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Your apartment has a terrace that you want to landscap and green, make it an additional room ... but how to avoid the pitfalls of this miniature garden? First, appreciate as much as possible the characteristics of its terrace. Garden level or balcony? Large or small area? Shadow or sun? The advice for planning and choosing the plants will obviously not be the same ... In general, it is better to choose, for example, large containers: the plants will grow all the more easily as the volume of the pots - and therefore of the soil - is important (better conservation of moisture and nutritive contributions, place for the development of the roots) ... but watch the weight of your pots if you are upstairs! It is prudent to consult the condominium before planting a parasol pine.
A garden of simple (aromatic plants)
The first way to put yourself in the gardener's shoes often starts with a pot of basil that is placed near the windowsill of the kitchen window… Having on hand various aromatic herbs makes it possible to pick up many dishes and what a pleasure! It's quick and easy to plant. Thyme, rosemary, savory, sage require little water on a sunny terrace, unlike basil, chervil, parsley or coriander ... Don't forget lemon verbena, which can be cut and dry the leaves for evening herbal teas. It is prudent to secure your pots well at the edge of the window to avoid any risk of falling.
A small vegetable garden: already a little less simple!
Good size pots, ideally southwest exposure, well watered plants and voila. Salads, tomatoes, and especially cherry tomatoes, radishes, plants like eggplant, pepper or chilli, and even strawberry, will be easily successful, if you spend a little time every day their culture. But it is not uncommon to find all its wilted and desiccated plants after the holidays. So remember to ask a neighbor to water your balcony every two or three days. Allow him to pick a little of your harvest while you're away, and everyone will be happy!
Color with annual flowers
If you feel a need for color, then suddenly the madness of flowers, choose annuals. Before winter, invest in thoughts, available in garden centers. They do not freeze and bloom profusely from the first heat of spring. You can plant a few tulip or hyacinth bulbs between the pansies at the same time. It is also possible to choose colorful primroses, starting in March. In May or June, alternate with petunias, surfinias, begonias very resistant to drought, like the "dragon wings" which I particularly like the flowering character. Many other species exist in garden centers, where sellers will help you make the best choice.
Low maintenance with perennials
There are a multitude of perennials, these are the ones that grow from one year to the next. In full sun, "succulent" plants are grown on a draining substrate and require little maintenance. For example, houseleeks, aloes and various cacti. It will be necessary to provide a place in the apartment, in the winter season, for some of them. Always in full light, certain grasses, sage, as well as plants of the family of compounds such as rudbeckias or anthemis are possible. In the shade, for the terraces to the north, we will look for varieties of ferns, ivy variegated or not, heather ... which we will place in pots with saucers, to maintain good humidity.
Shrubs like in the garden
If the size of your terrace allows, choose small deciduous or persistent shrubs depending on the desired effect. In the shade, install small-growing camellias and rhododendrons, Japanese maples, boxwood, honeysuckle. In the sun, on the other hand, choose for example the lemon tree, the oleander, the olive tree, the strawberry tree, a flowering virbunum (plicata) or even a dwarf fruit tree (apple tree in cord). Watch out for the fall of the leaves of deciduous shrubs, which could annoy the neighbors of the floor below. Do not forget to think about the water requirements or the sensitivity to cold of each species, or even the rapid development of some plants whose exuberance would lead you to their too severe size or their elimination.
Pay attention to the choice of containers
The pots or tubs should be chosen in harmony with each species, combining aesthetics and the requirement for nutritional requirements. The traditional terracotta is timeless, it retains its charm in all seasons, but it must be remembered that the pots are sometimes more expensive, heavier and freezing. Garden centers offer multiple possibilities: wood, metal, concrete and polyester resins, some in flashy colors for darker areas. Sometimes the planters are standing, and facilitate the work of the soil by "saving" the back, think about it. Do not forget to partially renew the substrate every year, or to repot the species with great development regularly in a larger pot!