How to Decorate Screening in Your Balcony Garden


Your first consideration will probably be the style and type of screening that is going to give the balcony shelter and a modicum of privacy. In a block of apartments some form of partition or screening between you and your neighbours is often already in place, but it is rarely adequate and even less likely to be aesthetically pleasing or suited to your design plans. It may be a very basic metal or reinforced glass partition or, at best, a low stretch of decorative wrought ironwork which may look attractive and complement the style and construction of the balcony, but which has no practical purpose other than establishing your boundaries. It is often written into the lease on a property that these partitions must not be removed or structurally altered, so if you don’t like them you will have to disguise them in some way. If you can spare the space, you could always erect your preferred form of screening in front of the original one. However, do remember that whatever you choose for the balcony must combine good looks and strength without weighing too much, so brick or stone screens are usually out of the question, unless you construct a lightweight partition and use facing versions of these materials.

Decorate Screening Balcony Garden

Disguising existing screens

If an existing screen is high enough, it may be tempting to think you can simply disguise it with the help of a vigorous evergreen climber, such as an ivy, planted in a large pot or tub. Unfortunately that is not possible if the panels are made from glass, perspex or metal as the plants will have nothing to cling to as they climb. The best space-saving solution here is to construct thin trellis-work, made from plastic, metal or timber, to cover the screen and for the plants to clamber over. If you choose a trellis that looks reasonably attractive, or perhaps install it on the diagonal rather than in a conventional grid pattern, you will immediately improve the look of the area even before the plants have had a chance to establish themselves. Alternatively, you could hang a selection of trailing and flowering plants from the trellis-work in light plastic pots (a piece of wire around the rim or piercing the top of the pot should serve as an adequate hook) as a temporary and extremely effective instant display, while more permanent specimens are growing.

Another idea worth considering as a cunning and eye-deceiving disguise is to paint the support. Paint it white if you want it to look light and attract the eye, black or dark brown for drama, or a deep green or blue for a more sophisticated effect. You may even be bold enough to experiment with rich reds and russets if you are planning an oriental-style balcony or something slightly unusual. If you want an inexpensive and easy alternative – perhaps if you are not planning to stay in residence long, or the property is only rented so you are not able to make major alterations and additions – it might be possible to use the wire or plastic mesh designed for plant support. You can buy it quite cheaply in rolls or sheets and then fling it over and fix it round the partition. You would have to attach it very firmly, especially if the site is exposed to strong winds, but it does have the advantage of being extremely light.

You should also bear in mind that mature climbing plants can be surprisingly heavy, especially the flowering shrub types, so in this case it might be better to choose one of the smaller climbers and dingers such as a small-leaved ivy. Better still, particularly if you want a quick, temporary effect for the summer months only, grow a pretty annual climbing plant, such as a sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) or morning glory (Ipomoea) which will smother your netting with beautiful foliage and flowers in a single season.

Disguising the main wall

While you are considering disguises and cover-ups, spare a thought for the rear wall of the balcony – the main wall of the property. A balcony may feel like a three-sided feature, but when you are sitting in it, that fourth surface is visually very important, and may also be visible from below. Most likely to be made from brick or stone, it is not always very attractive, especially when the balcony is sited at the rear of the building, and may also need a little cosmetic treatment to make it blend in with the style and atmosphere of your balcony plans. This can be more important in the case of a small balcony than with a large one, when you might at least have room to stand tubs of tall plants against the wall. All the same, you can use the same cover-up tricks as you did for the side partitions, but here you have the advantage of a much sturdier, stronger surface to work on because it is the main load-bearing wall of the property. However, you should still check that the basic construction is sound and in good decorative order, and carry out any necessary repairs such as repointing or repainting before you cover it up.

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About the Author: Greenery always attracts Arthur Kunkle. He has a big garden where he plants many fruits and vegetables. His passion for gardening motivates him to write and share different tips on gardening.

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