Ok, so you don’t own a property in Malta with a garden, you don’t own villa in Malta with a pool area, you don’t own a drive-in, you don’t even own a terrace. All you own is one pokey yard or one restricted balcony, or perhaps not even these…… which leaves your windows. So what sort of landscape can you ever hope to create around your home?
The good news is that even the smallest, pokiest outdoor space can be turned into a haven of greenery. If only you knew how. Well, it takes some imagination, a few simple things and some help from your friends….and yes, small green spaces can exist even in Maltese apartments…. here’s how it goes:
- Remember that gardens can be created almost anywhere, even in a window-box. If each of your windows had a window-box put in, you would have greenery sprouting out of your every window sill.
- Fit suitable troughs that sit well on your window sill and make sure they are well-secured to avoid them flying away in rough weather or toppling over pedestrians. Before filling your trough with soil or potting compost, cover the drainage holes at the bottom with a piece of wire mesh. This will avoid all the compost from draining away along with the excess water. Remember to place some stones or gravel on top of the wire mesh to help the soil or potting compost drain well.
- Ask your friends to give you cuttings of succulents which are pretty hardy and easy to grow and maintain. A next best bet is to use geraniums or regal pelargoniums which come in varied colours and add that splash of vibrancy to your view.
- If it’s a balcony you possess in your malta property, you are somewhat luckier. First of all decide what you want to create in your balcony – do you have space to include seating? Do you use it also to hang your washing? Or is just a space with a view or a non-view?
- Balconies, even the smallest ones, can be adorned with troughs, hanging pots, or larger plants that stand in a corner. The important thing is to always secure these items to avoid them being damaged during rough weather.
- Ask the help of a nursery in choosing plants which are suitable to grow in your particular balcony – what is chosen depends on whether the balcony enjoys full sunlight or shade. Request plants that do not grow profusely, but rather ones you can control easily and which remain as small as you need them to be. Consider having more of the same kind of pot plant rather than several different species – this will provide uniformity and order in limited space.
- Use garden accessories to decorate your small space – a garden gnome sitting in the largest pot; a wind-chime hanging next to your hanging pot; a couple of terracotta plaques….
- Complete your balcony with furniture if there is the space for it –foldable chairs, a bead curtain….
There are endless ways to enhance your living space even at a reasonable cost. The great benefit of doing something about it is that whatever you may do will always add value to the property.
This article was written by Marika Azzopardi, a freelance writer and journalist. A frequent contributor to national English language papers and magazines, she writes about a bevy of topics including art, people and life in general. She is also the author of children’s books and short stories, delving into adult fiction from time to time.