Flat life diaries I. Tales from a balcony garden

Osteospermum balcony garden

Seven gladioli in two pots. One lavender.
Two tulips, one daffodil and one hyacinth, the later now dormant again.
Two Osteospermum – an orange pink cocktail coloured one and a bright yellow.

This is what lives in my pots on the long, long balcony in Birmingham city centre now, at the end of April 2021. More will follow, as I have just brought home from Dobbies my first over the rails hanging triple basket. The little plants for it wait their turn all aligned under the window of my bedroom. Trailing plants, I already see them in my mind growing over the edges of the fuchsia pink rim of these pots.

Balcony garden hanging pot


Future plans for the balcony garden

I close my eyes, on the green plastic chair, and my surroundings buzz with the spirit of the future balcony garden that will thrive here.

Last week, my flatmate took her first trip to Ikea since this most recent lockdown started. Although people flocked and razed most garden related items from the store, she found a few bits and ordered others. Today she put them together – a new foldable wooden table and chair. More will follow.

I too plan to buy some balcony furniture, to fit in the space in front of my bedroom. New job just started mid-April, and ploughing through repaying my debt for my MA degree, I will wait for my next salary to invest in this. And I will add more pots to the collection, some with summer tubers, some with vegetables and herbs.

Balcony garden chairs pots

Gladioli Lavender pots

Love for gardening inherited in the family

Those of you who follow me on Facebook and Instagram, or watch my vlogs on YouTube, already know about my passion for gardening. It is rooted in my childhood growing up in the Romanian countryside. Dad always loved flowers, besides joyfully digging holes for the new crop of potatoes. The vegetable garden though has been mum’s pride and passion. She doesn’t care much about flowers, but her carrots, peppers, strawberries, dill and so on ranked high in her priorities.

I inherited the love for both flowers gardening, and growing vegetables and herbs from my parents. My first houseplant in my new bedroom – a peace lily – looks so happy since I’ve re-potted it. Herbs are spreading on the kitchen windowsill – basil, coriander, oregano, mint. They will all parade on here as months go by.

Starting these diaries might have been prompted by my latest balcony garden adventures. It is one of the reasons why I’m enjoying my flat life in Birmingham so much. However, there are more aspects to it and I intend to write about the everyday richness of joy and even sad little things that fill this flat.

I’d also hope to keep your interest with these glimpses of life as a Romanian sharing a city flat in the centre of Birmingham.

Balcony garden Osteospermum

Birds on the balcony – a tale of dirty surprise

My first little happening worth telling here took place yesterday morning.

I went to the lounge with a half sleepy face to boil the kettle. Then I sat at the table checking my phone. No sooner had I shown myself in the middle of the room that this pigeon hurried away from the balcony rail. I approached the floor-to-ceiling glass doors to the balcony only to notice… a big souvenir splashed in a long trail on the metal floor. I mean a comet of bird poop!


I could see two versions of the story here.
I either scared shit out of the pigeon – literally – who was just enjoying its midmorning snooze there. Or one of the magpies set the pigeon up by visiting first and soiling all over. By the actual spread of it… couldn’t really be the poor pigeon, could it?

At this point you are probably going to be very grateful it hadn’t crossed my mind to capture the poop comet on camera. Later in the afternoon I armed myself with gloves, a plastic box from the recycling container, water and disinfectant, and a sacrificial kitchen sponge. While the remains of the pigeon/magpie artwork have travelled down the toilet, the sponge will live on the balcony for a while. I am expecting further attempts from the passionate rogue artist in the future.

Are you acquainted with such instances on your balconies too, if you live in a flat?
If not, how do you fare with the birds in your garden?

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