Squeezed London living means that for flat-dwellers, gardens are a unicorn-level feature, and views generally consist of busy roads, the back end of a takeaway, or next door’s greying undies as they hang on the washing line.
While there’s not much to be done about the location (save for upping sticks and moving entirely), you can bring a little nature to your home with the help of a window box.
Even super slimline Juliet balconies can accommodate a pretty basket of greenery, filled either with insect-boosting plants to give London’s birds and bees a helping hand, or modest amounts of fruit or veg that will give you a ready supply of food for practically nothing.
What’s more, once they begin to flourish, a window box will provide a natural screen of sorts between you and the outside world, while smelling pretty nice too and helping to oxygenate your space. All things considered - why wouldn’t you get one?
We’ve rounded up the best options below specifically for small balconies.
Shop now, and get ready to smell the roses.
Lechuza Balconera Plastic Self-Watering Balcony Planter
Never again fret about the state of your plants when you go on holiday or a business trip: Lechuza’s self-watering planter has your back. The lightweight design (4.32kg) features a small reservoir to feed plants with just the right amount of weather; simply check the water level indicator before you leave to make sure it’s topped up.
The planter contains two mini removable sections in which you can grow your favourite seeds and is offered in a range of colours with a matte finish.
Buy now £67.99, Wayfair
vidaXL Garden Planters 2 pcs Water Hyacinth - Brown
Give your urban home a country cottage appeal with this set of two hanging planters, finished with a cute water hyacinth exterior. The 80cm long planters each hold two removable pots to help you bring Mother Nature into an otherwise blank space. Covered by a two year warranty, the brown planters are supported by two deep hooks, offering excellent stability.
Buy now £73.14, ManoMano
Latitude Run Hollriegel Fibreglass Window Box Planter
Take ownership of your view and make it an altogether prettier setting with the help of a window box, soil and a little bit of patience.
With a faux lead finish, this 100cm long fibreglass planter can be set on the ground, positioned between a Juliet balcony or even brought inside to breathe lush greenery into your space. It’s long enough to support several plants, whether you fancy rows of colourful pansies or like the idea of trailing leaves.
Buy now £142.99, Wayfair
La Redoute Interieurs Anaïa Wall-Mounted Metal Planter
Perfect for shallow balconies or window ledges, this sleek black planter will add interesting structure to your exteriors. It’s a wall-mounted unit although if the depth between your balcony edge and door is 20cm or less, there’s nothing stopping you from wedging it into the gap as long as it’s secure. For fans of colour, there are five other options in addition to black: sage, white, prussian blue, light grey/green and mustard yellow.
Buy now £21.00, La Redoute
WINDOW BOX Fiberstone Low Large Matt White
Even if you’ve got a very slim space to work with, there are still options to adding some pleasant greenery to your space. Head to Get Potted where you’ll find this low planter with a length of 80cm but a depth of just 15cm. The weather-resistant trough design can withstand ageing against UV rays and needs little maintenance, so you can just focus on honing your green fingers.
Buy now £94.99, Get Potted
Garden Trading Venice Window Box
Even the briefest of windowsills and balconies can benefit from a little livening up. Garden Trading has this window box in two sizes: small: H18 x W60 x D20cm and large: H20 x W90 x D20cm so you can choose the one that best fits your dimensions.
The steel case will require drainage holes to be punched in to avoid drowning plants, and is best with a liner to promote the health of your leaf babies. Be warned though, it will rust if left to the elements; something to consider if you’re not into the aged look.
Buy now £60.00, Garden Trading
Balcony Planter Box
A great option for a flat or home with limited windowsill space, this sturdy planter box with pre-punched drainage holes is made to sit astride a railing or balcony edge and offers two compartments to plant your favourite blooms, plants or fruit or veg. There are also clips for extra security to ensure they won’t topple over in bad weather.
Buy now £7.19, Amazon
OGIMA 10 x Metal Iron Flower Pot
Create a vivid display even if you’re not growing flowering plants thanks to this set of 10 metal pots, which come in all the cheerful shades of the rainbow. Instead of a planter which can accommodate a number of seedlings, here each pot should be used to nurture just one. Simply arrange them onto your balcony railing with the deep hooks on the back of each design.
Buy now £11.89, Amazon
Fallen Fruits Balcony Planter, White
If your balcony railing can accommodate a planter to hang on the outside (rather than the space between the railing and your property), you may find joy in Fallen Fruits’ minimal white design which sees a rectangular planter suspended on two hooks. Perfect for herbs or bee-boosting plants like honeysuckle and foxglove, it weighs just 690g.
Buy now £22.99, John Lewis
Patelai 3 Pieces Rectangle Window Box Planter
Depth: maximum 8.5cm
Compact and cute, this set of three planters is the perfect solution for spatially-challenged London flat-dwellers. In varying sizes, with the largest measuring 9.5 x 30 x 8.5cm, each of the two-tone designs sport drainage holes and are made from hard-wearing plastic, so will go the distance.
Buy now £19.99, Amazon