i didn't buy a single plant for my fire escape this year. instead i mixed a wintered pumpkin into the soil and got several sprouts, threw some portland-era zinnia seeds in from the window, discovered two petunias that seeded themselves from two years ago, and found the thyme returning from last year, in addition to the chives that always make their way back. the beet seeds weren't as successful, though they tried, but may get a late-summer planting.
for a relatively quiet summer, reined in by health struggles, it's at least been gratifying to create a little oasis out my kitchen window with only the effort of watering two containers once a day (twice during heatwaves). there are new blooms regularly and visits from all sorts of bugs — this morning a white moth fluttered around for nearly twenty minutes.
time will tell whether any pumpkin flowers will get pollinated and bear fruit. every time a potential "female" bloom dies abruptly, i harvest some of the (far more plentiful) males to cook with so it won't be a total disappointment.