Just because you garden in a small space doesn't mean you can't plant spring flowering bulbs. While most gardeners around Chicago plant bulbs in the ground, they are also suitable for container gardens on your deck, patio, porch or courtyard.
In the garden video below by the Chicago Botanic Garden Jill Selinger shows you how to layer multiple types of bulbs to create a container garden full of spring color and interest. Once your bulbs have finished flowering and the garden centers have spring and summer annuals you can plant them in the same container above the existing bulbs.
See Where to buy spring bulbs in your garden for info on a couple of bulb sales at the Chicago Botanic Garden.