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Bring your balcony to life

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City-dwellers have learnt the art of optimism when it comes to external spaces, with every centimetre maximised to embrace the great outdoors. But what if you lack the vision or are simply at a loss as to how to make the most of your outdoor small space?

Red Magazine’s Pip McCormac and author of The Herb & Flower Cookbook has the answer, and uses his balcony to grow an edible garden. He claims no matter how big, small or non existent your outside space, there’s plenty of mileage in growing an edible garden. Pip says:

• Buy a consignment of seeds and start them off in pots indoors. Leave them on a sunny windowsill and water every day
• Once the shoots are 10cm high separate the stronger ones and discard the puny ones
• Some plants will die. Don’t be disheartened. Just try again
• Don’t ignore the black fly – they spread. A spray bottle of water with a dash of washing up liquid is the ultimate pest killer. Wear rubber gloves when removing fly carcasses and grow marigolds, sage and rosemary nearby the plants to drive them away (these scents are a natural repellent, says Pip)
• Don’t underestimate the power of an edible flower. There are more than you think – roses, nasturtiums, marigolds, daylilies…and these attract bees and butterflies too
• Says Pip “my balcony is my edible garden, an extra bit of kitchen space where all my ingredients are grown – herbs, tomatoes and edible flowers”

Futon Company says: With some clever thinking and a creative use of space with dual-use furniture, there’s no reason why a small space outdoors can’t be used for several different purposes. Pip’s idea of an edible garden is ingenious, not only growing food and sustenance but also creating an inspiring sanctuary for you, the bees and the butterflies!

Mini Canvas Deckchair

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Outdoor Roly Poly

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AR Lunch Bag

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