Balcony garden ideas to make the most of your space

A small space doesn't have to mean a bland one.

Bistro chairs and table on balcony with view in the yard

by Piper Huxley |
Updated on

Whether you're just after inspiration, or you're looking for ways to transform your balcony into a tranquil outdoor garden, here are the best balcony garden ideas to bring life right to your space. After all, being outdoors, surrounded by nature, enhances our mental well-being and transports us to tranquillity. All the more reason to get into balcony gardening.

With over 220 nature reserves dotted around England, we Brits are not short of wild and unique flora, miles of green spaces and nature's most beloved birds and animals practically on our doorstep, wherever we might find ourselves ambling within the country. We can't blame you for trying to bring some of this back home. Aside from flora and fauna, consider the design of your balcony garden. Where are you going to put your balcony plants?

Balcony garden ideas at a glance:

Best for individual potted plants: 6 Tier Wooden Plant Stand - view on Amazon UK
For a rustic, cottagecore look: Malesmbury Planter - view at Garden Trading
Hang over your balcony: Balcony Hanging Planter in Sage - view on Amazon UK
Durable deckchair: Fiam Dondolina Steel Frame Deckchair - view at John Lewis

Further, it's exceptionally nice to have your own outside space at home, so we turn to our gardens - whether out back or by our front door or porch. After all, gardening provides the same dopamine hit we get from experiencing nature. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a garden, though that doesn't mean you can't reap the benefits of gardening and bring nature right to your available space too, which can be some indoor plants or a balcony.

Balcony gardens are currently very on-trend, with plenty of inspiration online and on social media, from minimal Scandinavian-themed aesthetics to tropical paradises that transport you elsewhere. They provide a brilliant opportunity to decorate some plant pots. We've written a guide on how to create a balcony garden of your own.

Best Balcony Garden Ideas 2023

On with our suggestions, from outdoor dining sets to planters...

Balcony Garden Wooden Planters

Tiered planter for smaller spaces

We know that space means everything, and no one wants to feel claustrophobic. So, with this 4 Tier Planter, you can transform your small space into a green filled garden in no time. With a stack system, this planter brings an opportunity for depth to your balcony- allowing you to arrange your greenery and flora however you feel necessary!

Customer Review: "The planters are great but took longer to arrive than quoted by Ruby. I called a couple of times and was treated well on both occasions."

Pros

  • Pressure-treated wood is resistant to rot
  • Perfect for balconies, patios and porches
  • Offers a modern solution to spaces

Cons

  • May be bulky for some spaces

Ideal for a herb garden

Wooden Vertical Garden
Price: £309.99 (was £339.99)

www.wayfair.co.uk

Now with this Vertical Wooden Garden you get to save extra floor space, allowing you to include even more greenery if you desire. In tiny spaces, we're all about space saving. This wooden vertical garden allows you to pile your vibrant flora upwards- creating the effect of a more enclosed garden, now that's some creative freedom right there.

Customer Review: "Fabulous when completed, but better instructions would have been appreciated."

Pros

  • Make the most of your space
  • Three generous spaces for herbs
  • Supports a chefs passion for produce

Cons

  • Tricky assembly, may need a drill

Ideal for planting flowers

This 5 Tier Garden Flower Planter features five narrow tiers which are perfect for including more concise, subtle blasts of colour within your balcony garden. These would be ideal for roses, tulips, sunflowers, marigold, you name it.

Customer Review: "The Woodside 5 Tier Wooden Decorative Garden Flower Herb Planter is a fantastic addition to any garden or outdoor space. Its tiered design, sturdy construction, and ample planting space make it a practical and visually appealing choice. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a novice, this planter provides a convenient and stylish way to showcase your favorite plants. With proper care and maintenance, it will undoubtedly bring beauty and functionality to your garden for years .

One potential improvement for this planter could be the addition of a protective coating or treatment to enhance its durability and resistance to weather elements. While the wood seems solid and well-made, applying a sealant or weatherproofing treatment could further extend its lifespan and maintain its attractive appearance over time."

Pros

  • Crafted from tough, durable pine wood
  • Contains a drainage hole to help plants
  • Metal hooks are great for accessories

Cons

  • May require addition of treatment for longevity
  • May need a little more work required for assembly

Best for individual potted plants

With this 6 Tier Wooden Plant Stand, comes total freedom. If you prefer planting your flowers or plants in funky pots then this gives you the opportunity to put the potted flora on display amongst the other lively greenery, creating some real depth to your balcony garden. It's perfect for you popping your bonsai outdoors to expose it to the elements, too.

