Archive for June 2009

Orange Daylily

Different people mark the beginning of summer in a variety of different ways. Joe The Cop, fellow CN blogger, may note it by the increase of arrests he makes. I mark the beginning of summer by the arrival of the common orange daylily. I don’t care what the calendars say, I don’t care how many... Read more »

Chicago Farmers Markets

A list of Chicago’s farmers markets that get the MrBrownThumb Seal of Approval* and you should visit them now that the weather is cooperating. If you have a favorite I didn’t include make a case for it in the comments and I’ll add it.  Chicago Downtown Farmstand66 E. Randolph StreetM-F 11AM-7PM Saturday 11AM-4PMSee my post... Read more »

Deadheading Plants

Deadheading is the process of removing spent or fading flowers from a plant. It is usually done with scissors, garden shears or a knife. The purpose of deadheading is to encourage a plant to send out a second wave of flowers. If you think about it–Flowers, while beautiful, are really just traffic cones or signal... Read more »

Pop Bottle Drip Irrigation

Late last year someone had the bright idea to “fix” the old plumbing in the house. This “fix” lead to there being no outside water access, that means no garden hose, and since water is kind of essential to gardening outside this has made this year interesting. In a way I’ve been preparing the garden... Read more »

Who owns the Parkway in Chicago?

The strip of grass between a building and the sidewalk is technically owned by the City of Chicago. Although the parkway is owned by the City it is the responsibility of the property owner to maintain it. These parkways are as diverse as the neighborhoods they are in and range from elaborately planted gardens to... Read more »

Leaf Miner Foliage Damage

Have you noticed damage to some leaves in your garden that looks like squiggly lines or a road map? The damaged leaves are the signs that you plant is being attacked by a leaf miner. Leaf miner is a term used to describe the larvae of several insects that feed on a plant’s leaf tissue.... Read more »

Mushrooms in Lawns

With the extremely wet weather we have been experiencing in Chicago mushrooms are popping up in lawns all over the neighborhood. Mushrooms, oftentimes called toadstools, are the reproductive parts of some kinds of fungi. Mushrooms found in lawns seem to illicit a strange reaction. I’ve observed people plucking them from lawns wearing gloves or keeping... Read more »

Free Wood Chip Mulch

Did you know that the Bureau of Forestry creates wood chips from the debris resulting from trees and branches they remove? The Bureau of Forestry creates mulch that can be used to enhance the appearance of playgrounds, city owned empty lots and even private property. Yes, even homeowners can benefit from the program. If you... Read more »

Field Bindweed

Field Bindweed is one of my favorite weeds. Yeah, I said it. It was introduced into the U.S in the early 1800s and has become a nuisance in gardens, lawns, alleys and empty lots around Chicago and across the country. The weed is tough to eradicate because it has a strong and extensive root system.... Read more »

Northern Catalpa Tree

A couple of years ago I spotted city workers cutting holes into the sidewalk around the street from my house. The next day a different set of workers showed up and plopped Catalpa trees in each of the holes and watered them with water from tanks the trucks were carrying. When the trees remained nothing... Read more »