The biggest sacrifice of living in an apartment is not having a garden. I've always loved the rhythm of stepping outside to pull weeds, observe new growth, pick flowers to bring inside, and rake up leaves. As a writer, tending a garden provides the perfect counter-balance to working on a computer.
Here at the apartment I've attempted to grow plants in pots, but with short-lived success. Lettuces soon wilt, my tomato plant yielded only one small tomato, herbs dry out and the hanging basket of pansies and lobellia withered away after only a weekend of neglect.
I tried again, using 'crystal rain' to retain moisture, and refilling the pots with fresh compost — but to no avail. The one plant that has kept on growing, flowering and giving pleasure, is the snap dragon. I couldn't resist another attempt at giving it company when I spotted little yellow and white pansies as I walked past the plant shop.
Dorothy Sucher's book 'The invisible Garden' has stirred my longing. The book was recommended by Penny from American's midwest, whose wonderful blog, lifeonthecutoff, I follow with much pleasure.
Dorothy Sucher says:
'The garden gives us back so much that at times it's hard not to sense a consciousness out there, a living earth-spirit that appreciates our efforts and reaches out to heal us when we are troubled.'
Maybe the earth-spirit will thrive in the little pansies on my balcony, with their bright, hopeful faces.