I live in an apartment complex and they don't allow any planting, so I did like you and placed some pottery arrangements near my front entrance. Like you, I'm one who likes to connect to nature and get my hands in soil. Where there is a Will - there is a WAY!I think another aspect influencing my creative inactivity is not having a garden, I’ve always had a garden my whole life, everywhere I’ve lived and now I don’t.
I do have a balcony area with lots of great air circulation that I’m going to convert it into a pottery space, as well as a space for meditation. I’ll add some plants too.
I would like to add a suggestion to your balcony set-up, especially the area where you have "meditation" in mind. Where I live, we have two large Hardware and Garden businesses, Lowe's and Home Depot. I did some "window shopping and caparison prices" explorations and was able to get a small "table top waterfall's kit" for less then 15 dollars - that you add 3-4 cups of water and plug in to an electrical outlet. There is a little "on/off" switch on the cord and it cost very little to operate. There is all kinds of styles and price ranges but the one I purchased has a nature scene - where the water slowly trickles down into a small pond and gets recirculated. It's really - COOL!
I have it located inside next to the area I do meditation and Prayers. Sometimes at night, if I'm having trouble sleeping, I'll turn the little waterfall's on, close my eyes and the trickling effect changes the whole atmosphere of the room. I'm suddenly transported to a Tropical Island. Great for moments of depression, too.