A green space for urban gardeners

Denial: not just a river in Egypt, but thriving in a Chicago garden

DSC00914DSC00927DSC00995It’s pretty obvious that I’ve refused to acknowledge fall’s arrival 10 days ago — even in the face of the horrible weather that’s plagued Chicago this past week.

One day it was gale force winds (actually, I’m not sure how much force needs to be exerted to rate gale, but it was pretty severe); then it was temps that were hard pressed to break 60 degrees; and finally came the chilly, steady rain.

All these signals that the garden’s days are numbered, yet still I’m in that happy state called denial, fueled by the combination of hope and unreasoned belief that tell me there will be — have to be — a few more good days ahead.

And why not apply a little positive thinking? After all, my Nigella has only just started revealing its dazzling blue blooms, my Isis candy heirloom tomatoes are still changing from green to golden on a daily basis, and there are fresh buds of the mighty zinnia envy.

So, I overlook the fact that my huge coleus plant sits bruised and broken after the west winds whipped my balcony garden, and the fact that my sweet basil was knocked over more times than I can count.

I just deny, deny, deny, and cross my fingers that warm weather will let out a last breathy October gasp.

Are you raging against the onslaught of fall as well? I’d love to hear about it…

[photos, from top: Nigella, Isis candy heirloom tomatoes and zinnia envy]


  Pamela wrote @

Hi, Avis, For me, denial is a good thing in this instance, otherwise I would feel terribly depressed that another garden season is over. Your nigella is stunning!

  City Diggity wrote @

The Nigella was a pleasant surprise so late in the season. Delicate and true blue; I’m going to make sure I plant more next year.

  Stephanie wrote @

Gosh sorry for your broken flowers and coleus. Over here, my plants and flowers will get burnt by the scorching sun if the temperature would to suddenly shoot up. Oh yeah, the heavy rain will break my plants too. Many times I would dream of owning a big garden so that I could plant some big trees to give shelter to my shorter plants. I hope your coleus will be able to grow back soon. Else you have bring them indoor due to winter right? Have a wonderful week yeah…

  Jo wrote @

We’ve had similar weather here too, strong blustery winds and cool temperatures, but I can’t remember the last time we had a good downpour. I’m still having to water the garden regularly. Your Nigella is stunning. Such a beautiful colour.

  Tatiana wrote @

Yeah, we’ve already seen snow! So very sad. All the veggies are gone and done now, and the flowers are fading fast. If the summer was a better one, then the feeling of sadness would not be as profound, methinks.

  Dawn/LittleGreenFingers wrote @

It should be a golden rule in life – deny, deny and keep on denying…

  William wrote @

High Wind = 31-38mph
Gale = 39-46mph
Strong Gale = 47-54mph
Storm = 55-63mph

Take your pick ;o)

The rest, from calm to Hurricane, is on the Beaufort Scale page at wikipedia.

Just found your blog via link from and looking forwards to reading it properly.

All the best.

  City Diggity wrote @

I think my balcony experienced a “high wind,” according to those definitions, then. Good to know it still has something to aspire to 😉 Thanx for breaking it down.

  Susan wrote @

I am still in denial—even as I stare at the frost on the skylight this morning. As pumpkins replace summer’s color, I do get excited about the emerging fall colors, though. Gardeners are such suckers for the next seasonal event! I loved the blue flower. Better write that one down for next year!

  Lynne Jordan wrote @

Oh…well, you can plan for next season though by now I imagine that you are over the trauma. We had some unseasonably warm temps here in chicago – for a minute!

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