Malta is one of the smallest countries in the world, and one of the most densely populated. No wonder then that most of us live in an apartment with only a small balcony. Houses in Malta with gardens are few and far between. Unless you’re lucky enough to be able to afford a property in Malta with a garden, you most likely have a balcony (or two or three, if you’re fortunate!). Of course, balconies can vary greatly in size. However, don’t think that just because your balcony is small that it means you can’t do anything with it. If your balcony is your only outdoor space, don’t waste it – no matter how tiny it is! We’ve got some great practical and stylish tips for you, to help you make the most out of your balcony. With a little money, time and effort, you can turn your teeny balcony into an outdoor area that you can really enjoy.
If you’re someone who dreams of having a garden in Malta, then think green. You don’t have to have a lawn or a yard to feel like you have a garden. Turn your balcony into a green haven by adding potted plants or hanging plants or a mix of both. If you own an apartment somewhere quite built up and you don’t have a very nice view, adding plants can transform how you feel about your balcony. Instead of looking out onto the road or at the neighbour’s house, you’ll have a lovely view of your flourishing plants. Think you have a black thumb and can’t keep plants alive? Start off with some sturdy plants and work your way up to the needier ones. Gardening is a skill you can develop over time. You’ll soon find yourself looking forward to watering and pruning your plants. Research has shown that gardening is good for your mental health, in all sorts of different ways.
Before you head out to the garden centre and fill your car with plants and pots, do a bit of analysis. Check to see how many hours of direct sunlight your balcony gets (if any), as this will need to be taken into consideration when you’re picking out your plants. Different plants have different needs and it’s best to make sure that the plants you choose will be happy on your balcony. Don’t choose a plant that likes full sun, such as a chili pepper plant, if your balcony is always in the shade. If you have a decent amount of floor space, you can place potted plants on your balcony. The pots themselves can even be a stylish addition to your balcony. The garden centres in Malta have really great pot selections so, you’ll definitely find something to suit your taste. Ideal potted plants for Malta include things like jasmine and hibiscus. Herbs also do very well in outdoor pots in the Maltese climate. An herb garden can be pretty and practical. Stop wasting plastic and buying boxes of herbs at the store, grow your own instead!
Hanging plants are great for those of you who have smaller balconies. If you want to maximise floor space but still keep things green, then you can hang plants over your railings, from hooks on the wall, or even from the balcony above. Succulents are great low-maintenance plants which do well in hanging baskets. Strawberries and tomatoes are also good (and yummy) choices for hanging plants. Look after these well and you’ll get a juicy reward! Your hanging plants will probably need to be watered more often than your potted plants. They tend to get dehydrated much more quickly so keep this in mind. Plants can also be used as a sort of partition. If yours and your neighbour’s balconies are too close for comfort, you could pot a tall plant like bamboo. This can act as a wall and create some much-needed privacy in a unique way.
Aside from plants, you can also style up your balcony using accessories and furniture. To add a little extra green, why not put down some fake grass? In Malta, that’s about as close as you’re going to get to the real thing. You can buy some nowadays that look and feel very realistic. If you want something a bit cosier, you can put down an outdoor rug. Outdoor rugs are made out of natural materials, like hemp, which weather well outside. An outdoor rug would be a nice winter choice and you can swap it for the grass in the summer. For a nice, romantic vibe on your balcony, you can use candles and lights. Pop some lanterns with pillar candles on the floor, next to your potted plants. If you don’t have enough floor space, you can hang the lanterns , just like your hanging plants. If you have a socket near your balcony (or a way to hide the wires), you could string some fairy lights on your balcony railings.
When it comes to choosing furniture for your balcony, it all depends on how much space you have. On a small balcony, you might only be able to fit one comfy reading chair or a floor pillow. Or perhaps you’ll be able to squeeze in a café-style folding table and chairs. When you’re not using these, you can put them away inside or hang them on hooks on the wall outside. That way, you have the floor space when you need it. A hammock is also a cool choice for any small balcony. When you’re not hanging in your hammock, put it away and it won’t take up any space at all. With a big balcony, you’ll have a lot more choice. You can get a decent-sized table and chairs to enjoy outside. Some people even put sofas and beds outside, for extra comfort. Don’t forget to cover these in a sturdy fabric that’s suitable for outside. Otherwise you’ll have to stay covering them up or bringing everything inside every time it rains. Last but certainly not least, if you’ve got the room, get yourself a barbeque. You won’t regret it. Also, if you want to step up your entertaining game, put in an outdoor bar, too!