Chicago lawn and garden experts offer city garden tips
Just because you live in the city doesn’t mean you have to neglect your inner gardener. Whether your “green” space is limited to a window ledge, a patio or a rooftop, you can get eye-catching results by following these four tips offered by Chicago-area gardening experts.
Think about personality. What do you want to plant? Every plant has a personality; some like shade, some crave sunshine. “Each gardening experience is a result of that person’s creativity,” says Joanne Greene, owner of highly rated On the Ledge Window Box Designs of Chicago. “However, if you put a sunflower in the shade it will not flower, and if you put a shade plant in the sun, it will fry.” Purchased plants generally come with clear directions stating their specific water and sunlight needs.
Use pots. If you don’t have natural planting space, find a more mobile home for your plants. A variety of containers, flowerpots and window boxes can be purchased from any garden supply store. You also can get creative with a water-retaining vessel such as a large mason jar or even a coffee can.
Maximize your plots. If you have some yard space, use it strategically to make the most impact. “The biggest mistake that people tend to make is to insignificantly plant around the edges,” says Marisa Gora, owner of highly rated Kemora Landscape Designs of Chicago. “You get a lot more out of one fuller bed than a long stream of more insignificant plantings.”
Think about the positives. Plants have a ton of benefits for the environment, both locally and on a global scale. They help to purify the air and reduce pollution, soak up stagnant stormwater and clean up the nearly 70 percent of Chicago soil that is contaminated. Whether you are an apartment-dweller or have ground to work with, plants can drastically improve your space.