Friday, March 14, 2008

Spring, spring, spring!

We're finally catching a break weather-wise here in Chicago. I think yesterday we may have reached 60 and today we are comfortably in the 50's. But people are getting a little bit too excited about it, namely Emmanuel, one of the guys who sell ice cream out of a cart outside of the County Hospital. (At least I assume his name is Emmanuel because that is what is emblazoned across his cart...)But the craziest thing of all is that people were lined up for ice cream! I guess everyone was so downtrodden by this awful winter, they are ready to jump straight to summer.

Not me. As much as I am ready for July (release of IWBYJR plus my birthday), I really like spring. It's my second favorite season to fall. Keri Mikulski wrote a really great blog at YA Enchanting Reviews on the coming of spring today. I commented there as to why I love spring. In fact it is beginning to give fall a run for it's money. I love the smells of fall, the color of the leaves, and Halloween. But since I bought my townhouse a few years ago and started honing my gardening skills, spring is all the more meaningful to me.

I have the front unit of my building, so I have potential for garden in the front and on the side. My mom is the one with the green thumb and she helped me rip out bricks on this ugly patio so we could put in a garden the first spring I moved in. We planted mostly herbs in that garden We also battled with the rocky soil out front (someone had put a bunch of rocks around the bushes at one point instead of using the spot for lovely flowers). We've got a ton of lilies out there along with the usual marigolds and other plants my mom finds. Last year we dug out some grass along the side for a third bed. Part of it has my tomatoes and peppers, but mostly it's my prairie bed. Illinois is naturally prairie land after all and I have my whole Laura Ingalls Wilder fetish. So we planted a lot of black-eyed susans and coneflowers and best of all: Sunflowers! That's what you are seeing in the picture above. My pride and joy of last spring/summer.

I'm not quite the green thumb my mom is yet, but I can't tell you how much I've come to love gardening. The main reason I want a real house someday (I love my townhouse) is because I would have a real backyard with way more room. Maybe I could even grown all my vegetables fresh! That's what's so satisfying about gardening. You play in the dirt and then you see results. Planting and maintaining a garden is a real stress reliever for me. It's my quiet time on spring and summer evenings, outside watering the plants. And it's a real bonding experience for me and my mom, who moved into a condo the summer before last, so now this is her only garden, too.

After seeing the ice cream line outside the hospital (weird, I know, but I work in the medical district), I rushed home to see if I could see any of my tulips or irises peaking out yet. No sign unfortunately. I hope they made it through winter. Then again, winter is not really over yet. It's supposed to be 39 again tomorrow. Sigh.

But share your thoughts of spring with me to keep me warm!


keri mikulski :) said...

Hi, Stephanie! I can't wait to see your beautiful garden this summer (please post pics on the progress). I love spring! But, like Chicago, we've been hovering around 60 degrees the last couple of days :) and now they're calling for snow tonight. :( Crazy March. Thanks for the link.

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

I definitely will! And yeah, March can be so frustrating, can't it!