter squared courtyard, you’ll need to be a little bit smarter with what you have. Draw up your design and experiment. Yates have a really handy Virtual Garden tool that you can use; it takes in to account your climate, garden size, what type of garden you’re interested in, and your level of gardening expertise.

Design ideas

A little bit of design inspiration never goes astray. Again, thinking about the space and how you want to use it, seek out plants, grass, garden accessories and possibly even outdoor furniture to complete your design. Are you into water features? Would a flower arch complete your garden’s English tea party look? Would a grape vine work nicely with a Tuscan theme? Landscaping centers often have mini display gardens that you can walk through, and there is plenty of design inspiration online.

beehive gardening
Image credit: Harold Lloyd
Source: Homestead Revival
Get your own homegrown honey by having a quaint little back yard beehive.

wheelbarrow flower gardening
Source: Italia Post
Find an old wheelbarrow in a second hand store and bring it to life with some brightly coloured flowers.

We also have some great small backyard design ideas and quirky garden design ideas for you to look at.

Drainage and ground preparation

When planning your garden, don’t forget to consider things like drainage and ground preparation. You don’t want half of your backyard flooded and turning in to a mud puddle every time you get a sprinkling of rain. You may need to level the ground, dig it out, and even prepare the soil if it’s lacking nutrients. If you have a bit of labouring work ahead of you, think about when the right time to do it will be; there’s no point in scheduling a landscaping job in the ‘wet season’ (okay, ‘wet weeks’ in Australia); mud and rain won’t allow for much productivity.

lawn and turf gardening
Source: DIY Network

Read up on what you are planting

Research is key for beginner green thumbs. Know whether the plants, grass, flowers, vegetables, etc. you are interested in will do well in your climate, how to care for them, and what their maintenance requirements are. For example, how much water does Sir Walter grass need? Will it do well in a hot climate? How much sun does it need? What are the best conditions for laying turf and how long will it take to settle?

Tip: ‘Sun-mapping’ is a thing – how much sun does your garden actually get and where? Spend a day outside to find out.

sunshine gardening
Source: Thiên nhiên

Spacing plants appropriately

When designing a dream garden, something many enthusiastic beginners neglect to think about is spacing of plants. If you’re constructing a tropical paradise of different varieties of palm trees to surround your pool, anticipate for them to get big. They’ll drop fronds, seeds and maybe even coconuts; they can grow over roofs, pools and block gutters. Do some research on the species you want to use and space plants appropriately; they grow.

Maintenance

Once you’ve established your garden, to keep it looking amazing you’ll need to have a good maintenance routine in place. Think about this in the planning stage. Consider:

  • Lawn care – aerating, watering and mowing
  • Weeding
  • Hedging
  • Pruning
  • Fertilising
  • Cleaning (e.g. bird baths)
  • Pest control
  • Irrigation, sprinklers
  • Gardening tools and equipment, e.g. hoses, shovels, etc.

gardening hose
Source: hey there, home

Budget check

Budget check = Reality check.  Now that you’ve got your design planned out, measure out your requirements (i.e. 10 meters squared of that beautiful Sir Walter turf) and cost it out before you get started. Don’t forget to consider ongoing maintenance costs as well; think in terms of money, time and effort.

Get ready to get started!

By having a good, well planned garden design, you’ll be on the right path to green thumb success. If you’ve identified certain tasks that you’d like to do yourself, think about your skills and experience and consider watching some online videos, or getting advice from a professional before you start. If for example, you don’t want to level the backyard or lay turf yourself, Airtasker have plenty of landscaping professionals available to assist. Get a free quote today.