Planting a raised garden in Chicago: Do window boxes count?

When the calendar flipped from a lousy April to a better weather (I hoped) May, I couldn't WAIT to hit Home Depot to buy plants.  Given I live in the city and only have a large yoga mat sized garden--how do I plant a garden?

A raised garden. I raise my garden in window boxes that hang on wrought iron railings off my kitchen and front door. And it is a raised garden given some is 15 feet off the ground. And it does flourish most years, that is if I stay in town to water it on those OMG sultry summer days when I debate whether it's worth it to go to Grant Park to listen to the music.

Why Home Depot? Well, I do love to visit my local Home Depot's public restrooms. With two buttons on the back of the toilet, like my daughter commonly finds in the UK--it takes me back over the pond for a moment when I miss my 3 and 6 year-old-grandsons. That and Home Depot's policy to allow me to bring back DEAD plants for a refund. If I bring back the dying residue AND my receipt (thankfully I'm hyper organized)--I get a Home Depot orange gift card to buy again. Usually another plant.

So last night I wasn't TOO concerned about the three herbs in my raised garden dying. Nevertheless, after a lifetime of rescuing dying plants from my neighbors garbage--to nurse the plants back to life--I did cover them to keep the threatening under 40 F temps at bay. It worked.

So this afternoon I'm out of here to plant the rest of my window boxes. No I don't plant tons of veg, mostly herbs and flowers. To compete with farmers is absurd. By the time any veg is up, it will be dirt cheap (relatively) and widely available at stores, farrmer's markets and even from people who planted too much.

So enjoy the day and raise a garden even in the city.


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    Candace Drimmer

    I was an accidental expatriate; love and marriage led me to it. One day I was a bandy-legged kid sitting atop my dogwood tree looking out of my small backyard world in 1950s New Jersey, wanting to move somewhere--anywhere, different. Next thing I knew my father had accepted a job in Houston TX. I was ecstatic, it was a foreign land in 1961 America. After high school graduation, my parents’ gave me a matched set of fawn-colored hardsided American Tourister luggage. Taking the hint, I went to college; well four colleges in five years--it was the 60s after all. Meeting a young hirsute anti-war, soon-to-be-Peace Corps volunteer, I fell in love. After finishing up college coursework for my degree, but before I even walking a graduation stage, I grabbed the paper airline ticket my boyfriend had sent me, my brand-new passport, and was off to the airport and Lima, Peru.

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