CityDiggity

A green space for urban gardeners

Archive for bells of ireland

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 »

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The long and short of it: stagger heights for lush containers

The sweet potato vine is a nice trailing plant for containers.

The sweet potato vine with its big heart-shaped leaves is a nice trailing plant for containers.

You must remember this: the rules of an in-ground garden don’t necessarily apply to your containers. One of the things I’ve learned from studying O.P.P. (Other People’s Planters) is that you really need to pack the plants in somewhat densely to achieve maximum effect.

When I set out my very first flower planter on my balcony some years back I had approximately six small cell packs of marigold spaced over the length of a 36-inch planter.

That’s fine if you’re cultivating a garden in your backyard of perennials and plants that will return Read the rest of this entry »

The circle of life goes on and more seeds come out

Heirloom tomato seeds sprouted quickly.

Heirloom tomato seeds sprouted quickly.

The tax man notwithstanding, mid-April brings with it many a happy harbinger of spring: Tomorrow’s weather forecast puts Chicago in the 70s, we’ve had a couple of days of fitful April showers, the heirloom tomato seeds I planted just last week have sprouted and now, in their new sunny location, are bowing their heads in deference to heliotropism.

Life goes on.

And so does my planting. I’m about to start a second wave — this one just for flowers — and pulling out the 72 peat pellet tray for the occasion. I realize that if you’re a first-timer it’s hard to imagine that these slight seedlings will become strong, fully developed plants, baring flowers and Read the rest of this entry »

One garden, four delights: color, fragrance, texture and taste

Yellow Nasturtium has edible leaves and flowers.

Yellow Nasturtium (against purple Morning Glory) has edible leaves and flowers.

Sensory overload. It’s one of a garden’s most enchanting promises. And, indeed, it’s what likely contributes to a garden’s universal appeal. The vibrant colors, the delicate fragrances, the varied textures and wonderful flavors all stimulate the senses. I try to reflect each of these aspects in my small outdoor space. Here’s how I’ll introduce them:

Color: My palette — which plays off my interior color scheme — consists of yellows, greens, blues and oranges. I’m using some selections that have performed well for me in the past as a base, and Read the rest of this entry »