Your balcony can be brought to life with minimum materials. Revamp your chairs a la new seat covers, throw in some accessories and a few potted plants and enjoy the summer sun outdoors.
A garden can make any place look better. Plant a variety of plants in different-sized pots and arrange in the balcony corners. You can also hang pots over the railings or arrange small pots on your balcony balustrade if is wide enough. The rails can also work as trellises for creeping plants. Also ensure you distnguish between light and shade loving plants so you know what goes where. In the tropics for instance, royal palms are shade loving plants so it would be foolhardy to plant them out in the open.
You can also use old furniture or discarded items such as an old drawer (as shown below), wooden crates or even an old bath tub as a planter. The drawers and wooden crates can be given a fresh coat of paint to brighten them up. Also old broken or chipped mugs and tea cups make very nice flower pots and add some originality and character to your balcony or garden.
(Photos from Interholic)