By Samantha Seon – Magonui, NZ


While strolling the streets of Rome, Italy, it was impossible to overlook the lush balconies that lined the rustic old buildings. They were small, but full of life and beauty. Large clay pots giving life to herbs and vines that cascade downwards and overhang the restaurant below…. the famous Piazza Navona. If you were to stand on one of these balconies, you may have room for one other person…. a nice intimate setting, to be sure.

Such tiny spaces, bursting with large romance

Gardens in Italy explode with such vibrant colour. Poppies, roses, lavender and geraniums mixed with snapdragons, sunflowers, daisies, basil and thyme. And why wouldn’t they? They’re Italy!

If you’re living in an apartment or a condo and you’d like to bring a bit of Europe into your small space, why not try to recreate some of the balconies you’ve seen in the movies or during your travels? Grow some of the very herbs that you’ll want to use while cooking for guests.

The hanging vines really do conjure up that old country feeling, however it’s something that we don’t see a lot of here in North America. There are plenty of rules around the use of balconies in the high-rise buildings around our cities. But for the smaller buildings, wouldn’t it be wonderful to create that old, romantic, Euro look?

Let your imagination take you to Rome, Milan, Florence or Tuscany. A few clay pots containing sage, basil, tomatoes and rosemary are easy to manage and give the space the feeling of being in another place. You can create your vacanza Italiano. So sit back, relax and enjoy la bella vita!