My balcony garden story
Maybe you know, maybe you don’t, but the entire time I’ve lived in Copenhagen (almost seven years now, wow!), I’ve lived in the same apartment with my then-boyfriend-now-husband. Our apartment has a pretty decent-size balcony, which faces south-south-west-ish, so we actually get sun pretty much all day into the early evening hours during spring and summer.
The first couple of years, our balcony was a bit of a sad, concrete situation that we didn’t really do a lot with. We had bought some balcony furniture and got a nice Weber gas grill that we frequently used (and continue to do so), but otherwise the outside was a bit boring. We also had construction sites across the street that caused quite a bit of dust, so it wasn’t really worth doing anything with the balcony for some time.
But two years ago in the summer, we decided that it was time for a major upgrade. We laid some wood tiles, bought some more furniture, and I started a little herb garden in a small barrel and had a small, potted tomato plant as well. The harvest was not exactly plentiful, but I had gotten a taste of balcony gardening that I built on the following year.
Last summer, I went a bit further and expanded the balcony garden to include more edible plants - more herbs, two tomato plants, and some radishes and salad in a plant box (that we didn’t hang because we hadn’t bought the correct hanging thingies, so it just stood on the floor).
And while that was all really nice, I couldn’t help but feel like there’s opportunity for more - more green, more homegrown fruit and veggies, and more fun with balcony gardening! So we expanded, again, with a nice shelf for potted herbs and storing gardening tools, and a small greenhouse for tomatoes. Yup, an actual mini greenhouse! You can’t see it well on the pictures, but our balcony has a small extension with a door to our bedroom, and we haven’t really used that space at all since it’s not very easily accessible from the balcony itself. But it’s actually perfect for a small, 50x100cm green house with a plastic cover in which I’ll plant four tomato plants! We also finally managed to find the correct hooks for the plant box, so that has been mounted to the railing, too, freeing up valuable floor space.
What’s growing on the balcony this year
- Pineapple sage
- Basil (planned)
- Parsley (planned)
- Olive tree
- Fig tree
- Myrtle tree
Fruit and vegetables
- Zucchini squash
- Salad (planned)
- Radishes (planned)
- Climbing rose
- I’ll also sow a “flower bomb” from ByBi that I got when I bought a veggie burger at Gasoline Grill
We even got a tiny bird house (that we assembled ourselves from a kit that my parents brought). We’ll have to find a better location for it, though, as I’m worried that birds will fly into our window. So far, no takers, though - I guess that’s not surprising because we mainly have pigeons and seagulls here, and that bird house is tiny.
I’m also super thrilled that our climbing rose from last year and our olive tree survived the Danish winter - our basement is too warm for the olive, so it had to stand outside, covered in a burlap sack. We clipped off all the dead leaves and branches and now it’s doing better than ever!
Finally, I brought tomato and zucchini squash seedlings from Germany - my mom has been growing baby plants like nobody’s business and the whole family is getting seedlings. I have three different types of tomatoes: green grape, yellow datterino, and Tigerella, a red-and-orange striped variation. Currently, they’re living indoors by the window, though, until they’re ready to move into the greenhouse.
As you can see, my balcony is starting to be a little small for all my gardening needs, since we also need space for our grill and at least two people so we can actually sit and enjoy our little green oasis!
Maybe I’ll need to find myself a nice little house with a garden instead!
If you’re looking for some balcony garden inspiration, here are some cool Instagram profiles I’m following:
- Lisa Maria Trauer
- Urban Garden Company
- Mias Byhave
- My Balcony Farm
- Also check out my gardening Pinterest board
I’ve also received two books as birthday gifts last year that I found really inspiring, I’m linking them here as well. They are chock full of tips on what grows best in small spaces and how to use your space optimally.
- Mein Küchenbalkon (my kitchen balcony; in German, similar version by same author in English linked below)
- The edible balcony
- Balkonernte (balcony harvest, in German)
Are you a gardener? What’s growing on your balcony/ in your garden? Let me know in the comments, or share a link!