My Great Outdoors: Kathy's German National Monument

My Great Outdoors: Kathy's German National Monument

Aaron Able
Jun 15, 2009

Name: Kathy Andrews
Location: Berlin, Germany
Type of space: Balcony
Tell us about your outdoor project and how you enjoy it: We live in a beautiful loft built in a protected building in Berlin. It was first the Telefunken Factory, where radios were made, then the barracks for the American troops during the occupation of Berlin after WW II. We love living here and especially the big (for Berlin standards) balcony on the western side of our loft. The sun shines on us after we come home from work in the late afternoons and we love sitting outside. The birds that live in the park sing in the evening and it's so peaceful to listen to them. We eat breakfast in the mornings, have drinks with friends on Friday afternoons and eat dinner outside whenever the weather is nice enough. I am outside reading all the time and even cruise the internet (checking out the new posts on Apartment Therapy!) while sitting on the balcony...

How did you create it? The design of the balcony is very modern and we are restricted from having window boxes or attaching anything to the building or railing because it's a national monument. It's 2 meters deep and 5 meters long. I love to garden and miss having a yard so I have made my garden in Berlin in this space using containers, stained and natural wooden furniture and fabric. The colors of the flowers are taken from the French fabric we bought on one of our trips to France. All of the plants are in pots — some of them very big pots! We have four David Austin English roses that are the backbone of the garden. These are very hardy and bloom all summer. Two of them are climbers so they will provide privacy and color above eye level as they grow. My favorites are Graham Thomas and Lilian Austin (the one in the photo). Some of the containers have perennials in them — hosta and astillbe, coral bells and a peony. Combined with the roses, I have to buy only a few annuals every year. I always get yellow begonias and blue campanuala. Around the base of the roses, I've planted lady's mantel and ivy to keep in the moisture and provide a green base. This year, I decided to plant two low terracotta pots of flowers and place them under the bench for color at that end of the balcony. I love how the flowers spill out from under the bench. The pots, too, are the blue and terracotta in the fabric. I stained the furniture using deep blue acrylic paint mixed with clear waterproof stain applied with an old sponge. The dishes are from San Gimignano, Italy and the deep blue glasses from Georgetown in D.C. We collect things from all the places we have lived and traveled and love using them every day.

Recommended store, site, product or resource?David Austin RosesFabric from Provence


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