If there's one thing which resounded through my reading of chapter four in Emilie Barnes' book "Simple Secrets to a Beautiful Home" it was the many simple ways we can add beauty and function through gardening - whether you have a large acreage, an allotment, a small backyard, an apartment, a room at a nursing home, a van at the caravan park, or even a bedsit.
"You don't have to have acres of land or an emerald thumb in order for gardening to be part of your life. Your garden can flourish in whatever space and time you have to give it." (page 53)
Emilie recounts her early days of marriage, living in a tiny apartment which needed much imagination and creativity to bring about an atmosphere of 'home'. The shelf below her kitchen window soon became a garden of potted herbs and bright cheery geraniums, sparking within her a love for gardening as a source of beauty, and also as a way to add flavour to their simple meals.
There are many books on the market which offer ideas for balcony gardening, and some of the sites I have visited and the photos seen, show abundant greenery and a variety of edible plants almost within arms reach of the living room door.
We live in the hot humid tropics of Northern Queensland, and as you drive by the populated shoreline of our town, there are hundreds of balconied apartments to see...but the ones which stand out are those filled with miniature fruit trees, climbing vegetables, herbs and flowers. If the balcony is large enough there may be a swing seat, but most balconies are smaller, yet spaces of real beauty and productivity.