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Small-Space Balcony Garden

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Just because you’re short on space doesn’t mean you have to be short on ideas. This small balcony garden—which also works for space-challenged patios and decks—finds the perfect balance between beauty, privacy and practicality. With an easy-to-make vertical planter and some well-placed pots and hanging baskets, you can make the most of your surroundings.

Balcony garden with containers and vertical planter.
Croton, snakeplant, blue fescue, sedum and creeping Jenny in a hanging planter.

In close quarters, it’s important to take advantage of all available space. The DIY vertical garden planter, above, increases growing space four-fold. And it brings ambience and a sense of privacy to the balcony as well. With four levels, there’s room for both edibles and ornamentals. This hanging planter features the colorful foliage of variegated croton and snakeplant, ‘Elijah Blue’ blue fescue, burgundy sedum and chartreuse creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia).

Oregano, Cuban oregano, purple basil, kale, red-veined sorrel and chives in a hanging planter.

This hanging planter is a chef’s delight, featuring two types of oregano, purple basil, kale, red-veined sorrel and chives. The lavender hues of the kale foliage and chive flowers pair attractively with the darker coloration of the basil and sorrel.

Get regional tips on growing edibles in containers.

Sedum, creeping Jenny, purple heart and snakeplant in a hanging planter

A mix of indoor and outdoor plants fills the hanging planter. Outdoor perennials sedum and creeping Jenny join indoor stalwarts purple heart (Setcreasea spp.) and snakeplant (Sansevieria spp.).

Marjoram, lavender, hot peppers, lettuce and Bright Lights Swiss chard in a hanging planter.

They may be edible, but these plants are ornamental, too. The vivid foliage of spring-green leaf lettuce, Gold Tip marjoram and blue-gray lavender are punctuated by orange-red hot peppers and multi-hued Bright Lights Swiss chard.

Snakeplant, salvia, Russian kale, sedum and creeping Jenny in a hanging planter on balcony railing.

Once the vertical garden is stocked, it’s time to make use of the balcony railing. This hanging planter features snakeplant and purple salvia as the focal point “thriller,” frilly Russian kale as the midrange “filler,” and sedum and creeping Jenny as the cascading “spillers.”

See more ideas for hanging planters and baskets.

Container gardens featuring asparagus fern, ‘Elijah Blue’ blue fescue, and snakeplant.

Using pedestals to mix up the heights of containers not only helps maximize space, it also creates a more appealing vignette as well. These DIY pedestals are standard tomato cages trimmed of their legs and turned upside down.

Detail image of blueberries.

These miniature blueberry plants grow just fine in large containers. In addition to tasty fruit in summer (which is fortunately beyond the reach of rabbits), the plants offer colorful foliage come fall.

Tips for growing berries

Green peppers hanging on plant.

Pepper plants also grow in containers without complaint, provided the soil has plenty of nutrients and adequate water. How convenient to be able to augment your salad with these nutritious powerhouses!

Orange cherry tomatoes hanging on plant.

Newer tomato varieties especially bred for container gardens are perfect for balconies, patios and decks. These cherry tomatoes provide a tasty snack throughout the growing season.

Learn how to select and grow great tomato plants.

This DIY vertical garden brings privacy and produce to a confined space. --Lowe’s Creative Ideas

Make your balcony, patio or deck more inviting and more productive at the same time. Start with a DIY vertical garden planter, then add hanging planters, standalone containers and furniture.


Explore more small-space garden ideas:

Container Gardening Ideas

Growing Herbs in Containers

Gardening with Succulents

Regional Tips for Small-Space Edible Gardens