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DIY Humming Bird Garden

balcony before

Our balcony, February 2011.

balcony after

Our balcony last week.

The balcony is our favorite place in the apartment. It’s been Mike’s project entirely. I’d love to be able to take credit for it, but the most I’ve done is offered to make dinner so he could keep working¬†out there. He built all of the planters, two of the window boxes, and all of the shelving out of materials he found around our neighborhood. For example, the wood for the planters came from discarded broken fencing. One of the window boxes is made from the¬†frame of a torn up sofa left out on garbage day.

window crate

This window box was made from a packing crate.


I picked up this Jasmine at Costco for $8.00. It was tiny, dried out, and dying. Now it’s taking over the north end of our balcony. Mike keeps saying that when it blossoms in the spring we’re going to need respirators to sit on the balcony. It’s going to be incredibly beautiful.

view from the street

This is what our neighbors see. They call us the Crazy Flower People but we have the prettiest balcony on the block so I don’t care. I love how the arms of the jasmine are crawling along the side of the building. Mike tapped little nails into the siding so it would have something to hold on to. These will be full of flowers come April.

our view

The window boxes and hanging baskets are full of lantana, million bells, salvia, hawaiian blue eyes, dead nettle, and some flowers I don’t know the name of. They all draw humming birds and butterflies. We sit out here with our coffee in the early morning and watch the humming birds feed. They are surprisingly bold, often feeding from flowers inches from my shoulder. They’ll sip from flowers in the same basket Mike is watering, and the bird will hover, beak to nose. They’re magic with wings.

garden at sunset

Someday I’ll show you what’s behind that far wall. (Hint: it’s one word, starts with “ga” ends with “ge”.) The plants – New Guinea Impatiens – are sitting on shelves Mike built from lumber he found sticking out of a dumpster. I tried to take a close-up but it sucked. The flowers are too pretty for digital rendering.


Remember our first window box? That’s it in the back. The salvia is the only thing left from the original planting. After all the pansies and English daisies died, we planted begonias and let me tell you, they are be-going crazy! Begonia-ing crazy? Not funny?

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