So it's no secret that one of my biggest struggles with living in Lebanon has been the lack of green and wide open spaces mainly in the city in our immediate surroundings. Obviously (see other posts) there is plenty of beautiful scenery to be had in a fairly short drive out of the city, but in our day to day life, there is a pretty serious lack of green.
Every year, I have loved making our balcony sort of a green haven and this year has been no different. Flower markets are in abundance here and I have found one in particular with practically every variety of beautiful flower you can imagine. I kept things pretty simple this year to start off with mainly because I have promised Maddie that I will take her back with me to pick more flowers as we still have plenty of pots to fill. Pardon the pitiful looking ficus in the corner. No, it is not dying, it is simply needing more love. Granted, it almost died this winter but I am now in the process of revitalizing it. Thankfully it's recovering nicely as I have been strictly forbidden by my sweet husband from ever purchasing a ficus again. I have a tendency to kill them. Quickly. And they aren't really cheap here. This one was actually given to us by some friends when they moved back to the states (as well as the wonderful wicker rocker that has become a favorite reading place for all three girls). Anyway, it must have somehow gotten tricked in the moving process from their house to ours and does not realize that it is now in the care of a pathological ficus killer. Also pardon the pot on the ground that looks somewhat pitiful. It is awaiting the flowers that Maddie picks out. During the school year it was home to the girls radish, corns and beans that they grew for their science class.
Here's the other side of the balcony looking over to the balcony on the girls room. It's hard to tell but in the right corner is a vine that translates from Arabic to "crazy" in English because it pretty much grows anywhere and everywhere here- maybe kind of like the Lebanese version of Missisippi Kudzu come to think of it! Thankfully though, this version of crazy is downright beautiful once it starts blooming- unlike it's MS counterpart which is just annoying. Mine has kind of a coral flower. I need to get some sort of lattice or something for it to grow on. In the left corner there against the wall is my gardenia tree. It's frustrating me. I placed it very strategically right by my balcony sliding glass door so that we could keep the door opened and smell the blooms. It has SO MANY blooms on it and the bush is very healthy- even has new growth but the blooms keep turning brown and falling off before they open---WHY!?! Behind the vine and bush, there is a little area for potted plants in between the two balconies. I have some shrubbery growing there for now. Unfortunately I also have a very dead lavendar plant that I bought a few years ago. It didn't make it. However, when I was still holding out hope that it would make it, I moved it to this spot to get more sun. I basically had to semi-toss it to get it into place or else climb out there myself and risk falling three stories down. Anyway, long story short, it's there now and it's too heavy for me to get it out. Oh well. You can't really see it but when green is so scarce it seems a shame to be wasting the space!
The table you see is Jason and my morning Bible reading and coffee/tea drinking spot. Our weather recently has been unseasonably cool and we are so thankful to still be able to enjoy our balcony before the summer heat wave hits!
I am blessed beyond measure with a wonderful husband, Jason, and four beautiful daughters, Abbey, Maddie, Naomi and Anabelle. We are living our dream of living and working cross-culturally in the Middle East. Life is an adventure and never dull. As a child of the Eternal King of Kings, held together in the palm of His loving hand, I am a work in progress, thankful to share my journey with anyone who wants to listen.