Sometimes inspiration is right under your nose. And in my case, it was all right there back at my childhood home, where my mom grows a small nursery of potted cacti and succulents that is her pride and joy. My mom has always been a green thumbed wonder, her gardens lush with flowers and our house was always filled with a forest of green.
With age, she's slowed down and focused in on growing smaller succulent and xeric plants in pots, since they're more easily manageable, requiring less physical work and care. A reminder that you don't necessarily need a large garden to enjoy a garden. All you need is a little space, a few potted plants and a little know-how, and you could brighten up that stoop or balcony to similar effect. Mom always did know best.