Monday, May 10, 2010

Chicagoing: The Concrete Jungle

I never really noticed flowers and nature until I moved to Chicago. Mainly because we don't have a lot here. But, I really think this lack of natural nature that has made us a city obsessed with greenery and flowers. While we are a city of amazing architecture:
At street level, all the sidewalks and medians downtown are filled with flowers:
We have huge concrete sidewalks for outdoor dining, but by law all outdoor dining establishment must have flower boxes surrounding their borders:
We also have an amazingly beautiful lakefront:
Perfect for taking photos of the pooches. Here's "Senior Picture" Mr. B:
And pensive Miss M:
Best of all, we have many flower-friendly neighbors. Our daily walk has become much more fun seeing all the beautiful flowers by the houses:
Even though most of us don't have "yards", people still have plenty of container gardens:
Container gardening is huge here. Our neighbor across the way has an amazingly large front porch, which they supplement with all kinds of nice flowers. Here I am spying on them as they get ready for the season:
I'm always in awe of how lush our neighbors can grow their flowers. We have been doing well growing herbs, but our flowers are sparse. This is our outdoor area from last year, and you can probably see the flowers looking a bit thin:
I'm not much of a gardener at all, but I was hoping to get advice from everyone. Our deck gets a lot of bright sun in the morning, but shade for the rest of the day. Does anyone have any good advice for making it less of a concrete jungle?


Mack said...

Our mom wished so bad she had a green paw - she just better keep on wishing!
Mom says the best thing is to probably go to your local garden center and see what they got.
Good luck!!

kissa-bull said...

yesh we agree wiff macky cause our mommish is just now going to try her paw at gardening once we move to our vewy first home later this week. we pawmised not to water her plants. we're all crossing our paws for her non gardening skills.teehee

pibble sugars to the pooches
the pittie pack

brooke said...

Im still working at our deck and greening it. Ive got mostly herbs and veggies (arugula and green onion) on the deck. I haven't tried flowers yet!
there are some great blogs for container gardening I've found recently... you grow girl, life on the balcony, heavy petal...
good luck!

Rescued Pittie Family said...

That is one thing I could never get used to. Nashville is very green. We have a lot of trees here. And they're everywhere.
I went to Chicago a couple of years ago for a hockey game and it was so gray.
It's an awesome city, but it needs more trees!

houndstooth said...

That is one of the things I love most about visiting Chicago!

I'd say try some impatiens in your flower boxes. They love shade and will tolerate a little sun in the morning. Begonias are shade lovers, too.

Kari in Alaska said...

I keep meaning to plant my balcony garden. Have yet to do it. I have a black thumb. On another note, I love being in Baltimore during the week because there is so much brick which is a wonderful change of pace!

Two French Bulldogs said...

You do have a cool looking neighborhood despite concrete. It looks nice in our eyes
Benny & Lily

Shauna (Fido and Wino) said...

That is so awesome that restaurants have to have flowers- cool idea!

Nadine, Chewy and Lilibell said...

Hi! I stumbled upon your blog over at Two Country Poodles and have been enjoying reading it! I too live in a concrete jungle (Providence, RI) and love to garden, but because we don't have a yard, nor do we have a deck or balcony, my garden is my window boxes. I plant flowers, herbs and have even tried this year cherry tomato plants (which are booming!!). The flowers you plant all depends on how long your deck gets sun. I have one side of the house where it gets morning sun, from early morning to about early those boxes I plant part shade flowers. On another side of the house, where it only gets a little sun in the morning and later afternoon, I look for shade loving flowers. And the one side that gets sun all day long I plant flowers that tolerate full sun. I also plant flowers in containers that I put out on the fire escapes. Also, you should buy flower food and feed them every other watering.

Good luck with your city gardening!

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