CityDiggity

A green space for urban gardeners

Archive for the beginning

Unearthing old seeds for a brand new garden

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.

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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 Read the rest of this entry »

With winter in the rearview, new garden season is on the horizon!

It’s been a long winter.

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.

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The garden started without me: spontaneous blooms are the first of season

I’ve been slow to get my sprouts into the garden, what with waiting out the weather and other distractions. Apparently, though, the garden decided it wouldn’t wait for me.

Despite the fact that I pretty much build my garden on annuals because I don’t expect anything sitting in plastic planters on an exposed balcony, enduring the harsh Chicago winter and winds, to regenerate — I’ve been pleasantly surprised in recent days…

Things started to sprout spontaneously in the Read the rest of this entry »

Year two: The promise of spring, renewal, and all that jazz

To my mind, winter was made so that we could more fully experience the exquisite bliss of the awakening of spring.

In fact, in more sentimental moments, I feel downright sorry for my gardening buddies languishing in tropical climes (smile).

OK, so they have non-stop blooms, lush color and the life that gardens bring to your world all year-round. But, hear me out, what they miss is Read the rest of this entry »

Color choices – blue, orange and I also want to paint it black

If you’ve followed this blog you know I love blue in the garden. Can’t deny it, can’t escape it.

And “true” blue is a hue that I find  absolutely irresistible. Thus, it likely will always play into my garden color scheme.

This year is no exception.

But, I have flipped the script a bit with my companion colors. Orange, which was a minor presence last year, will assume a dominant role, and, I’m also exploring black as a primary tone.

I do realize that “black” is perhaps even more elusive than “true” blue in flowering plants, so when I say black, that translates into extremely Read the rest of this entry »

New year, new garden: flowers, tomatoes and a free prairie seed are all part of the mix

With Chicago under threat of a foot of snow, visions of colorful blossoms standing tall against the sun are but a faraway dream. Oh, by the way — Happy New Year!

Of course gloomy days like this are the perfect time for daydreaming, and like other gardening aficionados I’m already planning what I’ll do with my 5×12-foot space come spring. And luckily, Read the rest of this entry »