CityDiggity

A green space for urban gardeners

Archive for Plant food for thought

Growth: Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there

DSC00546DSC00548I’ve been slow to post this week for the simple reason that I felt like not much was happening in my garden.

Replacements for lost plants had been set out and new seeds sown where necessary. The weather has been warm and sunny. I’ve been diligent about my watering and feeding. And, the drama going on with the repairs to my building seems to be in its last gasp.

So, it was the plants’ turn to get busy and fulfill the lush, colorful vision I put forth for my balcony Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Lots of places where gardens could take root in cities

2009-06-30_15.26.22-1

Blue wildflowers suggest there's a garden longing to bloom on this undeveloped site.

There’s a conspicuously vacant lot on my block.

Its original low-rise buildings were razed some time ago in anticipation of the coming of a condominium tower. But that work ground to a halt a few months back — perhaps another casualty of these tough economic times.

Despite the building boom of the last 10 years, it’s not the only undeveloped plot of land I spied while driving through my downtown neighborhood. There was even one that seemed to be spontaneously becoming a garden, with pretty blue flowers popping up on its perimeter.

I immediately switched into “what if” mode: What if Read the rest of this entry »

Kid stuff: Sweet potato vine project has come a long way

DSC00428DSC00328DSC00268In my previous post I had high hopes and good intentions, which now, sadly, litter the wayside of that fabled well-paved road.

It’s after midnight on Friday and unfortunately my plants are not outside as I thought they’d be. I was right in noting that the work above my balcony was finished, but the crew boss informed me that it would be ill-advised to move my plants back outside on Wednesday because he worried that migrating dust from work alongside my neighbor’s unit would damage my plants.

So, I wait. He’d estimated that by end-of-day Friday I could start to put things right in my balcony garden. Of course, best laid plans and all, we had a very stormy Friday and they weren’t able to do any work on the building at all. I’m keeping Read the rest of this entry »

Raindrops help make a clean sweep in garden after dirty job

DSC00423I’ve never thought of myself as eccentric, but I dare say others might — had they seen me outside today. In the rain. Using an extension pole cleaning wand to wash down the clerestory windows above my balcony sliders.

In my defense, it was a light rainfall. And no thunder or lightning was involved.

The good news is that after three days of relentless banging, followed by the whirring and grinding sound of a metal blade meeting brick and mortar, I think the work above my balcony is finished. The metal scaffolding was mechanically Read the rest of this entry »

Oh, my aching back: More stress than calm in garden this week

DSC00374

A planter box (top) and tomato pot (above)

Sometimes you have to wonder if your garden is serving you or if you are serving your garden. The rhetorical question reared its head this week as I played musical chairs with my balcony garden plants.

Let me explain: Work is being done to the facade of our building and the dreaded stage was finally slated for my elevation on Tuesday. So, by 3 a.m. that morning I had painstakingly brought in five railing planter boxes, cell packs of flowers that I haven’t yet made room for, and too many clay Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve got the blues… hope it’s not too much of a good thing

Three shades of blue.

Three shades of blue in a past garden. Even more blue varieties will abound this year, punctuated with yellow, green and orange.

In my mind’s eye, the idea of a monochromatic garden is very intriguing, entrancing even. All-white gardens are quite the rage in certain circles, and, with my adoration of blue flowers, I’ve been oh-so tempted to create an all-blue fantasy.

But I think the reality would be far less satisfying than the dream. Recently, a fellow gardener who shares my love of blue said that if she had her druthers, some day she’d plant a garden of blues Read the rest of this entry »

The color of water and other splashy container gardening secrets revealed

A little water is a wonderful thing. But don't depend on raindrops alone.

A little water is a wonderful thing. But don't depend on raindrops alone to nourish plants.

Armchair sleuth that I am, I jumped at the chance to gather intel when I saw a crew making its way down one of our city streets attending to the splendid hanging baskets Chicago adorns its lamp posts with during summer.

As the magic wand was extended over the baskets I made a discovery that changed the way I would maintain my container plants in the years to come: the water he used … it was, well, BLUE! Maybe that was the secret to success.

From that point forward every other watering lavished on my plants had just the slightest tinge Read the rest of this entry »