Hi, I'm Shirley

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Abandoned Your Sun Drenched Balcony?  Reclaim it!

Abandoned Your Sun Drenched Balcony? Reclaim it!

For some of us, we are happily though sometimes miserably living through the hot "dog days" of summer:  back to back days of high temperatures reported in three-digit heat indexes, and oppressive, suffocating humidity.  And for many of us, we look out our glass doors to our balcony and its unappealing hot sun-drenched balcony where even a very berry fruity sundae would melt faster than we could sit down.

I'm here to tell you there are some things you can do to reclaim that abandoned balcony--even in the mid day heat.  All or some of these suggestions will work for you based upon the construction, size and location of your balcony.  Here are a few:

  • Add an umbrellas, a fan and a privacy screen to the railing
  • Give your bare feet a relief  from a hot floor with an outdoor carpet
  • Use cotton and linen covered cushions and pillows
  • Add heat loving plants and flowers 
 

Add an umbrella, a fan and a privacy screen to railing 

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Purchase sources:  1.,  2.,  3.,  4.,  5.

Outdoor carpeting

I recently purchased a polyester indoor-outdoor area rug for my balcony from Wayfair.com.  I was a little nervous until it arrived and I laid it on the concrete flooring.  This turned out to be one of my better decisions.  Granted I have a covered porch but that doesn't eliminate the heat and humidity.  I can say that even on the most heat-oppressive days, this area rug feels soft, comfortable and cool to bare feet.  

Cotton and linen covered cushions and pillow

The artificial material choices for cushions and decorative pillows are many.  Some are expensive with fabulous designs by popular designers, some are not expensive.  They're great for reducing fading  to the fabric,  standing up to rainfalls and contain inserts resistant to mildew.   

Having run my hand across such fabrics, crunched and balled them up, I was not convinced of such materials as being comfortable and cooling.  I love textile but sorry folks, I just don't buy them.  I'm a strong proponent of natural fiber and even a blend of natural fiber and a man-made fiber such as polyester.   Such fabrics allow the skin to "breathe," better absorb perspiration and feels cool.   See my popular post Tips and Inspirations For Your Apartment Porch And Balcony for decor ideas.

A quality, mildew resisting insert is a much better investment.  Should you decide to purchase cushions and pillows with artificially created fabric, then at least take the time to find one that is comfortable to the skin.  You won't last long on a sun drenched balcony if you skin continues to stick to the fabric.    

Heat loving plants and flowers

The idea that heat loving plants and flowers  really appeals to the perception of coolness and comfort.  Such plants tolerate, even love the heat and will be around for you throughout the summer.  Most important, caring for your heat loving balcony garden will bring you back to your apartment garden and provide for you a wealth of other benefits, as suggested in Plants Make you Feel Better

Based on several experimental studies, the presence of potted plants has been found to be helpful in many different settings including work, school, and hospitals. In particular, plants have been shown to...

Lower blood pressure (systolic)
Improve reaction times
Increase attentiveness
Improve attendance (at work and school)
Raise productivity (at work)
Improve well-being
Improve perceptions of the space
Lower levels of anxiety during recovery from surgery
Raise job satisfaction
— Jonathan Kaplan, PhD for Psychology Today

So which of these wonder plants should you select will depend upon your own taste; the amount of time you can give for care; and the amount of space you have available.  Here's a very short list of heat loving flowers and plants.  For additional selections, see Weekend Gardener and  8 Heat Tolerant Plants for Containers.

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  • Blanket Flower (Gaillardia pulchella)
  • Texas Bluebells (Lisianthus / Eustoma)
  • Bitterweed (Hymenoxys odorata) (Tetroneuris)
  • Coleus "Big Blonde"
  • Fanflower (Scaevola aemula)

 

 

An apartment with a balcony is simply too valuable a space to relinquish to summer heat.  If you've abandoned your sun drenched balcony, embrace it.  Reclaim it!  Use it!
 

DO YOU KNOW OF SOME OTHER WAYS TO RECLAIM YOUR HOT SUN DRENCHED BALCONY?  
LET ME KNOW. PLEASE DO SHARE!

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