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Home Living : January 10th 2012
4 HLF - HOME LIVING: NORTH WEST, Tuesday, January 10, 2012 fu1959 BALCONIES BRING THE OUTDOORS IN CREATING AN INVITING PATIO GARDEN To create an colourful outdoor room, make sure you choose the right plants for the conditions on your balcony. Fiona Boxall THE big back yard is no longer something we all aspire to. Space has become an expensive item for many city dwellers and that has had an impact on the size of our gardens. But lack of yardage doesn't mean you have to abandon your horticul- tural aspirations. All you need is a balcony to grow a variety of plants, including vegetables and herbs. The rules are the same as for any gardening: know the micro-climate and plan and plant accordingly. A balcony garden will become part of your living space, so it needs to accommodate your needs as well as those of plants. There should be somewhere to sit and maybe a small table to rest cups of coffee and that book you're reading or your laptop. Make sure the seating is comfort- able and the space looks inviting. You should be able to look out onto your balcony and feel it is part of your living space rather than an outpost that's gone to rack and ruin. Lighting will also be a boon if you want to entertain in the even- ings but rather than go for some- thing resembling the Sydney Crick- et Ground, try scented candles and lanterns that cast a soft glow. Don't forget fragrance. Scented plants and candles on the balcony help to create a relaxing ambience. TOP TIPS IF you treat your balcony as an extension of the living space it will be a boon to your lifestyle. Choose plants that will cope with the site. Balconies often get very hot in summer or lose sun- light in winter. Go for a few big pots rather than dozens of smaller ones. They are easier to water properly and won't dry out as fast. Use a high-quality potting mix, preferably one containing water- saving crystals. Make sure the pots have drip trays or ensure the balcony can cope with water run off. You don't want to cause structural damage by watering your plants. Apply slow-release fertiliser to keep the plants growing strongly. Go for a theme or colour scheme to tie all of the elements together, just as you would when furnishing a room. Add comfortable cushions to chairs, a throw for cooler evenings and candles or lanterns. Don't forget the walls. They can be decorated with hanging baskets, mirrors and outdoor art. 2250627 1/11 Tired of your old kitchen, and want a new look? Stone benchtops direct from the factory at affordable prices Why not update your vanity or laundry as well to a stonetop? Tel 1300 788 997 Sydney Stonetops • Free quotes • Free measure • Christmas Special - Free installation (expires 8th Dec 2011) • D.I.Y. welcome Lic: 234457C A FAMILY BUSINESS THAT WILL GUARANTEE YOU QUALITY AND PERSONALISED SERVICE CARPORTS + AWNINGS - TIMBER DECKS 0( WWW AUSTEKHOMEIMPROVEMENTS COM AU 7HY CHOOSE !534%+ Always on time, always on budget Fully licensed builders Best value for money promised 100% Bluescope steel Member of Master Builders Australia No pushy salesman -- only qualified builders to quote every job !SK ABOUT OUR ./ ).4%2%34 %6%2 4ERMS &2%% $%3)'. 15/4% -ASTER "UILDER ,IC .O C 2129778 06/12 Bld. Lic No 161882c 0421 122 929 www.garrythomasinstallations.com.au FREE MEASURE & QUOTE Window Awnings, Patios & Carports 2134780 12/7 7)$% 2!.'% /& "%$2//- $).).' 2//- ,)6).' 2//- &52.)452% 6 Coates Place, Wetherill Park 9609 7533 or 9609 7933 Check the latest designs on www.goldenwoodfurniture.com.au Visit our Factory Open 7 Days (off Newton Road) Goldenwood Furniture 2234845i 15/3 Australian Timbers Custom Made Factory direct at wholesale prices 4577 7474 www.arcticair.com.au TRADE IN your old air conditioner! $200 cash back for split systems & $400 cash back for ducted systems Upon purchase of a new air conditioning system! 2250432 8/11 Shuttermaster Awnings-Shutters-Blinds-Doors 1300 886 184 www.shuttermaster.com.au FREE QUOTE 7 DAYS 2072632 10/1
December 20th 2011
January 17th 2012