Those who live in the city often feel the need to reconnect with nature and try their hand at gardening to release daily stress or simply to create a small refuge that becomes the perfect setting to escape from our busy days. If you are lucky enough to have a terrace or one or more windowsills, you can recreate anti-stress corners with a few different methods.
A terrace or a windowsill, no matter how large or furnished, comes to life only when we embellish it with some plants. In nature there are many varieties of ornamental plants, with or without flowers, climbers and evergreens. Which ones do you prefer?
Follow our tips for rethinking your green oasis
For the outdoor spaces of the house the most recommended variety is undoubtedly that of evergreen plants. They are ideal for raised spaces in the city, mainly because they do not need special care and do not require annual repotting. Their advantage is that they also adapt to more shaded areas and do not discourage gardening beginners or those who have little time to devote to them. Among the best known balcony and terrace perennials we find are erica, schefflera, Lewisia, Japanese maple and photinia. The first few months of the year are difficult times for new blossoms, but with balcony evergreens we can enjoy the privilege of a small green oasis without fear of the cold and with a few easy techniques. Steer immediately towards the purchase of a durable species, preferably shrubs with thick and compact foliage or perennial plants with the purpose of giving your space a base of greenery which will not lose vitality over time.
You can opt for some climbers as well, which fit well with the design of the terraces and your garden, such as ivy and bougainvillea. Remember to also purchase supports or pergolas to support the plant when it grows and get advice from your gardener on the maximum height once the plant has matured.
When you go looking for new green ornaments for your windowsill or garden, keep in mind 3 guiding features: the space you have available, the sun exposure and the time you want to dedicate to your plants. We have collected our 10 favorite plants. Depending on the characteristics of the space, you can adjust your choices. Always remember the importance of outdoor furniture! Here you will find some suggestions for garden tables.
The following plants tolerate many hours of direct light. Remember to water them frequently and in the summer even 2 times a day.
1. Geranium’s will provide a pleasant touch of color and is an excellent natural repellent against mosquitos. It does not tolerate cold weather very well. This will not be an issue during the summer, but keep it in mind for fall.
2. Bougainvillea is a climbing plant, great for your terrace and with an amazing and very colorful blooming period.
3. Lavender, an officinal plant, is not difficult to grow on windowsills. It is necessary to cultivate it in draining soils as it does not tolerate stagnant water. It grows well both in the sun and in slightly shaded areas. If you expose it to the sun for many hours, it will give you a very fragrant purple colored bush.
4. Aromatic plant are a must-have on home balconies. They are decorative, take up little space and provide a wonderful scent to outdoor spaces as much as great dishes.
5. Juniper is another plant that requires very little water, therefore it is an excellent choice for beginner gardeners.
6. Photinia is a plant that is grown both in a tree and a shrub version. It is very useful to create a partition between adjacent balconies or to isolate railings and pergolas .
7. Ivy is one of the most common outdoor plants. Widely used on balconies and terraces, it is perfect for covering partitions and walls thanks to its innate ability to climb on any surface. Be careful of the stains it can leave on walls.
8. Thunbergia alata, commonly called ‘Black-eyed Susan vine’ is an excellent evergreen plant that is great on sunny balconies.
9. Mahonia resists both the cold and heat and it is hardly attacked by parasites. Precisely for these reasons, it is often chosen as an ornamental plant.
10. Abelia grandiflora (Glossy Abelia) is a rustic flowering shrub that easily adapts to different environmental conditions. It loves the sun and pairs very elegantly with roses.
Its abundant white blooms (with slight pink hues) lasts from late spring to the end of summer, guaranteeing pleasant “splashes of color” for your terrace.
In general, our suggestion is to spontaneously mix things up trying to create a balance between shapes and types of foliage inserting, when possible, tall plants to create openings and points of interest. If the space available is limited, do not overdo it by crowding it with plants. Limit the botanical species to two or three at most with a few touches of color to provide character to the space.