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YOU GOTTA START SOMEWHERE

Posted Jan 22 2009 6:31pm

Dismal February View From the Front Porch

Garden quote: " A garden is essential, everything else only desirable. "


I'm on a crusade to get Chicagoans to be a vital part of their " City in a Garden. " I want to see more front gardens that say " Hey, y'all , look at me, ! " One doesn't have to be a landscape designer to create a beautiful garden, all it takes is the desire, a little sweat equity , a modest budget, the ability to read and ask for help from professionals.

I'll never forget my first visit to the local garden center. My two neighbors and I purchased 3 Azaleas and went home to eagerly plant them, thinking we were done . Well, as it turned out the three Azaleas looked mightly big at the garden center but when planted in our big back yard they looked SO tiny. Back to the garden center for more stuff, and many trips later, through trial and error, the garden slowly began to take form and through the process I learned a lot.

I didn't like gardening growing up on the farm because it was my job to tend the vegetable garden, which those of you who do this know that it is very labor intensive. And, after the vegetables are harvested, guess what ? They have to be preserved for winter which means canning up to a hundred jars of each vegetable. Whew ! So after moving to Chicago , getting married, buying a house,having children and working a full time job left little time for gardening.

But, little by little , the old green thumb that I left back in 'bama came back . Hey what can I say , I'm an earth sign - Taurus , and we are born to garden.

We are fortunate to live on one of the loveliest streets in the city , in an historic district, and it is as friendly as any small town. Neighbors know and care for each other and contribute to the welfare of the neighborhood as well.

As my children grew and I had more time on my hands I began in earnest to create a front and back garden . This is in the reach of everyone who wants to do it. I will outline how for the novice gardeners who can follow down the garden path quite easily.
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