Musings of an urban gardener


February in frigid Chicago has me daydreaming about next season’s urban garden. Also, many of my indoor succulents are hanging on for dear life. I can’t wait to get them back outside and watch them explode in the warm, humid Chicago summer. Last year was fruitful … literally, if you count my teeny, tiny strawberries. I’m hoping it will be a successful potted perennial—and that this summer’s yield will be bigger than tic tacs.


While I stare longingly at my snow covered pots, I’m dreaming about starting new seeds and running my hands through fragrant bunches of basil. Here are a few of the items on my list for this spring:

  • Poppies. Had some last year. They were lovely. I drowned them in a pot that wasn’t properly draining. Better luck this year, let’s hope.
  • Beets. So I can make this beauty again and say it’s locally sourced.
  • Microgreens. I LOVE them. And they look amazing as a garnish in food photography.
  • Edible flowers. Ditto on the last point.
  • Tomatoes. ‘Nuff said.

And, five things I never knew you could grow in a container that I plant to try:

  • Fig tree. I know it may never bear fruit. I know it might not survive the Chicago winter, even in my garage or condo. But I’m trying anyway, dammit.
  • Lemon tree. See the last point.
  • Avocado tree. Ditto.
  • Saffron. I hear it’s easy to grow—if I can’t kill it, we’ll know that’s the truth
  • Pomegranate. Wouldn’t that be amazing??

Also, thanks to this amazing site, I even got organized enough (read: obsessed) to plan my seed-starting schedule.

Follow my urban garden board on Pinterest for more inspiration.

What are you growing this spring/summer? Anything else I should add to my list?


  • Lisa @ SoTeaBeeZa

    I have to admit I’m not much of a gardener. It’s probably a lack of patience more than anything else.

    But, I’m pretty excited about my avocado plant. I started it from the pit, the old fashioned way, with toothpicks, and so far, it’s doing great. I’ll have to put it in dirt soon.

    By the way, I love your strawberries. I bet they taste delicious in a Chicago winter.

  • paul q

    Loved your comment about growing a fig tree. My grandfather started a family tradition of growing fig trees in cold winter weather climes (in Ohio)…well he used to dig an elongated trench and tie a rope at the top of the tree and bend it down underground and bury it for the winter. The roots had to grow out 180 degrees from the trunk, to enable it to bend and not break. Voila, uncover it and set it upright and we had figs almost as big as your fist in the summer. The tree was 12 feet tall and lived many years. Quite a feat!

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