Customer Review: "The plant stand looks fantastic for both out and indoor, the wood given is good quality, it can hold some weight, really stable for how much it has got on it. It’s also easy to assemble according to the user manuel that’s given, it won’t go wrong unless you don’t take the steps, in my case, all the components are in, no missing item. All these within a good price range, I would get more for different style if I had the space."

Pros

  • Great, budget-friendly accessory
  • Space-saving and multi-purpose
  • Versatility is perfect for creativity

Cons

  • May be too big for some spaces

How about switching it up and continuing to add to that layer of depth by introducing some more shapely planters- enabling you to add a burst of character to your outdoor balcony space. We've found some unsual additions to home your favourite outdoor plants...

Balcony Plant Pots

Ideal for miniature trees and shrubs

What a stunning granite-effect Stewart Varese Tall Planter. It's perfect for showcasing miniature trees, shrubs or even some small bushes in your balcony garden. These certainly add an element of pizzaz and could really tie the whole theme together. Who knows, you can be caring for a lemon tree some time soon...

Customer Review: "I’ve got a number of theses pots for both garden and house plants. Really strong and good looking pots."

Pros

  • Robust, lightweight and frost-proof
  • Pre-drilled holes for drainage and outdoor use
  • Granite effect for a modern, industrial look

Cons

  • Style may not be everyones taste
  • May be too lightweight for weather

For a rustic, cottagecore look

Malesmbury Planter
Price: £52 (was £65)

www.gardentrading.co.uk

If you want to create a rustic, contemporary theme, then this plant pots might be the way to go. As seen in the image, the Malesmbury Planter pairs beautifully with lavender, and would also look absolutely fabulous with something like potted ivy to compliment the modern outdoor space. It's ideal for those of us who love to go back to basics.

Customer Review: "As the picture really... excellent quality. Had to drill holes as expected by reading previous reviews. Looks great !"

Pros

  • Vintage, striking and rustic
  • Reliable, weather resistant
  • Comes in three different sizes

Cons

  • Some customers recommend drilling holes for drainage
  • You may need to use inner plant pot or liner for longevity

A classic look for your balcony

This Top Home Solutions 3 Tier Planter Patio Display gives the impression of rustic metal and is completely weather resistant whilst looking the part. They are beautifully ideal for building up a bunch of flowers and green plants to create the impression of quantity. They're even perfect for growing fruit or vegetables in your small space.

Customer Review: "Really good product if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a pot. Plastic is easier to move around too."

Pros

  • Tough, weather-resistant and low maintenance
  • Lightweight and easy to reposition
  • Three planters with antique-bronze effect

Cons

  • May not be the sturdiest

Try growing small strawberries

From Gardenesque. we recommend this Glazed Tiered Planter. It's a small, classical tiered herb planter that makes the perfect addition to your kitchen garden. Hard-wearing and frostproof, it is the perfect pot for both indoor and outdoor use as it can hold a selection of kitchen herbs and alpine strawberries. Just make sure to grab saucer for indoor use.

Customer Review: "Delighted to see this green addition to this pot. Beautiful, serene colour, will look great when plants grow a little more. Arrived in record time, delighted with my purchase."

Pros

  • Suitable for outdoor and indoor use
  • Ideal for herbs and alpine strawberries
  • Frostproof; with a drainage hole

Cons

  • May be too small for some

Hang over your balcony

Why not try this Balcony Hanging Planter in Sage? Powder-coated to make it last, this smart space-saving planter is complete with two hooks for you to hang your bloomiest blooms. Plus, Sage Green is in - we love it.

Customer Review: "This planter is very good quality, good value for money, lovely colour and will look fabulous in my garden potted with vibrant summer flowers. Definitely recommend."

Pros

  • With two hooks for stability
  • Powder-coated for longevity
  • Ideal to hang over balcony

Cons

  • May not be compatible with all balconies
  • No drainage holes - you may need to drill

No outdoor garden space is ever complete without a seating area to allow yourself to perch, admire and be mindful in the presence of such stunning greenery and flora. Below, is some outdoor seating, perfect for any budget.

Space-Saving Seating

Ultimate comfort

Wow. We love this VonHaus Hanging Chair. What a unique little gem this would be to any outdoor space. It's cushioned to ensure comfort all day long, so you'll be sure to get hours out in the sun with your large glass of Malbec and your favourite book by your side, and its' sturdy frame allows it to be hung from a huge array of places, for the weight bar evenly distributes weight for a comfortable seat.

