"Far from the madding crowd" there can be a patch of peace above the concrete jungle below your balcony or on your patio. All it takes is a modest sum of money, time and energy. If this is not an option, build a sub-irrigated pollinator garden like this in a sunny community garden or even a parklet.
More important than some time and money is acquiring knowledge that is being willfully withheld from you. Read on. It's free. Help others by posting this information on your favorite social sites.
All of the flowering plants that you see here growing profusely are helping pollinators do their critically important work. The secret is that they are growing in sub-irrigated planters made from widely available drain-hole planters and tote or storage boxes. They are all modified with the installation of water and oxygen reservoirs connected to fill tubes instead of wasteful drain holes.
There is no annoying water dripping on your neighbors below when using sub-irrigated planters. And, they are easy to make. There is no need to buy so-called "self-watering" planters.
No, these are not "self-watering" planters the utterly stupid term used in the U.S. gardening marketplace. Some use the term because they do not know any better while some use it to deceive the public. Their deceitful purpose is to spread disinformation to inhibit their use.
Most commercial growers and garden centers rely on consumption rather than socially beneficial sustainability. They like it when you kill plants. Since most of them grow their plants in greenhouses using sub-irrigation, they are well aware of the sustainability benefits of this method.
A popular shorthand term for a sub-irrigated planter is the acronym SIP. When used in a pollinator garden like this the SIP acronym has double meaning. SIPs help grow flowers while conserving valuable water, plants and your time. Furthermore you are helping pollinators like bees, butterflies and other flowering insects "sip" flower nectar while their bodies inadvertently spread pollen.
Did you know that along with other crises like climate change we have a decline in our bee population of crisis proportions. I have long slept on a roll-up futon. Its location at night in my new apartment home is right by the sliding doors. I can easily see the bees doing their valuable work.
It has been of great meditative value to live with nature so close by. What you see in the photos above is what I see when I wake up. I will soon add some solar up-lights so that I can see the pollinator garden after sunset.
I also know when I wake up each morning that I am doing some good for the planet with the expenditure of very little energy and time once the garden was built. That did take some time and energy but it was well worth it.
There has been far more value received than I ever expected when I decided to build it at a hectic time of relocating back to the East Coast from California. It took me 3 1/2 months to decide where I would live after arriving by U-Haul, my car in tow on a trailer. As those of us who have done it know it is a lot of backbreaking work to move long distances and reestablish oneself.
Though still living in chaos the pollinator balcony garden has become my refuge, my sanctuary. Nothing else matters when I watch the bees doing their critically important work. There are lots of photos of them yet to be published.
Stay tuned. There will be much more about this project and my new consulting business. The business is long overdue. I have spent much time consulting over the past nine years in New York and San Diego but it has all been pro-bono without the formalization of a business name. That cannot continue if I am to survive financially. In addition to consulting there will at least one book, probably more than one.
Just as for my busy bee friends, there is much work to do.