While it seems the rest of the world is gearing up for Spring/Summer we are in wind down mode preparing for the few cooler months of Autumn and Winter.
Here are a few of our top tips for getting the most out of your balcony over the coming months:
We are a practical lot here. A good tidy up and declutter is a great starting point, particularly if your balcony or courtyard tends to attract autumn leaves or becomes a spot to store excess stuff. If you have any plants that are looking a bit sad and are unlikely to survive the winter then now would be a good time to remove them. Nothing worse than looking at decaying plants over the winter.
Rethink your furniture layout, how will you use your outside space over the winter months? In our experience most people don't entertain outdoors over the winter. The balcony is a pleasant place to look out onto from the comfort of the warm indoors or its a spot to catch a few minutes of sunshine on a sunny afternoon. Look at where the nicest places to sit will be and try to position the furniture so you can enjoy it.
Then look at the space from inside and consider your furniture arrangement - is it obstructing a view, or could it do with a large bowl or feature in the centre of the table? These things may not be practical in the summer when you are regularly using the space but for a few months the view from inside is how you will mostly experience your outdoors.
Create visual warmth even if it's freezing outside. If your balcony is covered consider a couple of throws or cushions in warm earthy tones. Add a few candles or lanterns and light them in the evening if you are entertaining indoors. Then consider accessorising even further with bowls of pine cones, buckets of wood and wicker baskets for a wintery European look.
Don't forget to water over the winter months. It may be cooler but plants on covered balconies still need regular watering. Even exposed plants need a top-up particularly if there hasn't been a lot of rain.
Lush, healthing looking plants will lift your sprits even if the weather is a bit dull. For extra greenery consider adding some inexpensive plants and wrapping the plastic pots with hessian.
We have created a Winter Balcony Board on pinterest with plenty of inspiration. Take a look and share pictures of your winter balcony with us.