THE BALCONY DRESSER

No space is too small to enjoy the pleasure of homegrown somethings sometimes.

Category: reflections

Earth Day thoughts

earthdayI have already been marching for science today, so at least a little blog post on Earth Day is warranted. It goes without saying that we have just this one earth and that it needs our protection and care. The fact that it rewards us with everything we need, that it is in fact our basis of life should make it even easier to take steps.

The picture above was taken during our holiday in Greece and this picturesque ensemble of plants is such a good example of how little (in terms of space, soil and even water) it needs to sustain life and beauty. So let’s grow further.

Kitchen garden

We have just witnessed the inauguration of a new US President, troubled, not knowing what lies ahead. What this election has shown (among many other things that are thankfully being talked about, too) is that although so many people outside the US are affected by the outcome of the election, they did not have a vote. I am among them and I am glad to say we do at least have an opinion and a voice. So within the thematic limits of this blog, I would like to point out another wonderful project that has blossomed while the Obama family resided at the white house, namely the White House Kitchen Garden. And even if this garden is not being taken care of any longer (which I do not hope will happen), we can at least have our little share of a kitchen garden ourselves – in our gardens, on our balconies or even inside our kitchens.

Storing seeds

storingseeds_1Fall is not only the season for harvesting crops, but also for gathering seeds, which then need to be stored until the beginning of next season (or even longer sometimes). When it comes to storing seeds, you want to make sure they stay dry and germinable as long as possible. If you have ample space and a garden shed, this task might be more easily accomplished than in a big-city apartment. Still, as an apartment dweller myself, I can confirm that the following way works out fine and is neither cost-intensive nor time-consuming. So here’s the how-to.

Read the rest of this entry »

Acqua

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I am currently in central Italy, with beautiful landscapes and flowering balconies, but also with a very bad wifi connection. So I am only posting this one almost metaphorical picture of succulents squeezed into a dark hole in a house wall in a narrow street. And although these succulents remind us that plants can grow almost everywhere, even they cannot survive without at least some drops of water.

New Year’s resolutions

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Clearly, it’s easy to talk about balcony resolutions if you can only realize them (aka: start planting) a couple of weeks from now. Still, I am resolved to continue living and planting to the motto of this blog, which roughly claims that no space is to small to enjoy some green leaves at least sometimes. Read the rest of this entry »

Autumnal thoughts

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I came to think that what is so likeable about autumn is that this season makes it so easy to find beauty and value in the ordinary things that we usually take for granted: in the amount and variety of fresh produce, in nature’s color palette or in the protection that comes from having a roof over one’s head (and the coziness coming from candles, mugs and woolen socks under that roof). As if this wasn’t enough, autumn’s accessories are great for decoration as well.

Plants are to enjoy!

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As fall approaches with rapid strides, it is impossible to ignore that this year’s gardening season is almost over. The change always takes place so quickly that I want to write a note reminding myself to enjoy every season and all the little steps that eventually lead to flowers and fruit. But then of course the reminder is in every flower, every new leaf and every sunray already. Read the rest of this entry »

Eating my balcony

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Clearly, my French balcony is way too small to nourish me even for one single day. But it is big enough to spice up my dishes from time to time. What I mean to say is that when I grow potatoes, tomatoes or peppers on the balcony, this happens rather to prove that it is possible at all and for the pleasure of seeing the fruits develop. The balcony is really useful, by contrast, when I raise herbs or spices. Even in smaller pots, it is possible to grow enough, say, chives, rosemary or thyme to give flavor to my summer dishes. Also mint is really rewarding – it grows fast, it is undemanding and it can be overwintered outside. And then there are chili peppers. Depending on its age, one plant usually gives you between 5 and 15 small peppers, which is enough to spice up quite a few pasta sauces during winter. So from my experience I would say that if you want to impress yourself (and your neighbors), grow vegetables; if you want to make use of your balcony for freshness and flavor, do turn to herbs and spices. (Served above btw: winter savory).

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