A green space for urban gardeners

Spring’s shown its face, now I’m a believer!

It’s been the kind of day that even melts the resolve of those with the frostiest of dispositions. Chicago had a record-setting March 14 — hitting 80 glorious degrees!

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 of their seasonal debuts.

My full embrace of this unexpected gift happened a couple of sunny days ago when I took to my balcony and cleared away all the refuse from last year’s garden in anticipation of a new — and early — start to this year’s.

It may not be safe for the mid-western container gardener to start tucking our annuals in their weathered pots for the long haul, but we can certainly pay homage to what the deities have bestowed and nestle our starter seeds neatly on that bright, warm windowsill.

And why not turn our stalwart indoor plants into sunbathing beauties and set them outside to enjoy the upcoming week in which the mercury will continue to reside north of 70.

I already have my tabletop mini greenhouse at the ready and plan to dig through my unused and saved seeds bin to pick out some beauties to get the growing party started. I’ve also settled on some color combos to unify my urban container garden this year.

So, even if our temperatures suffer a setback, these brilliant days have already planted the garden in my mind — and well, that’s its own victory!

Caption// This geranium was one of the last plants standing in last season’s balcony garden.


  Linda wrote @

Happy Spring, Avis! However long it lasts, this beautiful, unseasonably warm weather is most welcome.

  AW wrote @

Happy spring to you, too, Linda! This weather is such a beautiful surprise, isn’t it?

  Carol wrote @

Hi Avis,
Glad to see you back. I’m outside already, cleaning out the coldframe of blueberry, blackberry and columbine plants. Guess these can stay out now even if the temps go down a bit. Happy Planting time!

  Wendy wrote @

Yes, I have totally embraced spring!

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