The Gardens, Tuileries Garden event was an opportunity to meet Franck Dupuy, creator of the Balconfacile.com site. We took the opportunity to get to know him and ask him for some expert advice.
Tell us about your background…
My journey is atypical for a gardener because at the origin I started with the restoration and the luxury hotel business. In the kitchens first and then in the dining room, I am passionate about good food but also tableware. From this taste for aromatic plants and edible plants was born naturally my interest in the garden, vegetable garden first and ornamental then. I spent a lot of time reading, but also training with nurserymen.
Why did you choose balconies as your specialty?
Everything started from the observation that when you live in the city it is very difficult to arrange your small outdoor space, whether it is a small window sill, a balcony or a small terrace. Indeed to create a simple balcony planter you need no less than 10 different items which weigh at least 10 kg. You will therefore understand that when you do not have a car or do not live near a garden center it is a real test. This is where the idea came from to offer a delivery service for plants in balconies or large outdoor plants ready to pose for the inhabitants of Paris or Ile-de-France. To complete this service, I try to provide a maximum of advice both on the site and on the development plans: this obviously concerns the plants to choose according to the sunshine and the level of expertise "gardening" of the person but also according to what he wishes for his outdoor space.
How do you work on the space of a balcony?
The main difficulty with the balcony is that it is a small space. It is therefore necessary to be successful in your development to have from the start a global vision of what you want to do, at the risk that it will quickly become a joyful mess. You have to think about access, traffic and also the panorama that you will have from your living room, bedroom or kitchen. I tend to recommend evergreens to keep a green balcony throughout the seasons so that I can enjoy them all year round. Plants must also be resistant to frost, which is the weak point of potted plants, as well as to wind or lack of water.
What is the trend right now?
We are fortunate that the sector is dynamic and many new products have recently appeared to respond to the very specific problems of balconies. Pots of small size like the "Flower Bridge" for example that can be put on its railing or clover pots that stack, resistant but light plastic to limit the weight and especially appearance of pop colors to bring touches of color to our balconies. The light pots that will provide a light source in the evening and in which it is possible to carry out real plantings are also experiencing real success.
What is the basic advice for planning a balcony?
Make a plan! Indicate the windows, doors and space you need to get around. Finally ask yourself what you want, taking into account the time you can actually devote to your plants.