Sydney produces some great weather practically year round, so why spend time inside when you could be enjoying the sunshine and fresh air from your Inner West courtyard or balcony?

Courtyards and balconies don’t have to be boring ‒ there are some easy-to-maintain designs out there that look great, and are welcoming and relaxing, allowing you to enjoy more of your home.

Vertical gardens

Vertical gardens are perfect for those looking to create a kitchen garden in a small space. Australian author, journalist and television and radio reporter Indira Naidoo maximised her balcony space by utilising a vertical wall and hanging baskets. In her first year of her kitchen garden, she produced a whopping 70 kilograms of produce including lemons, tomatoes, potatoes, zucchinis, peppers, strawberries, blueberries and more. All from a 13th floor balcony ‒ admittedly a 20-square-metre balcony.

The key to creating an edible vertical garden is to choose plants that grow well in your local area. If you don’t have a lot of sun, then leafy greens will grow well. On the other hand, if your balcony or courtyard sees a lot of sun, you could grow beans, tomatoes, shallots, and chillies.

Water features for relaxation

What could be better than coming home and listening to the relaxing sounds of water in your garden or on your balcony? There are plenty of water features that can be installed in small gardens that will bring an element of peacefulness and luxury to your courtyard. If you only have a small space, you could try a tiered terracotta water feature that is more vertical than horizontal. With a solar powered pump, and the addition of water plants, this fountain can fit into almost all garden styles.

Beautiful Cor-Ten® steel (or weathered steel that forms a stable rust-like appearance) is a current trend in water features, and perfect for smaller gardens. Surrounded by green, relaxed, leafy plants, the rustic simplicity suits traditional gardens while adding a modern touch. For those with a bit more space, you may like to make a water feature the focal point of your seating area, giving you somewhere to relax at the end of a long day.

Deck the yard

Does your courtyard need a little makeover? Decking can transform a small space and make your garden maintenance so much easier. If you already have decking in place, spend a little time sanding and then oiling the timber. Oils come in natural colours or a clear coat, and give the natural look of the wood a new life. The oil also soaks into the wood, protecting it from the elements for longer.

If your courtyard area is paved or grass, you can spend time installing new decking yourself, or call the professionals in. An experienced landscaper will be able to come up with a complete design to make your backyard a welcoming and relaxing space.

Keep some grass

Buyers like to see grass, even a relatively small patch. If you’re thinking about selling your home, keep this in mind. Grass also creates a cooling island effect that’s welcome in the hotter months, and families like to imagine their children playing on softer surfaces. If you love the look of grass but don’t want the maintenance, artificial grass can brighten your backyard with a pop of green that looks fresh and inviting.

Feature plants

When you only have a small space, choosing the right plants is essential. You need to choose plants that will thrive in the weather conditions your balcony or courtyard sees. If you have a hot space, drought-tolerant plants or even patio roses can be a great choice. If your area is also windy, avoid tall plants that could be damaged in the wind.

For shaded areas, you may like to consider potted palms, ferns, clivia, ponytails and orchids.

Courtyards and balconies don’t need to be neglected spaces where you never spend any time. With a few adjustments, these areas can become more liveable outdoor spaces that your family and friends will enjoy for years to come. Installing solar- powered water features, planting the right plants, and adding new life to your area with decking can not only give you additional space to relax, but it can also add value to your home if you do decide to sell.

Can we help with your Inner West home?

Whether you’re ready to sell or need help to rent your investment property, we have the experience and local knowledge to make your property journey easier.

Looking for help selling your home or renting your investment property? Our team at Belle Property Balmain support homeowners across Balmain, Balmain East, Birchgrove, Rozelle and Lilyfield. Feel free to get in touch for a no-obligation discussion or property appraisal.

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