Chicago is the 3rd most populated metropolitan city in the United States, right behind New York and L.A. With 3 million residents in the Greater Chicago land area there is always competition for space and resources.This Sunday morning I decided to put my yard space to use and replant my garden! I will get a little personal with you all today, y’all love me right :), and share with you that this was one of the hardest flower beds to plant. Growing up my grandparents took care of me like I was their child. Being an only child I spent lots of time with my grandparents going shopping, preparing meals and watching the dreadful FOX News channel with my grandfather. On July 11 of 2013 my grandfather passed away. In March 2014 my grandmother entered the hospital due to complications with her lungs and she still remains. One of the best memories with my grandparents is watching them grow fresh tomatoes, bell peppers and hot peppers in our back yard. When I was little we even had a pear tree! In the footsteps of 2 of the best people ever, I decided that my son and I would revamp our backyard for my grandmother. It started like this:
Weeds, weeds, weeds! It has rained consistently for the past 2 weeks here in Chicago and my backyard was ready for full on Lion King action, so we began to dig. And dig. And dig. We made good head way and was able to clear the entire patch of weeds out. It was no small feat for the Diva, I’m such a city girl. Once we cleared the weeds and dug up old tulip bulbs from gardens past we were able to start the beautification process. A word to the wise, if you are planting in soil previously used place down a layer of plastic and cut holes in the spaces you want to plant in. It will eliminate roots and weeds popping up throughout your garden.
Usually my son leaves me hanging in the middle of mommy’s projects but he stuck this one out with me. He hoed, pulled and snatched weeds, he lugged gigantic bags of mulch around the yards and he even laid down one of our cement patios with the mulch. He’s such the little helper….when I bribe him with riding his bike on the trail later that day.
After the concrete slabs were filed with mulch its now time to plant the flowers. First we laid all the flowers out and arranged them to our liking. I had to remember that the flowers would spread and to not be worried that they weren’t so plentiful to begin with. My feelings were hurt when I didn’t see an instant garden like I’d envisioned in my mind. At that moment I just wanted my grandma to make it better….then I looked up at my son in this hat and had the laugh of my life. Thanks grandma for making it better.
Its super important in a huge city like Chicago that children are taught to grow and work the land. I mean come on, my ideal husband is a farmer! Yes chicken, cows and tomato plants are sexy to me and the stuff real men are made of! After another hour in our garden it was complete. I arranged the flowers, cut the holes in the plastic, dug up the spots for each plant and filled with mulch on top once everything was laid. And the final results…….
Not so bad from start to finish! We have an entire other side of our garden that we will be planting tomatoes, green peppers and bell peppers on. Royal Diva needs a few days of rest so I think I will begin that project next Saturday morning. I’ll update this post with our yummy, organically grown vegetables. I’m tired all over again after writing this. If you have any cool urban farming solutions or suggestions please comment below and share or e-mail pics of your super cool garden to firstname.lastname@example.org. Healthy eating and happy living! Until next time.- RD
Just as I was sitting back looking at my flowers and feeling my grandparents in my heart, a beautiful butterfly landed in my garden. How amazing it is in a city of 3 million people that she could feel me as if we were sitting right next to each other. 🙂