CityDiggity

A green space for urban gardeners

Archive for potted plants

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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Coleus: It’s not fall, but these leaves are showing their colors

DSC00277DSC00278DSC00292Nothing turns my head faster than a pretty flower. But, lately I’ve been thinking a lot about leaves.

I’ve seen photos online of leaves with so much pattern and texture that I forgot to look for what blossomed among them. Actually, I  think a leaf appreciation has been playing at the back of my mind for a while now…

A few years ago Chicago held a show downtown in Grant Park called “Garden in a City,” which featured displays of various urban garden possibilities: small yards, roofs, balconies. (Chicago is a big proponent of green roofs, so the Read the rest of this entry »

The good earth: last season’s soil may be right for reuse

Someone forgot to tell these sprouts that they shouldn't survive outdoors in containers over the Chicago winter.

Even though this soil has been subjected to the elements, healthy sprouts are popping up.

I love getting my hands dirty. In fact when I open those big bags of rich, fluffy potting soil mix I don’t even bother to wear gloves — despite my manicured fingernails. It is one of those joyful rituals that mark the start of what will hopefully be another rewarding season of container gardening.

But hold on, what about the soil left in the pots from last year? Isn’t it wasteful to just dump all that dirt? Is there any way to recycle it for this season’s planters? These are questions a curious city gardener posed to me recently. And Earth Day Read the rest of this entry »

A quest for true blue? Prepare for shades of gray along the way

This hydrangea is blue, but some petals are replete with hints of purple.

Even though this hydrangea is a vibrant blue, some of its petals display hints of purple.

It may not be up there with the search for the grail, but gardeners’ quest for “true blue” flowers can be equally elusive.

For a couple years now, blue has been the object of my garden affection. I’ve built my color scheme around blue and hunted for seeds and plants of that hue.

That passion took hold of me at the grocery store Read the rest of this entry »