CityDiggity

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Archive for balcony garden

Weather or not: If your garden’s taking the heat, you’d better count your blessings

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It often feels like so much of balcony gardening comes down to waiting on the weather. More than one post on this blog has pivoted on the intemperate turns the weather has taken here in Chicago.

And some of my weather adventures in my small-space balcony garden high above the city streets have bordered on slapstick—at least in retrospect (smile). Not quite as funny in real time when I was scurrying about in overpowering winds trying to right terracotta pots only to have them Read the rest of this entry »

Period of adjustment: Plants sometimes look worse before they look better

DSC02091It looks like my caladium has finally made peace with the full-sun exposure of my balcony garden.

For the longest time, I wasn’t sure if it would make it. Many of the vibrant leaves—a splattering of ruby red over white over lime green (a little like an abstract canvas)—had turned brown and shriveled at the edges.

But remarkably, it’s rebounded! The sickly looking leaves have fallen away, and the new leaves are healthy and standing proud.

Of course, too much or too little sun isn’t the only thing that stresses garden plants. Just changing
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Garden is the perfect antidote for the stress of long days

As the sun set on the first day of summer, I reflected on the state of my balcony garden — which, sad to say, is still in its infancy.

The crush of months of unrelenting work, plus a stubborn bug that zapped any remaining energy I had at the end of the day, has resulted in a slow start. I’m still adding plants as the days progress, and I have to admit that for once I didn’t go into the season with a well-crafted plan.

I had the usual abundance of seed packets, and even picked up a few more that displayed photos which struck my fancy… But, the visions of color

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Blossoms fight the good fight as one season fades into the next

An epic battle is raging in the garden. As the seasons vie for dominance, witness some flowers continue to boldly blossom while others dry up and wither around them.

This morning I saw an outstanding bloom on a heavenly blue morning glory vine that has winded its way up from a small pot on my balcony deck to the planters attached above it at the railing’s perimeter.

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Oh, the horror: Watering tomato plant turned downright scary

It was after midnight. Prime time for watering my balcony garden plants. Or so I thought…

Little did I know that horror lurked under the normally comforting indigo sky. (Fade up the really chilling scary movie soundtrack.)

I turned on the connected strands of the net lights that wrap my small space in a starry blanket. I grabbed my watering can and made my first trip inside to fill it and then returned to commence my daily ritual.

I started on the right side of the balcony with small pots of morning glory tucked in at intervals around the perimeter.

By the time I made it around to the left side and a large heirloom tomato plant, the moonlight glinted on something I couldn’t quite make out…

It looked to me like a huge mutant pea pod, and I instinctively reached out and touched it… Terror Read the rest of this entry »

Mid-July garden follies: wind, rain, heat and the master plan

I started Saturday with a plan. You see, I knew the forecast  predicted scattered thunderstorms, which I was actually looking forward to because I hoped they’d take some of the sting out of the blistering heat we’ve been experiencing. I was also hoping to save myself from the grueling task of watering my container plants under the sweltering sun. And lets not forget how beneficial rainwater is to developing plants. And mine, delayed as they are, need all the help they can get (smile).

So, I crafted what I thought was an ingenious scheme: I’d keep watching the skies and when they grew overcast — the dark before the storm — I’d Read the rest of this entry »

Nature cuts garden down to size

The weather. It can definitely do damage to a fledgling garden.

But, before we talk about that, let me take you back a couple weeks… When I looked out at the overabundance of seedlings (in my zeal I used about 150 peat pellets) I’d planted for this season’s garden I thought I may have gone a little overboard.

Nature, however, has a way of leveling things out. Torrential rains hit Chicago a few days later, which had me flashing on a scene from the old movie, “Tammy and the Bachelor,” in which the Debbie Reynolds character scurries about in a downpour, Read the rest of this entry »