Beautiful balconies and windowsills – 5


Sao Jorge, Madeira

Ok, so I admit this is neither a balcony nor a windowsill, but I feel this breathtaking collection of succulents overlooking the ocean still kind of fits the topic;-)

(It was very hard not to seem like a stalker while attempting to take decent pictures of the plants through the metal fence of the property, while the owner sat on her deckchair a few meters away).

While I’m away…

Not only do I love spotting plants who dig their roots into cracks in the sidewalk or holes in walls, I also feel the same passion for luscious green urban balconies, stoops and windowsills overflowing with plants and succulents. (I’ve already mentionned it here before:).


Tomorrow I’m heading to Madeira for 2 weeks holiday (YAY!) So as I’ll be far from the internet, I scheduled some posts from next week featuring pictures I dug up from my archives.  I hope those beautiful balconies and windowsills spotted during my travels will bring you as much simple joy as they bring me:)  (and in the meantime hopefully I will discover some more while exploring Madeira!)

Plants and the city

Spotting cute plants growing out of cracks in the pavement, in between bricks of a wall or high up on roof tops is something I really enjoy doing as I walk around a city. I love seeing how plants find a way to thrive regardless of humans building over every available surface with bricks and cement, or spraying sidewalks with toxic weed-killer.

The plants somehow just persevere and find new nooks and crannies to call their own. Like these stunning pink flowers that caught my eye, growing out of a guttter on the roof of a church in the center of Bilbao .


Or these plants and ferns that amazed me as they held on precariously to the top of this brittle stone wall in an alleyway in Santillana del Mar.



[Sold] Spider plant – black pot


Spider plant (Botanical Name: Chlorophytum comosum)

Total height: 33 cm
Width pot: 15 cm

Care: very easy, a little water once a week

BONUS: This plant is not only beautiful, it will improve the air quality in the room it is placed in as it is very efficient at removing formaldehyde from the air.


[Sold] Christmas cactus – small pink pot


Christmas cactus (Botanical name: Schlumbergera)

Total height: 17 cm
Width pot: 11 cm

Care: very easy, a little water once a week

Grows for years. Blooms with beautiful pink flowers in winter.


For more info email me at simplycultivatingjoy [at]

Fleeting beauty


When I met my boyfriend’s aunt zia Pina during my first visit to Sicily, I quickly discovered we have a shared passion. She cultivates an amazing roof-top terrasse full of hundreds of cacti, succulents and other plants which are thriving under the hot Sicilian sun. That evening in the dwindling heat, she held onto my arm and walked me around, showing me all the different plants while I enjoyed discovering her little paradise on the roof.

This summer my boyfriend brought me a surprise back from zia Pina’s in his hand-luggage: a gorgeous round cactus to add to my plant collection:)

After a few weeks of acclimatising on my windowsill, a long shoot started to grow out of the cactus. Though we could tell a flower would soon bloom, we had no idea what it would look like.

Until finally one rainy summer morning I woke up to this beautiful flower with light pink petals rising high above the cactus like a firework. I enjoyed observing and smelling it. It seemed so incongruous that such a graceful flower would come out of this ball of spikes and needles.


Unfortunately, after just 2 short days the flower shriveled up and drooped.  I don’t know how often the cactus will flower, but I hope I’ll have the joy of seeing more of these gorgeous flowering events.