Customer Review: "I had a frame for a hanging chair already but the chair I had was not good - didn’t hang well and a bar dug into my legs. Just received this, added a caribener and soma paracord. So comfy. 20 seconds to install and with the caribener a couple seconds to take down. Wasn’t expecting cushions but two included also good. Quick delivery. Happy. Perfect for today to gently sway in the sun."

Pros

  • Space-saving garden seating
  • Combines comfort and style
  • Quick and easy assembly

Boho chic furniture

Perfect for outdoor dining, this Natural Rattan Bistro Set will be the icing on your boho garden cake. Made from hardwearing and low-maintenance polyethylene rattan, it’s weather resistant and easy to care for, also.

Customer Review: "Great purchase,sturdy and very comfortable. I have had many compliments from family and friends. Easy to put together and looks good in and out of our summer house. It's the ideal size for a cozy corner and easy to maneuver. We just put an extra cushion for back support. Lovely modern look , perfect for relaxing and table size is spot on."

Pros

  • Fits both vintage or contemporary styled spaces
  • Weather resistant materials and tempered glass table
  • Simple assembly required with instructions provided

Cons

  • Could do with extra cushions

Elegant teardrop shape

Create the perfect seating space for your balcony garden with this Rattan Wicker Teardrop Chair from The Range. It's weather-resistant, sturdy and has a deep base for you to sink into. Bliss...

Customer Review: "Overall pleased with this chair, good depth to seat, not too uptight or too slouchy which most other standing egg chairs I looked at are. Frustrated that the large pallet had to be left at delivery and driver wouldnt take away. Its really heavy and Im stuck with trying to dispose of it now."

Pros

  • Elegant and deep-seated teardrop shape
  • Weather-resistant and washable cover
  • Anti-slip foot pads and slanted legs for balance

Cons

  • Customers have been left wiht bulky pallett from delivery

Durable deckchair

Durable and comfortable, this Fiam Dondolina Steel Frame Deckchair comes assembled and ready for relaxation. It has a robust steel frame and all-weather fabric seat that looks chic and is easy to transport. Plus, the colour won't fade in the sunshine and folds up for space-saving storage.

Customer Review: "Just received this chair. Super stylish and comfortable. Good quality, I fully recommend."

Pros

  • Durable steel frame
  • Neutral design that won't fade
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • None - very highly rated and worth the price

FAQs: Balcony garden ideas

Tips on how to create the ultimate balcony garden

Emma Tipping, a designer at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, has collaborated with home design brand, Ruggable. to share expert tips on how to utilise limited space to create the perfect balcony garden. Here, she offers advice on how to utilise limited space and make use of existing balcony features. On with the balcony garden ideas...

Make use of your existing balcony features

"Railings and external walls are great features to utilise when looking to save space," says Emma. Use plant hangers or create a wall garden or vertical vegetable patch "by attaching long planters to external walls" to avoid taking up any floor space. By making sure you use space-saving and vertical gardening techniques, you can create a "calming environment that is great for wellbeing and wildlife".

Recycle and repurpose what you already have

In an effort to be green, Emma suggests upcycling items you have to hand: "You’ll be surprised at what items can be used to create your balcony garden". For example, she suggests utilising treated pallets by either securing them to the wall or used as a seating area by "stacking them to create a raised bench." Not only that, but Emma loves the idea of using old tin cans and colanders as plant pots and hanging baskets, respectively. Perfectly primed for produce.

Bring your interiors outdoors

“The key to making your outdoor space comfortable and homely is to bring a touch of the indoors outside," says Emma. By adding outdoor comfy cushions, you can curate the ideal spot for seated relaxation "under the trailing leaves of your plant." Plus, by throwing a weatherproof rug down on the ground, you're making your balcony feel like a home away from home: "It creates a serene seating place, giving you the true outdoor feel of being amongst nature.”

Choose plants with a purpose

Emma suggests opting for plants that are "functional" for your balcony. After all, you want to make the most of your space. So, seek plants that "add fragrance and colour" as a functional element will maximise your balcony's influence on your life - from the way you wind down to the way you eat. It's an easy way to create a herb garden at home. Ideal for floral arrangements and glorious fragrance, Emma recommends planting hydrangeas for your balcony garden.

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Piper Huxley is a Homes, Garden and Wellness Product Writer for Yours, an all-rounder who will write on anything from décor to wellness. When not scouring the net for the best home bargains, Piper is listening to a musical soundtrack and tending to her houseplants.

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