A Garden Blog About Saying Goodbye

I'm a gardener in Chicago, IL, and I'm leaving my garden behind at the end of the year - The Last Garden is about my garden's final year. Share & Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Garden April 10, 2011

Helleborus x hybridus, either 'Solace' or 'Double Melody' -
I dunno.

These warm days have been good to the garden, and it's opened up, showing more and more blooms every day.

Aquarium Chaos: Episode III

Pansies in the aquarium grow tank I set up in January.

Well, this part of the aquarium saga has come to an end. As we prepared to leave on a road trip Saturday, April 2, I went in to water the pansies and remembered, oh yeah, these need to be taken care of every day, otherwise they will die. I stood there and stared at them for a minute in shock, because I'd somehow managed to completely forget about that fact, and then I went about planting them. To save you some suspense, they lived! Here's how I did it.

The March Philosophy Post

Just in case you're late to the party here, the philosophy posts are monthly diatribes on the official theme of this blog. Also weather updates. You'll discover I really like weather.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Garden March 30, 2011

This is the only group of scilla blooming in my garden thus far. They're a bit early.

Well, slowly but steadily the weather's warming up and the flowers are coming out. For reference, this is the time I'd call very early spring - crocuses and scilla are on their way in, and some perennials are beginning to push their leaves above the surface.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring Clean-up

My trusty Corona BP3140 pruners, which ironically fell apart right
in the middle of this project - I used them too much and cleaned them too
little. If, unlike me, you take care of your pruners, that won't happen.

I freely admit that the spring clean up is a thing that should probably just be done and not talked too much about, but it's also true that it can be a giant intimidating project that sometimes we need a bit of inspiration for. Hence, a long series of before-and-after photos.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Garden March 21, 2011

The month of March has predictably failed to deliver on its tantalizing but ultimately false promise of sweetly scented spring days with little wisps of clouds drifting across azure skies. The 21st of this month was beautiful, though.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

How Not to Repot an African Violet (Or, How to Plant Saintpaulia into a Too-Small Fishbowl)

African Violets (Saintpaulia ionantha) can be annoying plants to take care of. They've got to be misted, and watered from below, and kept at a steady temperature - well, I can't help you with that last one, but repotting your African Violet into a bowl or terrarium can help tremendously with the first two.

Assuming you do it right.

Which I didn't.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Garden: March 8, 2011

That winter-ragged primrose (Primula x acaulis 'Blue') from
the last garden post has changed quite a bit, hmm?

Time marches joyfully onward in the garden. This primrose is the most blatant change in the garden since February 18, but life signs are emerging slowly and steadily.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The February Philosophy Post

The pace of life in a garden flows like water. You don't realize how slow and elegant the procession is until it's abruptly interrupted. How's that for philosophy?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Garden: February 18, 2011

After spring comes, those little blue primroses go out into the
garden. Here's one now. (Primula vulgaris 'Blue')

Alright, I'm going to let the photos speak for themselves, but just wait: Temps have been rising into the 40s F during the day for the past week, and this morning we all woke up and most of the snow is gone. Here's what's happening:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Aquarium Chaos: Episode I

Subtle, nefarious mold. Keep looking, it's there. February 6, 2011.

As I mentioned in the intro post for the seed-starting aquarium, problems are bound to occur when starting seeds, and the very first one is usually mold. I have haven't may have conquered that problem (thus far).

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day: February

Yes, I realize Elizabeth Lawrence is completely right about flowers every month of the year, but in order to fulfill her prophecy, your butt must be in gear throughout the fall and winter. Mine wasn't, so I have only this meager offering for you this month:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

In Praise of Snow

Aftermath of the February 1, 2011 blizzard in our garden.

Since here in Chicago we won't have to deal with snow after this week, I feel less evil posting this now.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pansies in a Fish Tank

First off, this particular venture is a complete experiment, and could end in very sad chaos. That said, I am going to be growing my own early-spring pansies, with naught but a fish tank and a few hundred toilet paper tubes.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Houseplants in Winter

Some of my houseplants in a southeast window.

For me, houseplants are accumulated during the wintertime to stave off insanity. Several years ago, I got tired of having to compost away countless pots of dead specimens, forgotten during the summer, and so I managed to limit myself to only those I could keep alive in some form or another throughout the year.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Winter Sowing in Chicago (A Plant List)

If you're anything like me, when you first discover winter sowing, you know just the plants you want to try growing with it. Unfortunately, as versatile and awesome as winter sowing is, it just is not the best way to grow some seeds. Here's a list of great plants to winter sow in Chicago, and terrible plants to winter sow in Chicago.

Winter Sowing, Step by Step

It really surprises me when I mention winter sowing to another gardener (especially one in Chicago) and they aren't familiar with the concept. Winter sowing has probably saved me $200 worth of perennials in the two years I've done it.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Introductory Post

Saintpaulia ionantha (African Violet) cultivar, a No-ID
variegated, grown under glass inside the house.

Here we go.