A green space for urban gardeners

In the urban jungle we take our green space where we find it

City sidewalk-scapes like this bring nature to concrete jungle.

Vividly planted sidewalkscapes like this bring touches of nature to the city's concrete jungle.

My obsession with urban gardening is no doubt a manifestation of my own need to get back to nature. It is a need apparently shared by countless city dwellers.

Chicagoans who can afford it buy weekend getaway homes in the country, others squeeze gardens onto terraces, rooftops, porches or, like me, a small condo balcony.

And our city — in league with our pastoral proclivities — plants ginko trees in grates along streets, hangs magnificent flower baskets from lampposts, landscapes giant concrete medium divides on our thoroughfares and rolls out carpets of green along our downtown lakefront and in its parks.

It doesn’t mean that we’d trade our city life for a more bucolic one minus the excitement of theater,  arts, culture and concerts, but it does mean that there is a part of us which enjoys those quiet moments where the only harmony we crave is the one with nature. Perhaps the fact that the time we have outdoors is so brief makes us desperate to find new and innovative ways to appreciate it.

From my balcony I can see work crews adding finishing touches to a new high-rise dwelling just south of mine. In recent days they’ve landscaped a green roof terrace atop their garages complete with plots of grass, shrubs and trees. And it’s just a matter of time before residents will take to lounge chairs and revel in their patch of green in the shadow of the elevated train, just above the busy city streets.

[Thanks for visiting City Diggity, please check out my archives for previous posts that you can take into your garden. And don’t forget to leave a comment; I want to know how your garden grows.]


  Blossom wrote @

Purple is always my favorite color for flowers. But then, I love all other colors, too!

  Jeanne Grunert wrote @

Chicago is a beautiful city. New York City (where we used to live) does the same, plus residents tuck little gardens in between buildings, in vacant lots, and wherever they can. Somehow, the human spirit always yearns for natural beauty even in the midst of the concrete jungle.

  linda hassler wrote @

I’m so interested in your gardening …plan to follow your posts. The whole green roof concept intrigues me. Talked with a team at a lawn and garden show in Nashville who are trying to specialize in growing plants that will flourish on the green roof. Living in a small town setting and gardening on the edge of town, I trill to see any planting when I visit a city. I appreciate how plants enhance the lives of people. I applaud anyone, individual or municipality, for the effort to ‘green’ their area!
Linda – considerthelilies

  Stephanie wrote @

I will love to see green roof terrace happening here too. Such a good idea. We have to bring back nature to urban living in a progressive and continual manner. Trees, flowers and shrubs are shelters of refuge for urban dwellers who are always busy with the rat race. They have a calming effect, more so for those who love plants 🙂

  Lynne Jordan wrote @

I saw the most gorgeous rooftop garden atop the MOMASF Museum of Mod. in Art San Francisco. It was awesome!! Will you need binoculars to see your neighbors rooftop gardens in detail?

  Maureen wrote @

Hello there, Thanks for visiting my blog. I am just having a quick peek at yours before going off to work on the allotment as the day is wonderful and sunny. At a quick look your photography looks stunning and I love the colours. I will be back to take a proper look over the weekend. 🙂

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