European houses are small. Mine is no exception. I do have two balconies though, one on each side of the building. One is a decent size, the other is literally the size of a handkerchief. The reasoning of the architect was probably to give the inhabitants the opportunity to sunbath both in the morning sun as well as during the evening. How sunbathing should be done on a balcony the size of a handkerchief I don’t know. Some of my neighbours actually succeed in having breakfast on the tiny balcony, though you have to really squeeze in. And have a table you can hang onto the railings. And be really really thin. And be there before the sun goes away at about 10 in the morning, if it came to begin with.
The major balcony on the evening sun side. It gets much more sun hours due to its prize South-West orientation. We’ve enjoyed many a dinner there watching the sunset. I also grow some herbs there, of the Mediterranean brand. Oregano, thyme, rosemary, the sun-loving variety. I tried planting parsley and basil, but the rain drowned them first and them the sun baked what the rain didn’t drown, so I stuck with the stuff that grows on its own. In the meantime my handkerchief balcony was left completely unused. Until now that is.
Growing your own food is a major hobby in (small) European countries. It is traditionally done on the smallest possible patch of land, and must yield little useful food, if any. Its not the result that counts, but the effort. My tiny balcony is now an urban vegetable garden, and its one of the smallest I have ever seen. Its location is rather convenient for growing sensitive crops such as lettuce and basil. There is sun, but only delicate morning sun, its in the rain and wind shade, and snails will not get to the third floor (I hope). Now the only problem left is me. My fingers are anything but green. Perhaps I should be growing pot there – it’s supposedly not too demanding. If everything else will fail, I will.