By Kevin Brown, Managing Director at The Heritage Window Company

Gardens are an enviable luxury, as we don’t all have access to our own private slice of nature – especially when living in a city. In fact, one in eight UK homes don’t have a private garden, a total of nearly three million dwellings across the country.

However, it’s becoming clearer than ever that those living in the UK want to spend more time in nature. The waiting list for allotments has doubled since 2011 as more and more people are looking to grow their own fruit and veg.

Some people end up on these waiting lists for years – the longest recorded wait for an allotment so far is 17 and a half years! If, for obvious reasons, you think that’s a bit unreasonable, there is a solution.

Flats and homes that have a balcony can create a beautiful outdoor space to enjoy. It’s a trend that’s exploding on social media, with the hashtag #balconygarden accruing over one million tags on Instagram and a further 20,600 tags on TikTok.

Use lightweight products

Using products appropriate for the balcony’s weight capacity is crucial for a safe and stable balcony garden. Introduce items that can be manually moved and distributed evenly, such as lightweight planters or pots. Movable weight is considered a ‘live’ load, meaning you can easily make modifications to suit the weight capacity of your balcony.

It’s a good idea to cut out any extra weight that doesn’t affect durability or function and that starts with your choice of material. More and more balcony and roof terraces are being turned into clever garden retreats. Aluminium and plastic planters are durable and lightweight, so avoid the temptation of heavy concrete planters.

Use vertical growing solutions

Trellis – A wall-mounted trellis is a fantastic way of making the most of your balcony. It’s also a lightweight solution to making your garden balcony fuller without worrying about additional mass – the wall will be carrying the weight of the plants, not the balcony foundation.

Stacking planters – Similarly to a trellis, stacking planters maximise space without hampering your creativity. You can find loads of these planters on the market at the moment, ranging from traditional wooden designs to modern plastic alternatives.

Plant pot-friendly fruit and veg

Pots are the balcony gardener’s best friend – they come in a range of designs and can be made from light materials and brought inside for the winter months.

Increasingly, balconies are being used for growing fruit and veg – including some you wouldn’t expect! Carrots can be grown in deep containers with multi-purpose compost, blueberries can be grown in hanging pots as can whole lettuces.

Some vegetables, like salad onions, need very little spacing to grow side-by-side – making them ideal for container growing. Salad onions only need three centimetres, while beetroots require 10 centimetres. Carrots only need to be spaced eight centimetres apart, but they do require a deep pot to take root.

Herbs are also fantastic to pot. For example, mint will grow exponentially from one seedling to fill a whole container. When planned right, you can have your own little farmer’s market right on your balcony.

Use modular planters

Taking the time to find bespoke solutions will make your balcony garden look considered. Modular planters and furniture are perfect for this. Modular planters are planting boxes specifically designed with unconventional shapes in mind. This is particularly useful if your balcony is an odd shape or if you’re struggling to fill a gap.


Mini-greenhouses come in very small to medium-sized options, including box-shaped designs and wall-mounted variants. Mini-greenhouses are a must if you plan to grow less hardy fruit and veg on your balcony garden, such as peppers, tomatoes, chillies and cucumbers.

You can make a mini-greenhouse the centrepiece of your balcony garden. Start with a mini-greenhouse and build your balcony planting around it to create a focal point to design from. It’s always the little details that impress and mini-greenhouses certainly mix form and function for an aesthetically pleasing balcony garden.

About the expert

Kevin Brown is the Managing Director at The Heritage Window Company and a home improvement industry veteran with 38 years of experience. Kevin began his journey in technical support and ascended the ranks within several national home improvement companies. In 2019, Kevin embraced an exciting new opportunity as the co-owner and Joint Managing Director of The Heritage Window Company. The Heritage Window Company is a leading manufacturer of traditional-style replacement double windows. Dedicated to providing high-quality, bespoke products, The Heritage Window Company team has over 30 years of experience within the aluminium windows industry. The team can help restore properties to their former glory and add modern beauty to new builds. Find out more at