Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring has sprung!

Chicago is cruel in early Spring. We usually get a brief, honeyed taste of summer followed by the return of winter weather. This year is no exception: my city is currently basking in run of beautifully warm days. We are, however, facing some dips into the 20's this weekend, as well as possible snow and freezing rain. Today I could garden barefoot, wearing just a T-shirt, though the breezes still have a bit of a chill in them. The crocus bulbs came up in my lawn - could there be a sweeter harbinger of the coming season?

My plucky radishes are up, as is the wintersown mizuna.

Hopefully the seedlings will make it through the weekend chill. I will be out of town for the next week, so I won't be able to helicopter-parent them. If they all die, I have plenty of seeds to resow. My husband's parents will be babysitting and house sitting for us, and my father-in-law has more than once battled the elements in his own garden. Though he is not a vegetable gardener, he has coddled many a flower and shrub. I likely leave my seedlings in more careful hands than mine.

I take leave of the homestead with a sigh of satisfaction for, despite endless delays and permit dramas, the porch project has been completed. It was not without casualties -- the March mud combined with a week of weight from the demolition debris wrought havoc on my front bed.

The peonies had started to break through the soil prior to the project's start. They look worse for the wear, but peonies are tough old plants, so I am hopeful about their long-term prognosis.

The roses are through, but they were straggly and diseased, so I bid them adieu with a light heart. Upon my return, I will face the rebuilding of the bed. I am going to put in some perennials, start training vines and perhaps purchase a shrub or two. I will then fill in the gaping holes of this rebuilding season with annual cottage garden flowers. But who knows? I am going to Paris, so maybe I will find some garden inspiration there....perhaps I will find a small city garden or two that I can replicate on the west side of Chicago. Until then, I wish you happy gardening and a few more days like this one to get you outside and digging.


  1. mizuna! yuck!!
    have fun in paris!!!!!!!

  2. You're ahead of me, I don't even have a crocus to show for Spring yet.

    Nice to see your seedlings too.

  3. I just planted my vegetable garden today right before the rains and snow. I wish I was going where you are!


  4. Paris. . . poor you! Have a wonderful trip!