A Garden for Every Life

geraniums in Galicia, Spain

I have lived in the same apartment with Monsieur Là-Bas for 25 years. Until 2 years ago, we had an enclosed balcony. Our apartment faces north-east so the choice of plants was limited. After 2 years of scaffolding and blue plastic shrouding, our open balcony (with floor and railing that I did not choose) was complete. Strata renovations are nerve-wracking and costly. I'm reading L'Appart:The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home by David Lebovitz right now. My construction woes seem trivial in comparison. But ...oh yeah, he gets to live in Paris.

My balcony is flowers and herbs this year.

Last year, I experimented with large plastic barrels and grew aubergines, peppers and tomatoes. Unfortunately, after my harvest, I had large plastic barrels that did not drain well during November rainstorms in Vancouver. Since Monsieur does not eat many vegetables, the fruits (or vegetables, in this case) of my labours were not enjoyed. Especially when he had to transport the barrels down the elevator and dispose of them. Lesson learned!

The focus of this year's balcony is to attract hummingbirds and pollinators.

I grew up on a half acre lot in a rural suburb. My parents had lawns to mow and to trim (with shears), vegetable gardens to weed, flower beds to tend and the kids had a "natural" field with high grass and blackberry bushes to enjoy. My parents never sat still during the day because there was always work to do.

a window box in Belgravia, London

As I have travelled, I have noticed that people seem to have an instinct to grow plants wherever they live. A window box or an allotment garden are vital to so many urban dwellers. My busy daughter has started to grow cacti in her apartment. She has an app on her phone to remind her to water. 

Some friends and I went on a garden tour two summers ago.

For those who have no time or inclination to garden, there are always public gardens and garden tours.
I have a membership to our local botanical gardens and now that we are vaccinated, I am planning lots of horticultural outings. 


  1. Your balcony is splendid. What a perfect place to retreat for an evening glass of wine or a morning cup of coffee. Would love to have a raised garden here or a small herb garden but it is so darn hot and dry. Not sure anything could survive.

    1. Thank you. It is a very quiet place to read or to enjoy an early morning coffee. It has been hotter than usual here but nothing like the temperatures that you're having.

  2. I have enjoyed visiting your blog this evening and learning about your own gardening experiences on a balcony. Your hummingbird and pollinator garden looks quite lovely - I hope you attract many to your bit o' Eden. The David Lebovitz book sounds an interesting book for summertime reading.

    1. It is a challenge to find how best to use this space. I'm enjoy the Lebovitz book. Summer is a good time for garden and food themed books.


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