CityDiggity

A green space for urban gardeners

Archive for containers

The mystery of orchids and the Mother’s Day garden timetable


Orchids. There’s just something about them.

And to the envy of mere mortal women, they manage to achieve the double feat of being beautiful and mysterious. And it’s hard to put your finger on just what makes them so entrancing…

Like a good mystery buff, I first became intrigued with the exotic flowering plant after following the exploits of fictional detective Nero Wolfe.

Author Rex Stout painted an intriguing portrait of the brilliant private detective who, in unraveling the evil men do, got a first-hand look at the uglier side of nature.

Not only did his stately brownstone — from which he solved his cases — provide refuge from this ugliness, it also was where he escaped to his beautiful world of orchids.


He owned thousands and devoted the upper level of his home to them, caring for and nurturing them as though they were his children. He was an obsessive and devoted hobbyist.

Of course, today we can all share in the orchid Read the rest of this entry »

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Care and maintenance of plants in the urban container garden

The dead blooms on this geranium need to be removed for aesthetics and to promote new flower production. (Click on image to enlarge.)

The dead blooms on this geranium need to be removed for aesthetics and to promote new flower production. (Click on image to enlarge.)

I remove the flowers that form on herbs like this Thai basil periodically.

I remove the flowers that form on herbs like this Thai basil periodically.

In some respects, we urban container gardeners have it easier than those of you with lush, never-ending yard gardens.

For example, there are no raccoons, squirrels or deer nibbling away at the plants of my 10th-floor Chicago balcony garden. And I never have the wits scared out of me by slithering soft-bodied invertebrates or slippery gastropods.

Weeds? Unless delivered by way of a seed dropped as one of our feathered friends buzzes overhead, weeds just don’t exist in my world.

But, in order to keep our small verdant spaces looking pristine throughout a long summer, even container gardeners have to suffer through deadheading and other routine upkeep necessary Read the rest of this entry »