Living in a city as a fully paid- up member of the country mouse club isn’t always easy: there’s too much traffic, people everywhere, loud noises and dair.
Berlin is slightly different though. There are so many parks and lakes and forests and allotments, that it’s extremely easy for people to nip off to a little oasis sometimes. Maybe for a walk, for a swim, to pick mushrooms, to read in the sun, to cycle amongst the trees or to get some dirt under their nails doing some gardening.
In my first “proper” apartment here, I was over the moon to find it had a balcony, and even though it was only January when we moved in, I soon began planting seeds and covering all the window ledges with them. Since then, it’s been a prerequisite for me to have a balcony in every place I’ve lived. I’ll even forego the bathtub if it means I get a small space outside to grow things (and god knows I love a warm bath in the winter).
After trial and error, i’ve figured out which things i’m best at growing, and which things seem to enjoy growing without much help at all, so I’ve narrowed it down to:
- a clematis
- herbs of all varieties
- runner/french beans
- lobelia flowers
- wild flowers
My experiment with carrots failed miserably, as did the courgettes, and I’ve lost track of how many beautiful pots of lavender I’ve killed off. Still, for colour I also have a mini pond which gets stunning yellow flowers in the summer. It keeps the bees happy too.
And even though I may not have spent hours toiling away with a spade up here, it brings me so much joy and calm to tinker with the pruning of these lovely plants, and then to sit back with a pot of coffee and a book with the smell of earth and basil all around me.