My Great Outdoors: Pete the Cat's Curtained Balcony

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Name: Pete the Cat
Location: Vancouver, BC
Type of space: Balcony

Tell us about your outdoor project and how you enjoy it: This is a south facing balcony on the top floor corner of a three story building. It's about 5.5m long, but only 1.25m deep (so actually very hard to get a photo of all of it at once). It has a very nice evergreen tree just at the corner which is home to finch and chickadees which I lure closer with two feeders just outside the curtains. The birds are actually my favourite part of the balcony, but the curtains are a close second.

How did you create it?:
Being south facing and on the top floor, it gets HOT, so I'd been trying to find ways to give it more shade. Large plants did little and I've never liked the look of rolled bamboo blinds from the outside of a building, so I thought I'd try a gauzy white curtain on simple bamboo poles and I love it. They are secured with rings screwed into the wood with white twill tape to tie and they have weathered very heavy wind and rain with no mishaps. There's a seating area at either end and it's very easy to move the chairs and plants if I need more or less seating. My favourite plants are the bamboo and the Japanese maple. The rest are evergreen and semi-evergreen grasses and spurges which do very well with full sun. In the corner is a small vegetable garden with lettuce, green onions, watercress, and strawberries. Since the balcony doors are basically the front wall of our livingroom and open right up, this is like an extension of the room. I would say that the curtains give us more privacy if it weren't for the fact that everyone who walks past the building always stops to look, especially when the lights are lit. The space worked out even better than I'd hoped when the curtain idea first occurred to me

Recommended store, site, product or resource?
David Hunter Garden Centre for plants and advice. These curtains are Ikea and very inexpensive.

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