CityDiggity

A green space for urban gardeners

Archive for petunia

Out of sight color: blooms of vibrant orange and truest blue

DSC00792DSC00753Looking out onto the deck I have a pretty nice view: I can see the morning glory climbing up my balcony and attaching itself to the net lights, four varieties of basil, a fancy-leaf geranium and healthy pots of heirloom tomato (bar one).

And when I look up at what’s attached to the railing I see lots of gorgeous flowers: petunia, Texas bluebonnet, lisianthus, lobelia, salvia, zinnia, lantana and several others.

Therefore, as you’d suspect I’m pretty pleased right now. But being so taken by all there was to appreciate in my immediate sight line, I neglected Read the rest of this entry »

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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 »

Don’t forget the KISS principle when mapping out your garden

Petunia baby duck is very dependable and it's small blossoms are adorable.

Petunia baby duck is very dependable, with adorable, small, yellow-centered blossoms.

It’s easy for me to get caught up in the wake of ambitious dreams when plotting my garden. But lest I drown in the disappointment of plans gone awry, I remind myself of the KISS principle: Keep It Simple Stupid. And yes, I’m talking to me.

Experimenting with lots of untried seeds — hoping they all sprout, hoping they don’t fall prey to my cat’s midnight munchies, and hoping they go on to grow, thrive and bloom — that’s a lot of pressure. Of course, I go into it knowing that some seeds won’t sprout and some that sprout won’t survive. What can I say, it’s a process.

That’s why I follow the simple rule of using plantlets that are already established to fill in the 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 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 »