And alas, dear gardeners, if you were steadfast in your watering through the oppressive heat of the past couple of weeks, you, too, are likely enjoying the fruits — and flowers — of your efforts. (And openly marveling at just how much your plants have grown.)
The 100-plus thermometer readings created an outdoor hothouse effect that had varieties like the yellow and orange lantana (in the second photo) reaching out with arm-like chutes — happy to receive the sunshine being offered.
“Hot town, summer in the city.”
Mercifully, after several days of extreme, upper 90s heat, Chicago received relief today.
Not only was it about 10 degrees cooler, but we also were treated to a nice drenching rain. For urban container gardeners who’ve had to be super vigilant about keeping those plants hydrated, it’s good to get a night off.
Yes, I said “night,” because as we’ve covered previously, that’s the absolute best time to water. “…at night it’s a different world.”
Plus, in this case, it saves the dedicated gardener having to labor beneath the day’s ultra-violet rays.
When I pull out my bag of stockpiled seeds it’s like hitting the reset button on the thrill of a new garden.
I get to pick through the wacky assorted packets I just couldn’t pass up when the grocery store decided to clear its shelves, the splurge purchases from the garden center that were never opened, previously opened envelopes that still have seeds left over, and, not least, the seeds I harvested from gardens past.
The first order of business is creating two stacks — one consisting of seeds for edibles, the other of seeds for flowers.
The edibles cache turned out wonderfully; I found seeds for herbs, lettuce and heirloom tomatoes. In fact, I had an embarrassment of riches and was able to choose from multiple tomatoes for the two pots I’ll eventually set out on the balcony for my container garden. Black plum and Ildi were the heirlooms I decided to plant this year — both small fruit varieties sized right for a small urban space.
Forecasters caution that the temperatures likely aren’t here to stay, but — for a city that’s reveled in unseasonably warm weather since early February — pardon us if we choose not to believe.
And we’re not alone in our complete disdain for the prognostications of Punxsutawney Phil and his ilk. Nature seems to have joined us in a conspiracy to usher in spring earlier than reason would dictate. Trees and flowers are giving in to the spirit of “carpe diem” and pushing up the date Read the rest of this entry »
The crush of months of unrelenting work, plus a stubborn bug that zapped any remaining energy I had at the end of the day, has resulted in a slow start. I’m still adding plants as the days progress, and I have to admit that for once I didn’t go into the season with a well-crafted plan.
I had the usual abundance of seed packets, and even picked up a few more that displayed photos which struck my fancy… But, the visions of color
But it looks like my garden’s hibernation can soon give way to resurrection and a return to the halcyon days of seasons past.
The cold and snow is being replaced by April’s showers and a few green things are already sprouting amongst the soil remaining in the pots and planters from last season.