I live in a condo apartment with two large balconies, and for the last few summers I’ve tried to set up a little horticultural oasis on at least one of them. It turns out I don’t have an altogether useless green thumb (I did keep a raspberry cane alive over the winter with no more care than shoving it into a pot in the corner of my livingroom and forgetting to water it for weeks on end) and I like the sort of calm that steals over me when I’m sitting in the early morning chill, clipping useless dead bits off my rose. Last year I went for a real hothouse kind of look – lots of oranges, hot pinks and yellows – while this year it’s more country garden-inspired, with buckets of girly-but-deceptively-temperamental flowers like cabbage roses and dahlias and a stupid flowering gardenia that’s already driving me insane. This manicure, a simple floral design sitting atop a blackened teal glitter polish that itself reminds me of dark green dahlia leaves, is inspired by those new-to-my-balcony flowers.

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