The sun is pointing the tip of its nose and you dream of enjoying your balcony! Problem: winter has passed this way. Moss, weeds, rusty guardrails or dirty ground. Here are some tips from the pros to easily bring it back to life.
You have a balcony and the return of sunny days makes you want to enjoy it. Yes but here it is, the long winter months have completely devastated your outdoor space. You do not know where to start ? Maison à part delivers to you some tips to bring it back to life. Two industry professionals – Stéphanie Reydellet from Mon Balcon Parisien and Thierry Halgand from Balcoon – also come to enlighten you. From cleaning to gardening, to fitting out your balcony … We explain everything to you.
Arranging your balcony: tips before you start
Think of your balcony as a separate room, an additional living room which will complete your accommodation. Thierry Halgand insists on several essential points to know before the work:
- Know what atmosphere you want to create : rural, Mediterranean, zen, jungle;
- Calling on your imagination, your reverie is a good way of thinking that will allow you to refine your research. If you do not succeed, a professional – landscaper – will help you determine your desires;
- Get inspired by your interior design to link spaces: imagine, for example, an “inside-outside” to enlarge the existing space;
- Or: think of your balcony as a “separate” space where the colors and styles contrast gently with your interior design After answering these questions, you can get started!
Design a balcony that suits you © Leroy Merlin
Clean your balcony from floor to wall
Your first mission – especially after winter comes out – is to revive your small space. And who says nice balcony, says above all a clean and well-maintained balcony. Before thinking about relaxation, we therefore tackle serious tasks: the cleaning of the floor, walls and guardrail. “The first step is to clean your balcony. Use a kärcher or pass a brush impregnated with a non-abrasive product to remove the accumulated dirt. You can also use defoamer to protect the surfaces or a degreaser for your guardrail “, underlines Thierry Halgand of the company Balcoon.
Tips: the baking soda, soda crystals or even black soap can also be very effective in cleaning your floor. Their advantage: they will not attack your coating. Conversely, if you care about your soil, avoid at all costs the use of acidic products, such as vinegar or limescale, but also bleach. These substances strongly attack cement or concrete … There is also a risk of burns or toxic fumes.
Strip the railing of your balcony
Has your guardrail aged during the winter? Frost and pollution have damaged its color? It also has the right to find a new youth: take a sponge soaked in lukewarm water, add a little soda ash and … rub!
Tips: clean it from top to bottom, and then rinse in the same way.
The weeds had better watch out. If, during the winter, they were able to take their ease on your balcony, now is the time to make them leave. This will free up space for your plants and will have a positive impact on the aesthetics of your outdoor space … Add fertilizer, prune your plants if necessary and water them so that they start again!
Camouflage damaged ground
A wooden covering to camouflage a damaged balcony © But
Tired of your soil? Do you want to make it disappear? Here are some solutions:
- For erase the border between interior and exterior, you can bet, for example, on a synthetic surface, such as colored grass. Many colors exist: “If you have light parquet in your living room and want to create continuity with the exterior, you can use synthetic turf in a color that approaches it. The texture and aesthetics of the material will bring charm to your layout “, explains Thierry Halgand from Balcoon.
- “If you have a larger surface area, if you want to create a country atmosphere or if you have children, green synthetic turf is perfectly suited”, emphasizes the professional. Multiple products can decorate the balcony floors. Pebbles or bamboo will create a Zen atmosphere; a Wooden floor will warm up the space … It’s up to you to determine your desires so that your balcony looks like you in every nook and cranny!
- Another solution: you can also opt for an outdoor rug. Treated to resist moisture and UV, it will dress your balcony with elegance and bring a colorful note, or a natural spirit if you opt for braided fibers for example.
Choose the container before the plant
Before considering replenishing your balcony with plantations, you must evaluate the space you have : “It is the surface of your balcony that will determine the containers. Once this step has been strictly observed, you can choose the most suitable type of plant”, explains Thierry Halgand.
The traffic concept also makes perfect sense. Because who says small space, also says difficulty to circulate. The solution: don’t clutter your balcony with disproportionate containers.
Respect the sunshine on your balcony
After, and only after having determined the type of containers suitable for your balcony, you can compose your vegetable palette. However, you will need to know and respect the level of sunshine of your outdoor space! “If your balcony is widely bathed in sunshine all year round, you should definitely opt for “Mediterranean” plants. They won’t need a lot of water and will appreciate their location. The olive tree, the Mexican orange tree or even the lavender and the rosemary are typically recommended for this kind of space “, explains Stéphanie Reydellet of Mon Balcon Parisien.
Conversely, for areas with very little sunlight, bet on “shade plants” : “ivy or even Japanese horsetail are plants that resist this type of climate well”, adds the professional.
To note : the choice of your plants is also linked to your planning desires: Zen atmosphere? Country atmosphere? Mediterranean atmosphere? You choose ! Don’t hesitate to hire a landscaper to help you determine which atmosphere is right for you.
Pretty planters to decorate your balcony
Colorful, plastic, wood or burlap … Products, in different shapes and styles, have been multiplying in stores in recent years. Mon Balcon Parisien offers, for example, “ecological and chic planters. With a desire to always use noble materials”, explains Stéphanie Reydellet.
Vintage crates, wrought iron basins, burlap bags … everything is allowed to boost the decor of your balcony and enhance your plantations in the rules of art. If you now want to design your balcony and decorate it with pretty plants, you can test the interactive platform on the “Mon Balcon Parisien” site. She guides you and advises you on the plants and materials to use according to your situation. It’s your turn !
Containers suitable for plants and your balcony © Elho
Maintain your balcony
Watering is rule number 1! Your plants are waiting for that: that we finally take good care of them. But beware: overwatering can have the opposite effect. Find out well in advance with a professional, especially if you are considering the automatic watering solution. A Mediterranean plant does not require as much care as a shade plant.
Keep your plantations as long as possible
If watering is one of the first essential steps in the conservation of its plantations, do not forget to drain your plants well. Good drainage will prevent the plant from seeing its roots rot. Too much water is bad! Especially if the water is stagnant in the container.
The clay balls and the realization of an overflow (pierce the pot on the sides, 2-3 centimeters from the ground) ensure good evacuation of liquids.
Not to do : “if you are away for too long, never leave a saucer under your pot. The roots, in prolonged contact with stagnant water, risk to rot “, explains Stéphanie Reydellet. The choice of container is once again essential: “If you have a small olive tree, don’t put it in a big pot because it might grow bigger. It is slow to develop.” In short, a beautiful balcony combines: creativity, rigor and above all … pleasure! It’s your turn !
Keep your plantations as long as possible © Truffaut